John Lancaster Spalding

John Lancaster Spalding
Bishop of Peoria
John Lancaster Spalding.png
Church Roman Catholic
See Diocese of Peoria
In office May 23, 1877 – September 11, 1908 (retired)
Successor Edmund Michael Dunne
Ordination December 19, 1863
Personal details
Born June 2, 1840

Lebanon, Kentucky, USA
Died August 25, 1916

Peoria, Illinois, USA

John Lancaster Spalding (June 2, 1840 – August 25, 1916) was an American author, poet, advocate for higher education, the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria from 1877 to 1908[1] and a co-founder of The Catholic University of America.

The diocesan offices of the Diocese of Peoria are located in the Spalding Center, named for him. Peoria's Catholic high school for boys, Spalding Institute, was named for him. The school closed in the 1988-1989 school year when it merged with Bergan High School to form Peoria Notre Dame High School. Spalding Hall at The Catholic University of America was also named for him.

Early years [ edit ]

John Lancaster Spalding was born on June 2, 1840, in Lebanon, Kentucky. He was graduated in 1856 from St. Mary's College in St. Mary's, Kentucky,[2] which had been founded by William Byrne and George Elder. The Spaldings and the Elders were related by marriage, Thomas Elder having married Elizabeth Spalding. Elizabeth was the paternal aunt of Catherine Spalding, co-founder of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Thomas and Elizabeth were the grandparents of William Henry Elder, Archbishop of Cincinnati.

He attended Mt. St. Mary College in Emmitsburg, Maryland briefly, before graduating in 1859 from Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West in Cincinnati.[2] His uncle arranged for him to attend the American College of the Immaculate Conception in Louvain, Belgium.[3]

Following his ordination on December 19, 1863, in Louvain, the twenty-three year old Spalding continued his studies as the Belgian Pontifical College in Rome. He returned in 1865 to become assistant pastor of the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, Kentucky, his uncle, Martin John Spalding, had been bishop before being named Archbishop of Baltimore.[4] In 1866 he attended the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore as theologian to François Norbert Blanchet, Archbishop of Oregon City.[2]

In 1872, he went to New York to write a biography of his late uncle, and became assistant pastor of the Church of St. Michael on 34th Street.[4]

Bishop [ edit ]

On November 11, 1876, Pope Pius IX appointed Spalding as the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, newly created out of part of the Diocese of Chicago. He was installed as the first Bishop of Peoria on May 23, 1877 by Cardinal John McCloskey, Archbishop of New York,[5] with Thomas Patrick Roger Foley, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago presiding.[6]

As bishop, Spalding greatly valued education. He was instrumental in the founding of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.,[7] as well as several Catholic schools in Peoria.[8] He also oversaw the construction of St. Mary's Cemetery just outside Peoria (now in West Peoria, Illinois).[6]

In 1876, six Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, at the request of Reverend Bernard Baak, pastor of St. Joseph, arrived from Iowa City to care for the sick. They served at the city hospital and made home visits. Shortly after arriving, Bishop Spalding visited the hospital and observing the difficult conditions the sisters worked under, encouraged them to form a separate congregation with his support. As the Mother Superior had no objections, the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Peoria was established in July 1877. St. Francis Hospital opened in 1878. It is now OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.[9]

Bishop Spalding achieved national prominence for helping President Theodore Roosevelt and J. P. Morgan to end the Great Coal Strike of 1902 as a member of the Arbitration Commission that awarded the miners a retroactive 10% wage increase and reduced daily work hours from 10 to 9.[10]

Spalding wrote poetry and several books, including a biography of his uncle Archbishop Martin John Spalding, under the pseudonym Henry Hamilton.[6]

The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore of 1884 authorized a commission be established to create a uniform catechism. Spalding and Monsignor Januarius de Concilio of Seton Hall prepared a draft and distributed it to the bishops, who were to forward their revisions to Spalding, who would, in turn, report back at the next meeting. Anticipating long and fruitless discussion, Spalding dispensed with procedure and sent the draft to archbishop James Gibbons, indicating that he had made suggested changes where appropriate. Cardinal John McCloskey of New York gave it the imprimatur, Gibbons approved the text, and it was published in April 1885. Though not universally applauded, the Baltimore Catechism remained the standard catechism in the United States for the next eighty years.[11]

