Joseph Patrick Lynch

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Joseph Patrick Lynch (November 16, 1872 – August 19, 1954) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Dallas from 1911 until his death in 1954. He remains the longest-serving Catholic bishop in the United States.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Joseph Lynch was born in St. Joseph, Michigan, to John Valentine and Veronica Jane (née Botham) Lynch.[3] His father came to the United States from Newcastle, Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland, in 1866, and his mother was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and immigrated in 1856.[4] In 1887 he entered St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[3] After graduating from St. Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland in 1891, Lynch studied theology at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore.[5] He changed his study to law and then practiced for several years near Chicago, Illinois.[3]

Lynch became acquainted with Bishop Edward Joseph Dunne, who convinced him to abandon his legal career and resume his seminary studies.[3] He attended Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and was later ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1900.[6] Lynch then served as a curate at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Dallas, Texas, until 1902, when he became pastor of St. Stephen's Church in Weatherford.[5] He erected churches in Weatherford and in Handley.[5] He was named the founding pastor of St. Edward's Church at Dallas in 1903.[7] He there established a church, rectory, and parochial school.[7] In June 1910 he became vicar general of the Diocese of Dallas.[5] He was shortly afterwards made Apostolic Administrator of Dallas following the death of Bishop Dunne in August 1910.[3]

On June 8, 1911, Lynch was appointed the third Bishop of Dallas by Pope Pius X.[6] He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 12 from Archbishop James Blenk, S.M., with Bishops Nicolaus Aloysius Gallagher and John Baptist Morris serving as co-consecrators, at Sacred Heart Cathedral.[6] At age 38 he was one of the youngest members of the American hierarchy.[5] Following the Mexican Revolution, he became an advocate on behalf of the Mexicans displaced to Dallas.[2] He even erected a mission church for Mexican Americans in 1915.[3] Also known as the "Lion of Texas," Lynch was a widely regarded orator and delivered the main addresses at the bicentennial of San Antonio (1931), the centennial of the Battle of the Alamo (1936), and the installations of several bishops throughout the country.[1][2] He was named an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne on May 13, 1936.[5]

Lynch served as Bishop of Dallas for forty-three years, and currently remains the longest-serving bishop in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.[1][2] During his extensive tenure, he ordained over 100 priests and established 150 churches, the majority of which were built in places that had never had a church at all.[1] He built a church for African American Catholics at Fort Worth in 1929.[3] He also founded more than 200 religious and charitable institutions.[2] The Catholic population increased from 20,000 to 125,000, which necessitated the erection of the Dioceses of El Paso (1914), Amarillo (1926), and Austin (1953).[3]

Lynch died at age 81, and is buried at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "The Third Bishop of Dallas". Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop Joseph P. Lynch". Bishop Lynch High School. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "LYNCH, JOSEPH PATRICK (1872-1954)". Handbook of Texas Online. 
  4. ^ Salzman, Rob. "700000 people connected with European Royalty". E-familytree.net. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Johnson, Francis White (1914). A History of Texas and Texans. Chicago: American Historical Association. 
  6. ^ a b c "Bishop Joseph Patrick Lynch". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  7. ^ a b "History of St. Edward's Parish". Saint Edward Catholic Community. 
Preceded by
Edward Joseph Dunne
Bishop of Dallas
1911–1954
Succeeded by
Thomas Kiely Gorman