Bishops of Boston

Not too long ago I was doing some research on the original deeds for St Patrick’s Church in Lowell. The initial conveyance was from the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals to a guy named Benedict Fenwick without identifying who Benedict Fenwick was. It turns out he was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Boston. For some reason, early deeds did not identify an individual’s affiliation with the clergy. A possible explanation would be the early residents’ animosity towards Catholics, but that’s a topic for another post.

As part of my research, I decided to inventory the Bishops of Boston up to the present. Here’s my list with the dates of service:

Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus: 1810 to 1836
Benedict Joseph Fenwick: 1825 to 1846
John Bernard Fitzpatrick: 1846 to 1866
John Joseph Williams: 1866 to 1907
William Henry O’Connell: 1907 to 1944
Richard James Cushing: 1944 to 1970
Humberto Sousa Medeiros: 1970 to 1983
Bernard Francis Law: 1984 to 2002
Sean O’Malley: 2002 to present

3 Responses to Bishops of Boston

  1. Marie says:

    William Henry O’Connell: 1907 to 1944
    Born in Lowell Massachusetts / graduate of Boston College / very influential prelate / Check out his biography by James M. O’Toole. “Militant and triumphant: William Henry O’Connell and Boston Catholicism” – a very interesting read.

  2. Brian Flaherty says:

    The archbishop of Boston is a corporation sole so he owns everything in the archdiocese. Checks from parishes have in the area for the name of the check writer “Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston.”

    He gives POA to pastors.

  3. PaulM says:

    The late Rev. Armand “Father Spike” Morissette, OMI, of Lowell was a lively and irreverent talker and storyteller, and he had lots of funny lines. One that I recall went like this: “You don’t have to worry about going someplace bad when you die. There’s no room in hell—hell is full of bishops!”