Redemptorist Bishop (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. Today the communities of religious sisters established by Bishop Neumann have joined together and are known as the “Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.”
+ 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.
On this day, we also remember Blessed Marcelina Darowska. A wife and mother, she established the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary following her husband’s death. She was especially dedicated to the education of women, believing this was an essential part of the renewal of society. Known for her stress on the primacy of God and the necessity of trusting in God’s gracious love, Blessed Marcelina died in Jazlowiec, Ukraine, in 1911, and was beatified in 1996.
For prayer and reflection
“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.