Richard Scannell

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Most Reverend

Richard Scannell
Bishop of Omaha
Richard Scannell.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
In officeJanuary 30, 1891 – January 8, 1916
PredecessorJames O'Connor
SuccessorJeremiah James Harty
OrdinationFebruary 26, 1871
ConsecrationNovember 30, 1887
Personal details
Born(1845-05-12)May 12, 1845
DiedJanuary 8, 1916(1916-01-08) (aged 70)
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Previous post(s)Bishop of Concordia (1887–1891)
Alma materAll Hallows College

Richard Scannell (May 12, 1845 – January 8, 1916) was an Irish-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Concordia, Kansas (1887–1891) and Bishop of Omaha, Nebraska (1891–1916).


Richard Scannell was born in Cloyne, County Cork, to Patrick and Johanna (née Collins) Scannell.[1] After completing his classical studies in a private school at Midleton,[2] he entered All Hallows College in Dublin in 1866 and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee, on February 26, 1871.[3] He arrived in the United States later that year and then served as a curate at Holy Rosary Cathedral until 1878, when he became pastor of St. Columba's Church in East Nashville.[2] He returned to the cathedral as rector in 1879 and, following the transfer of Bishop Patrick Feehan to the Archdiocese of Chicago, served as apostolic administrator from 1880 to 1883. After a leave of absence for health reasons, he organized St. Joseph's Parish in West Nashville and built its church in 1885. In August 1886, he was appointed vicar general of the Diocese.[1]

On August 9, 1887, Scannell was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Concordia, Kansas, by Pope Leo XIII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following November 30 from Archbishop Feehan, with Bishops William McCloskey and Joseph Rademacher serving as co-consecrators, at St. Joseph's Church.[3] With only 20 resident pastors and a growing Catholic population, Scannell attempted to solve the priest shortage by establishing a preparatory seminary in Belleville, laying its cornerstone in June 1890.[1] However, due to an economic depression, the seminary was never built and left a long-lasting debt. During his three-year-long tenure, he also assisted the Sisters of St. Joseph to become permanently established in the Diocese, erected fifteen churches, and increased the number of diocesan priests from five to twenty-two.[1]

Scannell was named to succeed the late James O'Connor as Bishop of Omaha, Nebraska, on January 30, 1891.[3] Under his governance, the cornerstone of St. Cecilia Cathedral was laid in 1907, and the Diocese of Kearney was formed out of the western part of the Diocese in 1912.[4] He also oversaw the Diocese's expansion to 95 parishes, serving more than 80,000 Catholics.[4] Parochial schools and diocesan priests more than doubled in number, and increases were also made among religious.[2] He erected the Creighton Memorial St. Joseph's Hospital and St. Catherine's Hospital, and a home of the Good Shepherd. He also introduced the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Sisters of St. Joseph, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Resurrection, Sisters of St. Benedict, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Good Shepherd Sisters, the Dominicans, Felicians, Ursulines, and Franciscans.[2]

Scannell later died in Omaha, aged 70.


  1. ^ a b c d "Bishop Richard Scannell: 1887-1898". Roman Catholic Diocese of Salina. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Omaha". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bishop Richard Scannell".[self-published source]
  4. ^ a b "Bishop Richard Scannell". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Concordia
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Omaha
Succeeded by