William A. Griffin (Roman Catholic bishop)

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William Aloysius Griffin (November 20, 1885 – January 1, 1950) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Trenton from 1940 until his death in 1950.

Early life and education[edit]

Griffin was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the eleventh of twelve children of John J. and Catherine (née Lyons) Griffin.[1] One of his brothers, John J. Griffin, was city attorney of Elizabeth and a Democratic member of the New Jersey General Assembly.[2] He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Patrick Church in his native city, and then attended St. Patrick High School, also in Elizabeth.[3] He attended Seton Hall College in South Orange before studying for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary.[1]


Griffin was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Newark on August 15, 1910.[4] His first assignment was as principal of Bayley Hall, a grammar school attached to Seton Hall College.[5] A member of the faculty at Seton Hall for fifteen years, he taught Latin, Greek, and English in the preparatory school before becoming professor of philosophy and English in the college.[1]

In December 1924, Griffin was appointed diocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.[5] He later became national treasurer of the same organization in 1935.[6] From 1929 to 1938, he was pastor of St. Michael Church in Jersey City.[1] He was named a papal chamberlain in 1930.[6] He also served as administrator of St. John Church and St. Augustine Church in Newark, and state chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.[5]



On February 26, 1938, Griffin was appointed auxiliary bishop of Newark and titular bishop of Sanavo by Pope Pius XI.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 1 from Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh, with Bishops John A. Duffy and Moses E. Kiley serving as co-consecrators, at Sacred Heart Cathedral.[4] As an auxiliary bishop, he served as rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary.[7]


Following the promotion of Bishop Kiley to Archbishop of Milwaukee, he was named Bishop of Trenton on May 21, 1940.[4] His installation took place at St. Mary's Cathedral on July 23 of that year.[7]

Griffin died from a stroke at the home of his brother-in-law and sister in Elizabeth, at age 64.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "GRIFFIN APPOINTED BISHOP OF TRENTON". The New York Times. 1940-05-21.
  2. ^ "J.J. GRIFFIN DEAD; JERSEY LAWYER, 68". The New York Times. 1946-09-08.
  3. ^ "GRIFFIN CONSECRATED AS AUXILIARY BISHOP". The New York Times. 1938-05-02.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bishop William Aloysius Griffin". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.[self-published source]
  5. ^ a b c "Mgr. Griffin Is Named New Bishop for Newark". The New York Times. 1938-03-04.
  6. ^ a b Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  7. ^ a b "GRIFFIN ENTHRONED AS TRENTON BISHOP". The New York Times. 1940-07-24.
  8. ^ "BISHOP W.A. GRIFFIN OF TRENTON IS DEAD". The New York Times. 1950-01-02.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Moses E. Kiley
Bishop of Trenton
Succeeded by
George W. Ahr
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
Succeeded by