James Schwebach

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The Most Reverend

James Schwebach
Bishop of La Crosse
See La Crosse
Installed February 25, 1892
Term ended June 6, 1921
Predecessor Kilian Caspar Flasch
Successor Alexander Joseph McGavick
Ordination June 16, 1870
Consecration February 25, 1892
Personal details
Born (1847-08-15)August 15, 1847
Platen, Préizerdaul, Luxembourg
Died June 6, 1921(1921-06-06) (aged 73)
La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
Denomination Catholic Church

James Schwebach (August 15, 1847 – June 6, 1921) was a Luxembourgian-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse from 1892 until his death in 1921.


Early life and education[edit]

James Schwebach was born at Platen, in the Préizerdaul commune of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, to Nicholas Joseph and Margaret (née Busch) Schwebach.[1] He received his early education from private tutors, and afterwards studied at the college of Diekirch for two years.[2] In 1864, he immigrated to the United States, where he entered St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[3] He there completed his studies in philosophy and theology in five years.

Priesthood and ministry[edit]

At age 21, being too young for ordination to the priesthood, Schwebach was called to La Crosse and was there ordained a deacon by Bishop Michael Heiss on July 24, 1869.[1] He then served at St. Mary's Church in La Crosse, where he preached in English, French, and German and taught at the parochial school.[2] He was eventually ordained a priest by Bishop Thomas Grace on June 16, 1870.[4] He then served as pastor of St. Mary's for 22 years, during which time he erected a new church, school, and rectory.[3] He also built St. James the Less Church in 1887.[1] In addition to his pastoral duties, he served as vicar general of the Diocese of La Crosse from 1882 to 1892.[2]

Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin[edit]

On December 14, 1891, Schwebach was appointed the third Bishop of La Crosse by Pope Leo XIII.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on February 25, 1892 from Archbishop Frederick Katzer, with Bishops John Janssen and Joseph Cotter serving as co-consecrators.[4] During his 29-year tenure, he became known as a builder and founded St. Michael's Home for orphans.[5]

Schwebach died at age 73. He is buried at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. XII. New York: James T. White & Company. 1904. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Rev Fr James Jacob Schwebach". Find A Grave. 
  3. ^ a b "La Crosse". Catholic Encyclopedia. 
  4. ^ a b c Cheney, David M. "Bishop James Schwebach". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  5. ^ "Past Bishops of La Crosse" (PDF). The Catholic Times. 2010-08-10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-10. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Kilan Caspar Flasch
Bishop of La Crosse
Succeeded by
Alexander Joseph McGavick