John Francis O'Hern

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John Francis O'Hern
Bishop of Rochester
In office 1929–1933
Ordination February 17, 1901
by Cardinal Pietro Respighi
Consecration March 9, 1930
by Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes
Personal details
Born (1874-06-04)June 4, 1874
Olean, New York
Died May 22, 1933(1933-05-22) (aged 58)
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents Patrick and Ellen (née Casey) O'Hern
Education Olean High School
Alma mater St. Andrew's Preparatory Seminary

John Francis O'Hern (June 4, 1874 – May 22, 1933) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Bishop of Rochester from 1929 until his death in 1933.


One of ten children, John O'Hern was born in Olean, New York, to Patrick and Ellen (née Casey) O'Hern.[1] Three of his brothers also entered the priesthood, and another served in the field staff of General John J. Pershing during World War I.[1] After graduating from Olean High School, he attended St. Andrew's Preparatory Seminary and St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester. In 1897 he was sent to further his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and later earned a Doctor of Divinity from the College of Propaganda.[1]

O'Hern was ordained a priest by Cardinal Pietro Respighi on February 17, 1901.[2] Upon his return to Rochester, he was named curate at the Church of the Immaculate Conception and later at St. Patrick's Cathedral, where he became pastor in 1908.[1] He became pastor of Corpus Christi Church in 1921, and vicar general of the Rochester Diocese in 1922.[1]

On January 4, 1929, O'Hern was appointed the third Bishop of Rochester by Pope Pius XI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 9 from Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes, with Archbishop Edward Joseph Hanna and Bishop Thomas Charles O'Reilly serving as co-consecrators.[2] During his tenure, he dedicated himself to bringing Catholics and non-Catholics together and promoting numerous associations of the laity.[3] He supported the Community Chest and Red Cross, and provided chaplains for Catholics attending secular colleges in the diocese.[3]

O'Hern later died at age 58.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas Francis Hickey
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Edward Mooney