Thomas McGovern (bishop)

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Thomas McGovern
Bishop Thomas McGovern.jpg
Born (1832-04-10)April 10, 1832
Died July 25, 1898(1898-07-25) (aged 66)

Thomas McGovern (April 10, 1832—July 25, 1898) was the second Roman Catholic Bishop of Harrisburg (1888-1898).

McGovern was born in Swanlinbar, County Cavan, and came to the United States with his parents in 1833, settling in Albany Township, Pennsylvania.[1] In 1855 he entered Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree.[1] He completed his theological studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and was ordained a priest by Bishop James Wood on December 27, 1861.[2]

After serving at Pottstown and Douglassville, he was named a curate at St. Michael's Church and later St. Philip's Church in Philadelphia.[1] He was pastor of Bellefonte from 1864 until 1870, when he was transferred to St. Patrick's Church in York.[1] In 1873, he was appointed to Danville. From 1881 to 1882, he went to Europe, Africa and Asia to regain his health.[1]

On December 6, 1887, McGovern was appointed Bishop of Harrisburg by Pope Leo XIII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on March 11, 1888 from Bishop William O'Hara, with Bishops Richard Gilmour and John Ambrose Watterson serving as co-consecrators.[2] During his tenure, he erected twelve parishes, mostly designated for the various ethnic groups.[3] He later died at age 66.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Jeremiah F. Shanahan
Bishop of Harrisburg
Succeeded by
John W. Shanahan