Michael John Hoban

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Right Rev. Michael John Hoban
Bishop of Scranton
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
In officeFebruary 3, 1899—November 13, 1926
PredecessorWilliam O'Hara
SuccessorThomas Charles O'Reilly
OrdinationMay 22, 1880
ConsecrationMarch 22, 1896
Personal details
Born(1853-06-06)June 6, 1853
Waterloo Village, Byram Township, New Jersey
DiedNovember 13, 1926(1926-11-13) (aged 73)
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Previous postCoadjutor Bishop of Scranton (1896-1899)

Michael John Hoban (June 6, 1853 – November 13, 1926) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Scranton from 1899 until his death in 1926.

Early life[edit]

Hoban was born in Waterloo Village in Byram Township, New Jersey, to Patrick and Bridget (née Hennigan) Hoban, who were Irish immigrants. He and his family later moved to Hawley, Pennsylvania, where he received his early education.[1] He entered St. Francis Xavier's College in New York City at 14 and then attended Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1868 to 1871.[1]


After caring for his widowed mother for over two years, he briefly studied at St. John's College in Fordham, New York, before enrolling at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, in 1874.[2] In 1875, he was sent to further his studies at the Pontifical North American College at Rome.[2]


While in Rome, Hoban was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Raffaele Monaco La Valletta on May 22, 1880.[3] Upon his return to Pennsylvania in July 1880, he served as a curate in Towanda until 1882, when he was transferred to Pittston.[2] He received his first pastorate in 1885, being appointed to St. John's Church at Troy.[2] In 1887, he was named pastor of St. Leo's Church in Ashley, where he established a church and rectory.[2]


On February 1, 1896, Hoban was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Scranton and Titular Bishop of Alalis by Pope Leo XIII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 22 from Archbishop Francesco Satolli, with Bishops Thomas McGovern and Thomas Daniel Beaven serving as co-consecrators, at St. Peter's Cathedral.[3] He later succeeded William O'Hara as the second Bishop of Scranton upon the latter's death on February 3, 1899.[3]

During his 27-year-long tenure, Hoban presided over a period of great growth in the Diocese of Scranton. At the time of his succession in 1899, the diocese contained 152 priests, 100 parishes, and 32 parochial schools; by the time of his death in 1926, there were 341 priests, 202 parishes, 65 parochial schools, and three colleges.[4] His tenure was also marked by a growing ethnic divide in Northeastern Pennsylvania. This culminated in a schism of Polish Catholics after their appeal to Rome were rejected. The leader of the Polish Catholic faction in the diocese, Father Franciszek Hodur led this schism. The actions of Bishop Hoban however, prevented the schism from reaching even greater proportions. The schism may well have avoided in its entirety, had a kinder view of the Polish immigrants been taken.[4]

Hoban died at 73. He is buried at the Cathedral of Scranton.[5]


  1. ^ a b O'Donnell, John Hugh (1922). "The Catholic Hierarchy of the United States, 1790-1922". The Catholic University of America Studies in American Church History. Washington, D.C. IV.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Scranton". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bishop Michael John Hoban". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.[self-published source]
  4. ^ a b "Bishop Michael J. Hoban: 1899-1926". Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton. Archived from the original on 2006-09-01.
  5. ^ Rev. Michael John Hoban (1853-1926), findagrave.com
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
William O'Hara
Bishop of Scranton
Succeeded by
Thomas Charles O'Reilly