Name: Kenrick, Peter Richard
Born/Started: Aug. 17, 1806
Died/Ended: Mar. 03, 1893
Description: Peter Richard Kenrick served as archbishop of St. Louis for over fifty years. Born in Dublin, Ireland and ordained in 1832, he was asked by Bishop Rosati to move to St. Louis in 1841 and was appointed by Pope Gregory XVI as Coadjutor Bishop of St. Louis. When Rosati died two years later, Kenrick succeeded him as bishop. He was the first bishop in America to guide a diocese for 50 years.
Kenrick’s sermons were well-known and controversial. On many occasions Protestants outnumbered Catholics at his Sunday evening discourses to hear him speak on such topics as the mysteries of religion, doctrines of the Church, and evidences of Christianity. He is credited with many religious conversions. In his early years in St. Louis, immigrants from Europe called him the father of immigrants because of his understanding of their backgrounds and his encouragement of accepting priests who spoke various languages. Once, in 1868, when he returned from a visit to Ireland and Rome, a procession three miles long welcomed him. According to Mayor Darby, his spontaneous and welcome reception had never been awarded to any private individual in an unofficial government position in the country.
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