Lawrence Scanlan

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The Most Reverend
Lawrence Scanlan
Bishop of Salt Lake City
Bishop Lawrence Scanlan.jpg
See Salt Lake City
Appointed November 23, 1886
In office June 29, 1887
Predecessor Post Established
Successor Joseph Sarsfield Glass
Personal details
Born (1843-09-28)September 28, 1843
Ballytarsna, County Tipperary, Ireland
Died May 10, 1915(1915-05-10) (aged 71)
Nationality Irish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents Patrick and Catherine (née Ryan) Scanlan
Alma mater All Hallows College
Motto Euntes Docete Omnes Gentes
(Go and teach all nations)
Styles of
Lawrence Scanlan
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor

Lawrence Scanlan (September 28, 1843 – May 10, 1915) was an Irish Roman Catholic missionary and the first Bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah (1887-1915).

Early life[edit]

Lawrence Scanlan was born in Ballytarsna, near Cashel, County Tipperary, to Patrick and Catherine (née Ryan) Scanlan.[1] He studied at All Hallows College in Dublin, where he was ordained to the priesthood on June 28, 1868.[2] He departed for the United States the following July, later arriving at the Archdiocese of San Francisco in California in November.[3] He then served as a curate at St. Patrick's Church and later at St. Mary's Cathedral.[3] In 1869 he became pastor of Pioche, Nevada.[1]

After briefly returning to California to serve in Petaluma, Scanlan volunteered for the mission in the Utah Territory, where he arrived at Salt Lake City in August 1873.[1] There was then only one Catholic church in the territory, serving the nearly 800 members largely scattered among the region's various mining camps.[3] Traveling by horseback, stagecoach, or rail, he developed a fairly regular circuit in which he visited the mining camps at Park City, Bingham Canyon, Mercur, Stockton, Ophir, and Silver Reef at least once a month.[4] Scanlan introduced the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Indiana, and founded St. Mary's Academy and later Holy Cross Hospital in 1875.[1] He opened numerous parishes and schools, and also established All Hallows College, Kearns-St. Ann's Orphanage, and Judge Mercy Hospital.[4] He even celebrated Mass at the LDS tabernacle in St. George, Utah in 1879.[3]


On November 23, 1886, Scanlan was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Utah and Titular Bishop of Lavanden by Pope Leo XIII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on June 29, 1887 from Archbishop Patrick William Riordan, with Bishops Eugene O'Connell and Patrick Manogue serving as co-consecrators, at San Francisco.[2] In 1890 Scanlan purchased an area of land for $35,000 to establish a cathedral and ground was broken there in 1899.[5] When the vicariate was elevated to the rank of a diocese on January 30, 1891, Scanlan was named the first Bishop of Salt Lake.[2]


The greatest achievement during Scanlan's tenure was the Cathedral of the Madeleine. The construction of the cathedral was begun in 1900 and completed in 1909.[6] On August 15, 1909, the cathedral was dedicated by Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore.[6] The total cost of the construction itself was $344,000, a small fortune for the Utah Catholics of that time.[6]

Final years[edit]

Scanlan later died at Holy Cross Hospital, aged 71.[1] He is buried in the cathedral he built.[4]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Post Established
Bishop of Salt Lake
Succeeded by
Joseph Sarsfield Glass


  1. ^ a b c d e "Father Lawrence Scanlan Established Catholic Church in Utah". Utah History to Go. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop Lawrence Scanlan". 
  3. ^ a b c d Harris, William Richard (1909). "RT. REVEREND LAWRENCE SCANLAN, D.D.". The Catholic Church in Utah. Salt Lake City: Intermountain Catholic Press. 
  4. ^ a b c Mooney, Bernice M. (1994), "LAWRENCE SCANLAN", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  5. ^ "History of the Diocese". Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. 
  6. ^ a b c "History of the Cathedral". Cathedral of the Madeleine.