Peter Leo Ireton

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Peter Leo Ireton (September 21, 1882 – April 27, 1958) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Richmond from 1945 until his death in 1958.


Ireton was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to John and Mary (née Sheridan) Ireton; his father was from County Wexford, Ireland.[1] He studied at St. Charles College in Catonsville and at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore.[1] He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal James Gibbons on June 20, 1906.[2] He then studied for a year at the Apostolic Mission House in Washington, D.C.[3] Returning to Baltimore, he served as a curate at St. Gregory's Church until 1926, when he became pastor of St. Ann's Church in the same city.[1] He became instrumental in founding the Junior Holy Name Society and the Big Brother Movement.[3] He was named a Domestic Prelate in 1929.[1]

On August 3, 1935, Ireton was appointed Coadjutor Bishop and Apostolic Administrator of Richmond, Virginia, and Titular Bishop of Cyme by Pope Pius XI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration at the Baltimore Cathedral on the following October 23. His principal consecrator was Archbishop Michael Joseph Curley, with Bishops Thomas Charles O'Reilly and James Hugh Ryan serving as co-consecrators.[2] Following the resignation of Bishop Andrew Brennan, Ireton succeeded him as the ninth Bishop of Richmond on April 14, 1945.[2] He was named an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne in 1956.[3] During his tenure, he established 42 parishes, built 24 schools, and increased the Catholic population from 37,000 to 147,000.[4]

Ireton died at Georgetown University Hospital, aged 75.[3]

Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia is named in his honor.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1947). The American Catholic Who's Who. VII. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop Peter Leo Ireton". 
  3. ^ a b c d "PETER L. IRETON, 75, BISHOP OF RICHMOND". The New York Times. 1958-04-28. 
  4. ^ "A Brief History". Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond. Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. 
  5. ^ History of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales at Bishop Ireton[permanent dead link]
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Andrew James Louis Brennan
Bishop of Richmond
Succeeded by
John Joyce Russell