Henry Damian Juncker

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Henry Damian Juncker
Bishop of Alton
Bishop Henry Damian Juncker.jpg
InstalledApril 26, 1857
Term endedOctober 2, 1868
SuccessorPeter Joseph Baltes
OrdinationMarch 16, 1834
by John Baptist Purcell
ConsecrationApril 26, 1857
by John Baptist Purcell
Personal details
Born(1809-08-22)August 22, 1809
Fénétrange, Moselle, France
DiedOctober 2, 1868(1868-10-02) (aged 59)
Alton, Illinois, United States

Henry Damian Juncker (August 22, 1809 – October 2, 1868) was a French-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. He was the first Bishop of Alton, Illinois, serving from 1857 until his death.


Juncker was born Fénétrange, Moselle, and while a young student at the Pont-à-Mousson seminary he decided to devote his life to the American missions, attaching himself to the Diocese of Cincinnati, Ohio.[1] He emigrated to the Cincinnati, where he completed his seminary studies.[2] he was ordained a priest by John Baptist Purcell, then the Bishop of Cincinnati, on March 16, 1834.[3] He then served as pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Cincinnati until 1836, when he became pastor of St. Mary's Church in Canton.[4] In 1846 he was named pastor of the Church of Emanuel in Dayton.[4]

On January 9, 1857, Juncker was appointed the first bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Alton—now the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois—by Pope Pius IX.[3] He received his consecration on the following April 26 from Purcell, with John Henni and Joshua Maria Young serving as co-consecrators.[3] At the time of his arrival, the diocese contained 58 churches, 18 priests, and 50,000 Catholics; by the time of his death, there were 125 churches, over 100 priests, and 80,000 Catholics.[2] He completed the first cathedral in 1859, and founded two men's colleges, six girls' academies, a seminary, two hospitals, and one orphanage.[1]

Juncker later died in Alton, aged 59. He was buried in a vault under his cathedral.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Alton". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ a b "History of the Diocese of Springfield: Bishop Henry Damian Juncker (1857-1868)". Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop Henry Damian Juncker". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
  4. ^ a b c Clarke, Richard Henry (1888). "Right Rev. Henry Damian Juncker, D.D.". Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Alton
Succeeded by
Peter Joseph Baltes