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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FARRELLY, JOHN PATRICK - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FARRELLY, JOHN PATRICK (15 Mar. 1856-12 Feb. 1921), fourth bishop of Cleveland, was born in Memphis, Tenn., to John Patrick and Martha Moore Clay Farrelly. He converted to Catholicism as a child. Farrelly was educated at Georgetown University, the Jesuit College at Nemur in Belgium, and North American College in Rome, and was ordained to the priesthood on 22 May 1880 in Rome, then studying 2 years in Palestine. He was a noted Scripture scholar, linguist, and archeologist. In 1882 Farrelly was assigned to the Cathedral in Nashville, and became chancellor of the diocese in 1883. In 1887, Farrelly became secretary to the rector of North American College whose staff, prior to the founding of the Apostolic Delegation, was the intermediary between Rome and the American bishops. In 1894 he became spiritual director of the college. He was named bishop of Cleveland on 16 Mar. 1909 and was consecrated in the chapel of North American College on 1 May 1909.

Farrelly was concerned over the inefficient fundraising of various charitable organizations, so established the Board of Charities (forerunner of Catholic Charities) in 1910. Farrelly built new buildings for health-care facilities in the diocese, established a ministry to the deaf and hearing-impaired, and opened Merrick House and the Catholic Young Women's Hall. He established the office of superintendent of schools to standardize parochial education and opened several secondary schools, including CATHEDRAL LATIN SCHOOL. Farrelly planned to build a new seminary, but died suddenly while visiting Koxville, Tenn., where he contracted a fatal case of pneumonia.

Last Modified: 16 Jul 1997 10:34:30 AM

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