Bishopalooza! Great American Bishops -UPDATED

Bishopalooza! Great American Bishops -UPDATED November 21, 2011

Recently the Gregorian Institute polled some Catholic bloggers and writers, asking them to name the top ten American Catholic Intellectuals, lay or clergy.

I was flattered to be among those polled, but never did manage to participate. For the record, the (slightly controversial) Top Ten came in as follows:

1. Orestes Brownson (1803–1876)
2. John Courtney Murray (1904-1967)
3. John Senior (1923-1999)
4. Avery Dulles (1918-2008)
5. James Schall (1928-)
6. Ralph McInerny (1929-2010)
7. Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)
8. Mary Anne Glendon (1938-)
9. George Weigel (1951-)
10. Robert P. George (1955-)

Last week, Gregorian sent around another invitation to vote for the Greatest American Bishops, and this time, I managed to participate. The votes are tallied, I’m sure there will be disagreement in places, but here is how it broke down (according to date of birth, not number of votes):

Archbishop John Carroll (1735-1815)
Bishop John Hughes (1797-1864)
*Saint John Neumann, (1811-1860)
Cardinal James Gibbons (1834-1921)
Archbishop Joseph Rummel (1876-1964)
Bishop Francis Xavier Ford, M.M. (1892-1952)
Bishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)
Cardinal John O’ Connor (1920-2000)
Cardinal Terence Cooke (1921-1983)
Bishop Austin Vaughan (1927-2000)
Archbishop Charles Chaput (1944-)

The list includes most of my own picks and I am particularly pleased to see a personal hero of mine, (the mighty priest, military chaplain, founder of the Sisters of Life, public advocate, AIDS minister) John Joseph O’ Connor, in their growing “Hall of Fame”!

In his weekly column, Pat McNamara, has profiled two of those listed, the inimitable Archbishop John “Dagger John” Hughes and the courageous Bishop Francis Xavier Ford.

How about you? Any names you believe are “missing” or do not belong on the list? What would your top ten have looked like?

As this November draws to a close, and Advent approaches, all you holy men and women of the church, pray for us!
Cardinal John Joseph O’ Connor pray for us!

UPDATE: You will notice that the “top ten” is now numbering eleven: Tom Hoopes, who is running the shebang wrote and said, “I can’t believe no one thought of Saint John Neumann!” And I did a facepalm because…yeah…I couldn’t believe it, either.

So he made an executive decision and added Neumann, which I doubt anyone will argue with.

I suspect we all forgot Neumann because he’s a saint. Probably seemed like a different category to our subconscious minds. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Hellllooooooo, Neumann! Pray for us!

Browse Our Archives