James Thomas O'Dowd

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Most Reverend
James T. O'Dowd
Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
Church Catholic Church
See Titular See of Cea
Appointed May 22, 1948
In office June 29, 1948 - February 4, 1950
Ordination June 4, 1932
Consecration June 29, 1948
by John Joseph Mitty
Personal details
Born August 4, 1907
San Francisco, California
Died February 4, 1950(1950-02-04) (aged 42)
Fairfield, California

James Thomas O'Dowd (August 4, 1907 – February 4, 1950) was a bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States. He served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco from 1948 to 1950.


Born in San Francisco, California, James O'Dowd was ordained a priest on June 4, 1932.[1] On May 22, 1948 Pope Pius XII appointed him as the Titular Bishop of Cea and Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco. He was consecrated a bishop by Archbishop John Joseph Mitty on June 29, 1948. The principal co-consecrators were Bishop Thomas Arthur Connolly of Seattle and Auxiliary Bishop Hugh Aloysius Donohoe of San Francisco.[2] On February 3, 1950 Bishop O'Dowd was a passenger in an automobile driven by the Rev. Henry Lande. The car stopped on train tracks and was struck by an oncoming freight train and dragged 300 feet (91 m).[3] Lande died at the scene and O'Dowd was taken to the Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base hospital where he died the following day at the age of 42. His legacy includes his contribution to the Bay Area's Catholic high schools.


Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California, whose establishment Bishop O'Dowd was in charge of planning for at the time of his sudden death, is named in his memory.[4]


  1. ^ "Bishops who are not Ordinaries of Sees". Giga-Catholic. Archived from the original on 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  2. ^ "Bishop James Thomas O'Dowd". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  3. ^ "Ex-local priest among those killed". From the Reporter. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  4. ^ "History". Bishop O'Dowd High School. Retrieved 2014-02-11.