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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JUNCKER, Henry Damian, R. C. bishop, born in Fenetrange, Lorraine, France, about 1810; died in Alton, Illinois, 2 October, 1868. He came to the United States at an early age, studied for the priesthood, and was ordained by Bishop Purcell, 16 March, 1834. He was then appointed pastor of the Church of the Holy Trinity, the first German church in Cincinnati. At the end of two years he was transferred to Canton, Ohio, and in 1846 appointed pastor of the Church of Emanuel at Dayton. He also ministered to several English congregations and over a dozen German settlements. In 1857 he was appointed bishop of the newly created see of Alton, and consecrated by Archbishop Purcell on 26 April. His diocese embraced the greater part of Illinois, and it contained only eighteen priests. He went to Europe early in 1858, returning in July with four ecclesiastical students, whom he ordained, and within a little over a year he had increased the number of priests to forty-two. During the same period he built eight new churches. In 1859 he completed his cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, which is among the finest churches in the United States. His visitations of his diocese were long and severe journeys, during which he founded congregations to which he afterward sent clergymen, and performed every duty of a simple priest. He gave especial attention to education, founded two colleges for boys and six academies for girls, erected an ecclesiastical seminary near his cathedral, and built two hospitals, as well as an orphan asylum. In 1868 the number of priests had increased to 100, besides 25 clerical students, the churches to 125, and the parochial schools to 56. He also introduced into his diocese various felixious fraternities. Bishop Juncker was a fluent speaker in the French, German, and English languages, and an able controversialist. His personal friendships went beyond persons of his own religious denomination. To those with whom he was familiar he declared himself an agent in behalf of law and order, deeming the ministration of the Roman Catholic church the most powerful agency to control the evil tendency of the masses.
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