Joseph Sadoc Alemany

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The Most Reverend
Joseph Sadoc Alemany
Archbishop of San Francisco
Joseph Sadoc Alemany.JPG
See San Francisco
Installed July 29, 1853
Term ended December 28, 1884
Predecessor None
Successor Patrick William Riordan
Other posts Bishop of Monterey (1850–1853)
Orders
Ordination March 11, 1837
Consecration June 30, 1850
Personal details
Born (1814-07-03)July 3, 1814
Vic, Spain
Died April 14, 1888(1888-04-14) (aged 73)
Valencia, Spain
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Styles of
Joseph Sadoc Alemany
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style none

Joseph Sadoc Alemany y Conill, O.P. (July 3, 1814 – April 14, 1888) was a Catalan American Roman Catholic archbishop and missionary. He served as the first Bishop of Monterey from 1850 until 1853, and as the first Archbishop of San Francisco from 1853 until 1884.

Early Biography[edit]

Alemany was born in Vic, 60 km north of Barcelona, Spain (present-day autonomous region of Catalonia).

Formation[edit]

Alemany entered the Dominican Order in 1830 and made his solemn profession in September 1831, the same year that his protégé, Patrick Manogue was born in Ireland.

Alemany was ordained a priest on March 11, 1837.[1]

During studies in Rome, he had an audience with Pope Gregory XVI.

Alemany was an alumnus of the College of St. Thomas in Rome, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, where in 1840 he was made Lector in Theology.[2]

Career[edit]

The Dominicans sent him to the United States in 1840. For the next eight years, he engaged in missionary activity in the Eastern and Southern United States, eventually becoming a naturalized United States citizen.

In 1848, he was appointed Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph.

Summoned to Rome, Alemany met on June 11, 1850 with Cardinal Giacomo Franzoni, informed of his appointment as Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey in California. Alemany replied, "No." Pope Pius IX ordered Alemany to a private audience on June 16. Pius IX told Alemany, "You must go to California....Where others are drawn by gold, you must carry the Cross." Cardinal Franzoni consecrated Alemany, Bishop of Monterey on June 30, 1850, in Rome; thus, becoming the first American bishop in California.[3] When the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco was erected July 29, 1853, Alemany was appointed by Pope Pius IX as its first archbishop.

San Francisco[edit]

Archbishop Alemany arrived in San Francisco finding three established Catholic parishes Mission Dolores (San Francisco de Asis) (1776), St. Francis of Assisi (1849) and St. Patrick (1851). As Archbishop of San Francisco, Alemany presided over what became a multinational diocese, owing to the influx of people during the California Gold Rush, and parishes were established for San Francisco's Italian, Irish, French, German and Mexican communities.[4] Catholic religious institutes were also active during his tenure, with the Society of Jesus establishing Santa Clara University and the University of San Francisco, the De La Salle Christian Brothers taking over the diocesan Saint Mary's College, and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur establishing in San Jose the Notre Dame de Namur University, and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary establishing in Oakland the Holy Names University. He and fellow Dominican priest, Fr. Francis Sadoc Vilarrasa also founded the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name in 1851, and the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael and Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose were established in the archdiocese in 1851 and 1876, respectively.

As Bishop of Monterey Alemany filed a petition with the Public Land Commission on February 19, 1853 for the return of all former mission lands in California. As Archbishop of San Francisco he sought Fee Ownership of 1,051.44 acres (for all practical intents being the exact area of land occupied by the original mission buildings, cemeteries, and gardens) was subsequently conveyed to the Church, along with the Cañada de los Pinos (or College Rancho) in Santa Barbara County comprising 35,499.73 acres (143.6623 km2), and La Laguna in San Luis Obispo County, consisting of 4,157.02 acres (16.8229 km2).[5] The scope of his authority was large, as the Diocese of Monterey originally encompassed the entire area of the former Mexican province of Alta California, while the Archdiocese of San Francisco encompassed all of the state of California north of Monterey Bay as well as territories that would become Nevada and Utah. However, Alemany wished to return to missionary work and requested a coadjutor bishop. In 1883, Bishop Patrick William Riordan was appointed by Pope Leo XIII coadjutor, and would succeed Alemany upon the latter's resignation as archbishop in 1884.

Retirement[edit]

Alemany's vault at Holy Cross

After his resignation, Archbishop Alemany left San Francisco in May 1885, he toured New York, was presented by Catholic General William Rosecrans to President Grover Cleveland. He arrived in Italy, having an audience with Pope Leo XIII and was appointed titular archbishop of Pelusium. Alemany returned to Catalonia. He died in Valencia, on April 14, 1888, and was buried in the Church of Sant Domènec in his native Vic. In 1965, his body was brought back to San Francisco after a funeral mass said by Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken at the Old Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception he was buried in the Archbishops' Crypt in the mausoleum in Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California.

He was an author, publishing his The Life of St. Dominick.

Alemany Boulevard and the Alemany Maze in San Francisco, Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, California and the Archbishop Alemany Library at Dominican University of California in San Rafael are all named in his honor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "...on March 11, 1837, though one year shy of the sacerdotal canonical age, he was ordained a priest in San Lorenzo Cathedral in Viterbo by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Gaspar Bernard Pianetti of that city." Mission West: The Western Dominican Province 1850-1966, 1995, Western Dominican Province Oakland, California, https://www.opwest.org/uploads/archive/missionwest/Mission%20West%20-%20Chapter%202.pdf Accessed 21 May 2014
  2. ^ "Upon the completion of his studies, he was awarded the degree of Lectorate in Theology at the Minerva, one of the venerable centers of Dominican life and culture."Mission West: The Western Dominican Province 1850-1966, 1995, Western Dominican Province Oakland, California, https://www.opwest.org/uploads/archive/missionwest/Mission%20West%20-%20Chapter%202.pdf Accessed 21 May 2014
  3. ^ Diocesan History
  4. ^ Presentation Sisters to celebrate 150 years
  5. ^ Robinson, pp. 31–32

Sources[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno, O.F.M.
(as Bishop of Both Californias)
Bishop of Monterey
1850–1853
Succeeded by
Thaddeus Amat y Brusi, C.M.
Preceded by
None (erected)
Archbishop of San Francisco
1853–1884
Succeeded by
Patrick William Riordan