John Ireland

Catholic Bishop
Born Sep 11, 1838

John Ireland was the third bishop and first archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota (1888–1918). He became both a religious as well as civic leader in Saint Paul during the turn of the century. Ireland was known for his progressive stance on education, immigration and relations between church and state as well as his conservative stance towards drinking and political corruption.… Read More

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1838 Birth He was born in Burnchurch, County Kilkenny, Ireland, and was baptized on September 11, 1838.
1848 10 Years Old His family immigrated to the United States in 1848 and eventually moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1852. … Read More


1861 23 Years Old Ireland was consequently ordained in 1861 in Saint Paul.
1863 25 Years Old He served as a chaplain of the Fifth Minnesota Regiment in the Civil War until 1863 when he resigned.
1867 29 Years Old He was appointed pastor at Saint Paul's cathedral in 1867, a position which he held until to 1875.


1875 37 Years Old In 1875 he was made coadjutor bishop of St. Paul and in 1884 he became bishop ordinary. … Read More


1880 42 Years Old In 1880 he also assisted several hundred people from Connemara in Ireland to emigrate to Minnesota. … Read More


1891 53 Years Old In 1891, Ireland refused to accept the credentials of Greek-Catholic priest Alexis Toth, citing the decree that married priests of the Eastern Catholic Churches were not permitted to function in the Catholic Church in the United States, despite Toth being a widower. … Read More


1903 65 Years Old At the same time, on Christmas Day 1903 he also commissioned the construction of the almost equally as large Church of Saint Mary, for the local Immaculate Conception parish in the neighboring city of Minneapolis. … Read More
1904 66 Years Old In 1904 Ireland secured the land for the building of the current Cathedral of Saint Paul located atop Summit Hill, the highest point in downtown Saint Paul.
1918 80 Years Old Ireland retained this title for 30 years until his death in 1918. … Read More
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