Thomas Michael O'Leary

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Thomas Michael O'Leary (August 16, 1875 – October 10, 1949) was the third Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts (1921-1949).

The third of seven children, O'Leary was born in Dover, New Hampshire, to Michael and Margaret (née Howland) O'Leary.[1] He graduated from Mungret College in Limerick, Ireland in 1892, and then studied philosophy and theology at the Grand Seminary of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.[2] He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Maxime Decelles on December 18, 1897.[3] He then served in parishes at Manchester (1898-1899) and Concord (1899-1904), and was named chancellor (1904) and later vicar general (1914) of the Diocese of Manchester.[1]

On June 16, 1921, O'Leary was appointed Bishop of Springfield by Pope Benedict XV.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 8 from Archbishop Arthur Alfred Sinnott, with Bishops Michael Joseph Curley and George Albert Guertin serving as co-consecrators.[3] During his tenure, he introduced the Passionists and Sisters of Providence, extended Mercy Hospital, and opened 24 new parishes, and was co-founder and first president of Elms College.[2] He aided the Russian War Relief following World War II.[4]

O'Leary later died at age 74.


  1. ^ a b Stearns, Ezra S. (1908). Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire. The Lewis Publishing Company. 
  2. ^ a b "Past Presidents". Elms College. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop Thomas Michael O'Leary". 
  4. ^ "Religion: Bishop's Friendly Gesture". TIME Magazine. 1943-06-28. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas Daniel Beaven
Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Christopher Joseph Weldon