This Day in Black History: June 2, 1875

James Augustine Healy became the first African-American to be ordained as a Catholic bishop.

Posted: 05/30/2012 04:41 PM EDT

(Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Born on a cotton plantation in Macon, Georgia in 1830, Bishop James Augustine Healy would go on to become the first African-American Catholic bishop on June 2, 1875.


Healy was born to a white father and a mixed race mother, however, because of the oppressive laws of the time, Healy and his siblings were considered slaves and had to attend Quaker schools in the Northeast in order to receive an education.


After completing his education, Pope Pius IX named Healy Bishop of Portland, Maine. Healy maintained a leadership role among U.S. Catholics. He served on the commission that established the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and was also a member of the Third Council of Baltimore’s commission for Negro and Indian mission.

 

 

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