Spalding was awarded an honorary degree from Columbia University in 1902, and from Western Reserve University in 1904.[12]

Spalding became paralyzed from a stroke in 1905 and, as a result,[6] retired on September 11, 1908, at the age of 68 and was appointed Titular Bishop of Scythopolis, by Pope Pius X.[5] He died on August 25, 1916.[5]

Controversy [ edit ]

The Caldwell sisters of Louisville made large contributions to the Catholic University of America. They were related to the Breckinridge family of Kentucky and were heirs to their father, William Shakespeare Caldwell, a gas company executive.[13]

Mary Guendaline Byrd Caldwell (later Marquise des Monstiers-Merinville), and her sister, Mary Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell, (later Baroness von Zedtwitz) were orphaned and became Spalding's wards. When Mary Guendaline was 21, she gave the money to buy the land for Catholic University and to build Caldwell Hall, which was named after her.[14] Mary Elizabeth funded Caldwell Hall's chapel. When the Baron von Zedtwitz died in 1896 after his yacht, the Isolde, was struck by Kaiser Wilhelm II's yacht, the Meteor, Bishop Spalding became the guardian of Waldemar von Zedtwitz, son of the Baron and the Baroness. In 1901, however, the sisters broke with Spalding after Mary Guendaline told Mary Elizabeth about being "sexually involved with Spalding for twenty years."[14]

In 1904, the sisters renounced Catholicism. At Mary Guendaline's request, her portrait which had been in Caldwell Hall was returned to her; it was replaced with a portrait of Cardinal Sebastiano Martinelli.[13] In 1906, Mary Elizabeth's book, The Double Doctrine of Rome, was published.[15]

Publications [ edit ]

Historical marker commemorating Spalding in his hometown
  • Essays and Reviews [6]
  • Lectures and Discourses [6]
  • Education and the Higher Life [6]
  • The Poet's Praise (as Henry Hamilton)[6]
  • Opportunity and Other Essays (as Henry Hamilton)[6]
  • Aphorisms and Reflections [6]
  • Socialism and Labor
P literature.svgThis literature-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Legacy [ edit ]

The Diocese of Peoria has established the John Lancaster Spalding Scholarship, a tuition assistance program for students in any parish to attend any Catholic school in the diocese.[16]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ John Lancaster SpaldingArchived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, Historic Peoria
  2. ^ a b c Cosgrove, J.J., Most Reverend John Lancaster Spalding, First Bishop of Peoria, Wayside Press, 1960
  3. ^ Nolan, L. A. (2005). "John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1916): A Catalyst for Social Reform". Journal of Catholic Education, 9 (2). December, 2005]
  4. ^ a b "Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding", Franciscan Sisters of Peoria
  5. ^ a b c "Bishop John Lancaster Spalding †". Catholic-Hierarchy. 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2008-01-12. [self-published source]
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Aspell, Albina. "Bishop John Lancaster Spalding". The Catholic Post. Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-19. Retrieved 2007-08-19. CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ PD-icon.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Peoria". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  9. ^ OSF Healthcare
  10. ^ Doris K. Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit (Simon & Schuster, 2013) p. 318
  11. ^ Mongoven, Anne Marie. The Prophetic Spirit of Catechesis, Paulist Press, 2000, p. 41ISBN 9780809139224
  12. ^ Nuesse, C. Joseph. The Catholic University of America: A Centennial History, CUA Press, 1990. p. 14, n.44ISBN 9780813207360
  13. ^ a b "The Caldwell Sisters of Louisville". Gravely Speaking. 2 February 2013. [self-published source?]
  14. ^ a b Leon J. Podles, "John Lancaster Spalding: The Bishop and the Heiress", .
  15. ^ Baroness von Zedtwitz (1906), The Double Doctrine of Rome, New York: Revell.
  16. ^ "John Lancaster Spalding Scholarship", St. Ann Catholic Church, January 2, 2011

Further reading [ edit ]

  • Curti, Merle. The Social Ideas of American Educators (1935) pp 348–73
  • Sweeney, David Francis. The Life of John Lancaster Spalding: First Bishop of Peoria, 1840-1916 (Vol. 1. Herder and Herder, 1966)

External links [ edit ]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by

Bishop of Peoria

Succeeded by

Edmund Michael Dunne
Preceded by

Joseph-Marie Raya
Titular Bishop of Scythopolis

Succeeded by

Antonio Tani
What is this?