Vincent Stanislaus Waters

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The Most Reverend

Vincent Stanislaus Waters
Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh
Vincent Stanislaus Waters.jpg
DioceseRoman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh
InstalledMarch 15, 1945
Term endedDecember 3, 1974
PredecessorEugene J. McGuinness
SuccessorFrancis Joseph Gossman
Other postsChancellor of the Diocese of Richmond
OrdinationDecember 8, 1931
ConsecrationMay 15, 1945
Personal details
Birth nameVincent Stanislaus Waters
BornAugust 15, 1904
Roanoke, Virginia
DiedDecember 3, 1974
Raleigh, North Carolina
DenominationRoman Catholic
Alma materBelmont Abbey College
Ordination history of
Vincent Stanislaus Waters
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byPeter Leo Ireton (Richmond)
DateMay 15, 1945
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Vincent Stanislaus Waters as principal consecrator
Charles Borromeo McLaughlinApril 15, 1964
George Edward LynchJanuary 6, 1970

Vincent Stanislaus Waters (August 15, 1904—December 3, 1974) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina from 1945 until his death in 1974.


Early life and education[edit]

Vincent Waters was born in Roanoke, Virginia, to Michael Bernard and Mary Frances (née Crowley) Waters.[1] He attended Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina from 1920 to 1925, and then went to Maryland and studied at St. Charles College in Ellicott City (1925-1926) and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore (1926-1928).[1] He furthered his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Waters was ordained to the priesthood on December 8, 1931.[2] Following his return to Virginia in 1932, he served as a curate at Holy Cross Church in Lynchburg until 1936, when he was transferred to Sacred Heart Cathedral in Richmond.[1] He was chancellor of the Diocese of Richmond from 1936 to 1943, and director of the Diocesan Mission Fathers from 1943 to 1945.[1]

Bishop of Raleigh[edit]

On March 15, 1945, Waters was appointed the sixth Bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina, by Pope Pius XII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 15 from Bishop Peter Leo Ireton, with Bishops Gerald O'Hara and Emmet M. Walsh serving as co-consecrators.[2] A year before Brown v. Board of Education, Waters ordered the desegregation of all Catholic churches and schools in North Carolina in 1953.[3][4] He described segregation as a product of "darkness," and declared that "the time has come for it to end."[5] He also said, "I am not unmindful, as a Southerner, of the force of this virus of prejudice among some persons in the South, as well as in the North. I know, however, that there is a cure for this virus, and that is our faith."[6]

He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965. Waters was later accused by some of the diocesan clergy of holding on to idle church property worth millions of dollars while some parishes were in debt.[3] He also denied requests for the creation of a priests' senate, and had his resignation requested by around twenty percent of the clergy.[3] In 1972 he expelled five Sisters of Providence from the diocese for not wearing their religious habit while teaching.[3]

Bishop Waters later died from a heart attack at his residence, aged 70.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Vincent Stanislaus Waters".
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Waters, Led Raleigh Diocese". The New York Times. 1974-12-05.
  4. ^ "Bishop Vincent S. Waters (1904-1974)". North Carolina History Project.
  5. ^ "Light in Newton Grove". TIME Magazine. 1953-06-08.
  6. ^ "Cure for the Virus". TIME Magazine. 1953-06-29.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Eugene J. McGuinness
Bishop of Raleigh
Succeeded by
Francis Joseph Gossman