Henry Richter (bishop)

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Henry Joseph Richter
Bishop Henry Joseph Richter.jpg
Born (1838-04-09)April 9, 1838
Died December 26, 1916(1916-12-26) (aged 78)

Henry Joseph Richter (April 9, 1838 – December 26, 1916) was a German-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the first Bishop of Grand Rapids, Michigan (1883–1916).

Biography[edit]

Henry Richter was born in Neuenkirchen, Münster, Oldenburg, to Johann and Anna (née Albers) Richter.[1] After studying at local schools and under a private teacher, he came to the United States in 1854 and settled at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he enrolled at St. Xavier's College.[2] He then studied at St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Kentucky, before returning to Cincinnati to Mount St. Mary's Seminary.[2] In 1860 he was sent to further his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, from where he obtained a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree in 1865.[1]

While in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Costantino Patrizi Naro on June 10, 1865.[3] Upon his return to Cincinnati in October 1865, Richter was named professor of dogmatic theology, philosophy, and liturgy at Mount St. Mary's Seminary.[2] He also served as chaplain to the Sisters of Charity at Cedar Grove, and became vice-president of Mount St. Mary's in 1866.[1] From 1870 to 1883, he was the founding pastor of St. Lawrence Church in the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati.[1]

On January 30, 1883, Richter was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan, by Pope Leo XIII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following April 22 from Archbishop William Henry Elder, with Bishops Caspar Henry Borgess and William George McCloskey serving as co-consecrators, at St. Andrew's Cathedral.[3] At the time of his arrival, the diocese had 36 priests, 33 churches, 17 parochial schools, and 50,000 Catholics; by the time of his death, there were 75 priests, 56 churches, 38 parochial schools, and over 150,000 Catholics.[2] He also attended the Second (1882) and Fifth (1889) Provincial Councils of Cincinnati and the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884).[2]

Richter died after three days' illness at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids, aged 78.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "RICHTER, Henry Joseph" (PDF). Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Moore, Charles (1915). History of Michigan. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop Henry Joseph Richter". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
none
Bishop of Grand Rapids
1883–1916
Succeeded by
Michael Gallagher