William Brady (Archbishop of Saint Paul)

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William Otterwell Ignatius Brady (February 1, 1899 – October 1, 1961) was an American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Sioux Falls (1939–56) and Archbishop of Saint Paul (1956–61).


William Brady was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, to John J. and Gladys (née Davol) Brady.[1] He had an older brother, Louis, and a younger sister, Leonora.[2] He attended B.M.C. Durfee High School, where he was editor of the yearbook during his senior year.[2] From 1916 to 1918, he attended St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland.[1] He continued his studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore (1918–20) and at the Theological College of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1920–23).[1] While at the Sulpician Seminary, Brady accepted an offer from Archbishop Austin Dowling to join the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul in Minnesota.[2] He was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1923.[3]

Brady earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Catholic University of America in 1924.[1] In August of that year, he was sent to further his studies in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, better known as the Angelicum.[1] He later earned his Doctor of Sacred Theology summa cum laude in 1926.[2] Upon his arrival in Minnesota, he became a professor of moral and pastoral theology at Saint Paul Seminary.[1]

On June 10, 1939, Pope Pius XII appointed Brady bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and he was ordained a bishop on August 24, 1939. On June 16, 1956, Pope Pius XII appointed Bishop Brady Coadjutor Archbishop of the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, and he succeeded John Gregory Murray as Archbishop on Murray's death on October 11, 1956 and served in the office until his death.[3]


Brady was commemorated in the naming of Archbishop Brady High School in West Saint Paul, Minnesota, which has since closed.[4] Following the thread of other archbishops in the Archdiocese, Brady's namesake was given to two buildings at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). The first of these buildings is Brady Hall, which serves as one of the university's male residence halls.[5] The second is Brady Educational Center, which houses the practice spaces for the musical ensembles of St. Thomas along with classroom space for the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Within the Brady Educational Center is an auditorium commonly used for both musical and dancing performances.[6] Efforts to name a new facility after Brady have fallen short, as his relationship with the priests in the Diocese were not on good terms while he served as Archbishop. Bishop Brady was instrumental in building the first two Catholic nursing homes in the State of South Dakota. The facility in Milbank, SD which has been operated under the care of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence bears his name and from its inception has been known as St. William's (Care Center).


  1. ^ a b c d e f Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c d Athans, Mary Christine (2002). "To Work for the Whole People": John Ireland's Seminary in St. Paul. Mahwah: Paulist Press. 
  3. ^ a b "Archbishop William Otterwell Brady". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  4. ^ http://bradyspace.org/About.html
  5. ^ http://www.stthomas.edu/residencelife/housing/mens/brady/
  6. ^ http://www.tommiemedia.com/news/brady-educational-center-gets-an-upgrade/
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Murray
Archbishop of St. Paul
Succeeded by
Leo Binz