John Ireland, who served as Roman Catholic Archbishop of St Paul, Minnesota from 1888 to 1918 was a native of Co Kilkenny Ireland. During his time as Bishop, Ireland promoted both the modernisation and Americanisation of the Catholic Church. Ireland became a leader in both the religious and civic life of St Paul. He established close friendships with US Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt.
John Ireland was born in Burnchurch, Co Kilkenny on September 11th 1838. When he was ten years old his family emigrated to America where they eventually settled in St Paul, Minnesota in 1852. Having studied for the priesthood he was ordained in 1861. Following ordination he served for a time as a chaplain in the army during the American Civil War. Ireland became the first Archbishop of St Paul in 1888.
Archbishop Ireland was a dominant and reforming figure in the American Catholic Church. He opposed racial inequality and promoted the integration of immigrants into the US church and society. Archbishop Ireland organised the settlement of over 4,000 families from deprived areas in Eastern US cities on over 1,500 square km of rural Minnesota. Names such as Avoca, Iona and Clontarf were given to the settlements. He helped establish the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. in 1889. The John Ireland Boulevard in the city of St Paul is named in his honour.
John Ireland, Archbishop of St Paul Minnesota (1888-1918) died in the year 1918 On This Day
A Trip Back to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1964: The Cathedral of Saint Paul by France1978 on 2013-04-13 17:03:48
Panorama of St Paul
Photo by kodiax2