George W. Ahr

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George W. Ahr
Bishop of Trenton
In office1950–1979
OrdinationJuly 29, 1928
ConsecrationMarch 20, 1951
by Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh
Personal details
Born(1904-06-23)June 23, 1904
Newark, New Jersey
DiedMay 5, 1993(1993-05-05) (aged 88)
Morris Hall Home of the Aged
DenominationRoman Catholic
EducationSt. Ann's Grammar School
Alma materSt. Benedict's Preparatory School

George William Ahr (June 23, 1904 – May 5, 1993) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Trenton from 1950 to 1979.


George Ahr was born in Newark, New Jersey, and attended St. Ann's Grammar School and St. Benedict's Preparatory School.[1] He then studied at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and, returning to New Jersey, at Seton Hall University in South Orange.[1] After completing his theological studies in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, he was ordained to the priesthood on July 29, 1928.[2] He later earned a doctorate in sacred theology in 1929.[1]

Following his return to the United States, Ahr did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Newark, where he first served as a curate at St. Mary's Church in Jersey City.[1] He later served at St. Venantius Church in Orange until 1930, when he became a professor at Seton Hall Preparatory School.[1] He was named professor of dogmatic theology (1933) and later rector (1947) at Immaculate Conception Seminary.[1]

On January 28, 1950, Ahr was appointed the seventh Bishop of Trenton by Pope Pius XII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 20 from Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh, with Bishops Bartholomew J. Eustace and Thomas A. Boland serving as co-consecrators.[2] During his tenure, he increased the number of Catholics from 300,000 to 850,000, and founded 50 parishes and dedicated 100 new churches, 90 schools, and over 60 other buildings.[1] He attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. He perceived a growing anti-clericalism in the United States,[3] and opposed the Christian Layman's Experimental Organization.[4]

After twenty-nine years as bishop, Ahr retired on June 23, 1979; he was the longest-serving bishop of Trenton.[2] He later died at Morris Hall Home of the Aged in Lawrenceville, aged 88.[1]

St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Edison was named in his honor from 1983 to 2019.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Obituary". The New York Times. May 8, 1993.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop George William Ahr".[self-published source]
  3. ^ "The Lowly Catholic Layman". Time. August 17, 1962. Archived from the original on November 27, 2005.
  4. ^ "The Underground Church". Time. September 29, 1967. Archived from the original on December 15, 2008.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Trenton
Succeeded by