Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FITZGERALD, Edward, R. C. bishop, born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1833. He came to the United States in 1849, entered the College of the Barrens, Missouri, in 1850, and finished his ecclesiastical studies in Mount St. Mary's College, Emmettsburg. He was ordained priest in 1857, and was appointed pastor of a Roman Catholic Church in Columbus, Ohio, which had been laid under an interdict by the archbishop of Cincinnati. Father Fitzgerald was entirely successful in restoring harmony among his parishioners, and inducing them to submit to the archbishop. He remained over nine years at Columbus, and in 1867 was consecrated bishop of Little Rock, Ark. Owing to the civil war, the number of Roman Catholics in his diocese had decreased to little more than a thousand, with five priests and three religious institutions. He used every exertion to attract immigration to the state, with such success that in 1884 the Roman Catholic population was over 7,000, with twenty-three priests and thirty-seven Churches. He introduced the monks of the Benedictine order, established a house of the Fathers of the Holy Ghost at Marienstadt, for the purpose of holding special missions among his flock, and also introduced the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Benedictine nuns, whom he placed in charge of asylums and schools. He visited Rome to take part in the deliberations of the Vatican council, and was also a member of the third plenary council of Baltimore in 1884.
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