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Diocese of Sacramento



Sacramento, Diocese of (Sacramentensis), was formed out of the Vicariate of Marysville, which comprised the regions lying between the parallels of latitude 39° and 42° N., and between the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Colorado River on the east. The diocese at present covers 54,449 square miles in California, and 38,162 square miles in Nevada. It includes the counties of Alpine, Amadok, Butte, Colusa, Calaveras, Del Norte, Eldorado, Humboldt, Lassen, Mariposa, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Toulumne, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba in California; and the counties of Churchill, Douglas, Esmeralda, Humboldt, Lyon, Ormsby, Storey, and Washoe in Nevada.

The Vicariate of Marysville (Marysvillensis) was formed in 1861; four priests were in the territory. There are now 65 priests and about 50,000 Catholic people within the Diocese of Sacramento. Grass Valley, Marysville, and Virginia City, Nevada, were the most populous and notable of the early missions. Amongst the pioneer priests, the names of Very Rev. T. J. Dalton, vicar-general for fifteen years, and Rev. J. J. Callan stand out prominently. The Very Rev. C. M. Lynch, vicar-general and pastor of St. Patrick's, Grass Valley, who figured largely since 1864 in the pioneer work, chiefly in the mining country, died on September 29, 1911. The site of the first permanent church at Sacramento was given by the Governor of California, Peter H. Burnett, a devout convert and a brilliant lawyer. The early mission centers were chiefly in the gold and silver regions. The rich pasture, timber, fruit, and agricultural lands began later to attract settlers, until these at present form the most populous parts of the diocese. The Rev. Eugene O'Connell was chosen the first Vicar Apostolic of Marysville in 1861. Until that time the territory was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of San Francisco. Bishop O'Connell was born in June, 1815, at Kingscourt, in the Diocese of Meath, Ireland; he studied and was ordained in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, in June, 1842. He taught for several years in Navan seminary, which he left to direct a college at Santa Inez, California, in 1851, and spent one year there. He was next sent to take charge of the theological seminary of St. Thomas near San Francisco, where he remained three years. In 1854 he returned to Ireland, was dean and taught theology in All Hallows College. From there he was consecrated titular Bishop of Flaviopolis and Vicar Apostolic of Marysville by Cardinal Cullen at Dublin, February 3, 1861. He was installed at St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral, Marysville, by Archbishop Alemany, March 28, 1862.

Pius IX formed the vicariate into the Diocese of Grass Valley (VALLISPRATENSIS) on March 29, 1868. Bent with work and care the learned and apostolic prelate of Marysville resigned his see, March 17, 1884, was appointed titular Bishop of Joppa, and retired to the hospital of the Sisters of Charity in Los Angeles where he died, December 4, 1891. His remains lie in Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles. The Rev. Patrick Manogue, then pastor of Virginia City, Nevada, was appointed coadjutor and titular Bishop of Ceramos, and was consecrated, January 16, 1881, in St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, by Archbishop J. S, Alemany. He was born in 1831 at Desart, Kilkenny, Ireland, of a family that numbered many distinguished ecclesiastics. He received his early education at Callan, came to the United States and settled in New England, and later engaged in mining in California. After some years he returned to St. Mary's of the Lake, Chicago, to prepare for the priesthood, and from there went to St. Sulpice, Paris, for his ecclesiastical studies. He was ordained there by Cardinal Morlot in 1861, and returned to California. Father Manogue was sent to work in the territory of Nevada about 1864. He devoted himself to the Indian tribes and attained great results in gaining converts. His usual way of teaching them Christianity was to assemble the roving bands in the church and explain the stations, the altar, statuary, etc. He succeeded to the see, March 17, 1884. Leo XIII changed the boundaries of the diocese, May 16, 1886, and the episcopal see was moved to Sacramento. Bishop Manogue built there a cathedral in the Italian Renaissance style with a seating capacity of over sixteen hundred. The architect was Mr. Brian J. Clinch. Bishop Manogue took a leading part in public affairs and was a successful arbitrator between the mine owners and the miners in their conflicts. He was of large stature, of a humorous turn of mind, and a good musician. He died on February 27, 1895, and lies buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Sacramento, surrounded by the remains of eleven priests. The Rev. Thomas Grace succeeded Bishop Manogue. He was preconized as bishop on February 27, 1896. He was born at Wexford, Ireland, on August 2, 1841; educated at St. Peter's College, Wexford; made his ecclesiastical studies at All Hallows College, Dublin, and was ordained on June 11, 1876. He came to California the same year by the way of the Isthmus of Panama in company with Fathers M. Coleman, L. Kennedy, V. G., and J. J. Claire. He was rector at Marysville for eight years, pastor at Sacramento (1881-96), and was consecrated bishop on June 16, 1896, in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacramento.

Statistics.—The diocese was incorporated on November 24, 1897. Its legal title is "The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento"; the bishop is the corporation sole; 53 priests are from Ireland, 3 from Italy, 2 from Portugal, 3 German, and 2 American. All Hallows College, Dublin, has supplied by far the largest number of priests and continues to do so. In the episcopal city there are distinct parishes for Portuguese, Italians, and Germans. Four priests minister at the cathedral. Nine Brothers of the Christian Schools teach a primary and high school adjacent to the cathedral. The Sisters of Mercy conduct a primary school and academy. The Sisters of St. Francis (Lewiston, New York) conduct two parochial schools. In all about 1100 children attend Catholic schools in the city. The Notre Dame Sisters, Sisters of the Holy Cross, Dominican Sisters, and Sisters of Mercy conduct schools in various parts of the diocese. The Sisters of Mercy also conduct a home for destitute children at Sacramento, a home for the aged, and a hospital for 75 patients, with a training school for nurses attached; the classes contain 36 at present. At Grass Valley they have two orphanages providing for 100 boys and 123 girls. The State makes an allowance for each orphan and half orphan. The state prison at Folsom has a priest for chaplain. The largest towns in the diocese are Sacramento, which has 12 priests and a population, including suburbs, of 56,000; Eureka, 2 churches and 2 priests, population, 11,845; Marysville, 2 priests and 1 church, 5430; Grass Valley, 1 church and 1 priest, 6250; Reno, 1 church and 1 priest, 10,867; Chico, 1 priest and 1 church, 11,775. A Catholic weekly paper is published at Sacramento. A public library is attached to the cathedral, and works in conjunction with the state and city libraries. A clerical aid fund helps to maintain infirm and aged priests. The Friars Minor (St. Louis province) have a church at Sacramento. Annual collections are made for Indian and negro missions, orphanages, the Catholic University, Peterspence, and Holy Land shrines. The Priests' Eucharistic League meets annually at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The priests make a retreat every year at the House of Retreats, Grass Valley. The following confraternities are in the diocese: Men's Sodality of the B. V. M.; Women's Sodality of the B. V. M.; Holy Angels; and the Holy Childhood; St. Aloysius Society; Altar Societies; Apostleship of Prayer; Catholic Truth Society; Catholic Ladies' Aid Society; Young Ladies' Institute; Young Men's Institute; Catholic Library Association; and Knights of Columbus. The growth of the Catholic population is steady. Converts are many.

John Henry Ellis.








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