L.A.’s First Bishop

During the 1800’s, the Vincentians made some significant contributions to the American hierarchy: Joseph Rosati in St. Louis, Leo De Neckere in New Orleans, Jean Marie Odin in Texas, John Timon and Stephen Vincent Ryan in Buffalo. Today marks the birth of Thaddeus Amat (1811-1878), second Bishop of Monterey, which was created in 1850 as California’s first diocese. Born in Spain, he was ordained a Vincentian priest in Paris in 1837. Coming to America in 1838, he worked in Missouri until he was named Rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. In 1854 he was named Monterey’s second Bishop. Five years later, he moved the episcopal residence to Los Angeles, and the diocese was renamed Monterey-Los Angeles. Amat founded Los Angeles’ first cathedral, St. Vibiana, in 1876. (In 1922 the Los Angeles-Diego Diocese was created, only to be split in 1936 between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of San Diego.) Amat died in Los Angeles on May 12, 1878.

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