Redemptorist Bishop of Philadelphia – (1811-1860)
+ John Nepomucene Neumann was born in Bohemia. He had a great desire to serve a priest in the missions of America and, after completing his studies in Europe, he came to the United States and was ordained a priest in New York City in 1836.
+ After realizing his need for life in community, he entered the Redemptorists and, in 1842, became the first person to profess vows as a Redemptorist in the United States; he was later to serve as superior of the American province.
+ In 1852, Neumann was appointed bishop of Philadelphia. He encouraged the establishment of parochial schools, built nearly 80 churches, and founded several communities of sisters.
+ Bishop Neumann was especially interested in finding ways to meet the needs of the many immigrants pouring into the United States, and he was the first bishop in the country to promote the Forty Hours Devotion in his diocese.
+ Saint John Neumann died in 1860 and was canonized in 1977.
Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos is another Redemptorist missionary who dedicated his life to serving the Church in the United States. Having arrived in New York in 1842, he was ordained a priest in 1844 and then assigned to Pittsburgh, where Saint John Neumann was his superior for six years. Blessed Francis spent his final months of his life serving in New Orleans where he died during a yellow fever epidemic on October 5, 1866. He was beatified in 2000.
“As Christ has his work, we too have ours; as he rejoiced to do his work, we must rejoice in ours also.”—Saint John Neumann
To learn more about the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, click here.
O God, who called the Bishop Saint John Neumann,
renowned for his charity and pastoral service,
to shepherd your people in America,
grant by his intercession
that as we foster the Christian education of youth
and are strengthened by the witness of brotherly love,
we may constantly increase the family of your Church.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Prayer from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.