Thomas McGovern (bishop)

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Right Reverend
Thomas Francis McGovern
Bishop Thomas McGovern.jpg
The Bishop Thomas McGovern
Diocese Diocese of Harrisburg[1]
Appointed December 6, 1887 (1887-12-06)
Predecessor Jeremiah F. Shanahan
Successor John W. Shanahan
Ordination December 27, 1861 (1861-12-27)
by James Frederick Bryan Wood[1][2]
Consecration March 11, 1888 (1888-03-11)
by William O'Hara[1][2]
Personal details
Born (1832-04-10)April 10, 1832
Swanlinbar, County Cavan, Ireland
Died July 25, 1898(1898-07-25) (aged 66)
Buried Mount Calvary Cemetery
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania[3]
Nationality American
Parents Edward McGovern
Margaret (Gillece) McGovern[3]
Previous post Priest of Philadelphia (1861-1887)[3]
Education Saint Joseph College[2]
Alma mater
Motto Forti salus in fide[2]
(A strong faith in your salvation)

Thomas McGovern (April 10, 1832—July 25, 1898) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the second bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (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.[4] In 1855 he entered Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree.[4] He completed his theological studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and was ordained a priest by Bishop James Wood on December 27, 1861.[1]

After serving at Pottstown and Douglassville, he was named a curate at St. Michael's Church and later St. Philip's Church in Philadelphia.[4] He was pastor of Bellefonte from 1864 until 1870, when he was transferred to St. Patrick's Church in York.[4] In 1873, he was appointed to Danville. From 1881 to 1882, he went to Europe, Africa and Asia to regain his health.[4]

On December 6, 1887, McGovern was appointed Bishop of Harrisburg by Pope Leo XIII.[1] 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.[1] During his tenure, he erected twelve parishes, mostly designated for the various ethnic groups.[2] He died at age 66.[3][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop Thomas McGovern †". Catholic-Hierarchy. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 30 March 2015. [self-published source]
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Right Reverend Thomas McGovern – Biography". Diocese of Harrisburg. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Rev Thomas Francis McGovern". Find-a-Grave. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e William, Harry I.; Egle, Henry; Dudley, Adolphus S.; Huber, I.; Schively, Rebecca H. (1896). Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, Containing Sketches of Representative Citizens, and Many of the Early Scotch-Irish and German Settlers (Thomas McGOVERN, Dauphin County, PA ed.). Chambersburg, Pa: J. M. Runk & Company. pp. 268–273. Archived from the original on 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Jeremiah F. Shanahan
Bishop of Harrisburg
Succeeded by
John W. Shanahan