Richard Pius Miles

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Right Rev. Richard Pius Miles, O.P.
Bishop of Nashville
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Nashville
In office September 16, 1838 – February 17, 1860
Predecessor none
Successor James Whelan
Ordination September 21, 1816
Consecration September 16, 1838
Personal details
Born (1791-05-17)May 17, 1791
Prince George's County, Maryland
Died February 21, 1860(1860-02-21) (aged 68)
Nashville, Tennessee

Richard Pius Miles, O.P. (May 17, 1791 – February 21, 1860) was the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Nashville (1838–1860).


Miles was born in Prince George's County, Maryland, and moved to Kentucky with his parents at age 5.[1] After joining the Dominican Order in October 1806,[1] he was ordained a priest on September 21, 1816.[2] He then worked as a missionary in Ohio and Kentucky for 22 years, also founding a community of Dominican nuns and a school under the Sisters of Charity.[3]

On July 28, 1837, Miles was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee, by Pope Gregory XVI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on September 16, 1838 from Bishop Joseph Rosati, C.M., with Bishops Simon Bruté and Guy Ignatius Chabrat, P.S.S., serving as co-consecrators.[2] During his tenure, he dedicated a cathedral in 1848, ordained the first priest in Tennessee, and established a seminary and a hospital.[1][3]

He died at the age of 68. At the time of his death, the diocese comprised 12,000 Catholics, 13 priests, 14 churches, 6 chapels, and 13 missions.[1] In in1972, over 100 years after his death, his body was exhumed and he was found to be incorrupt.[4] [5] A cause has since been opened for his canonization.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "MILES, Richard Pius". The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Richard Pius Miles, O.P.". 
  3. ^ a b "Former Bishops of the Diocese of Nashville". Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville. 
  4. ^ "First Pastor of St. Mary's". St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows Church. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  5. ^ "About". Richard Pius Miles, OP. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Richard Pius Miles, OP". Richard Pius Miles, OP. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Nashville
Succeeded by
James Whelan