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NEUMANN, John Nepomucene, R. C. bishop, born in Prachatitz, Bohemia, 28 March, 1811 ; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5 January, 1860. He studied in gymnasium of Budweis in 1823-'31, and in the theological seminary there for two years, after which he finished his theological studies at Prague in 1835. His desire always had been to labor among .... his countrymen in the United States and, after meeting with many obstacles, he arrived in New York on 31 May, 1836, and was ordained priest by Bishop Dubois on 25 June. He was appointed, a few days after, to take charge of the missions around Niagara Falls. He next went to Buffalo, New York, and thence to Williamsville, near that place, where he completed the building of a church. He also attended various places within a radius of fifty miles, and taught for nearly a year, his parishioners being too poor to pay a teacher. He also began the study of medicine, for which an extensive knowledge of botany served him. While journeying through the forests on his missionary duties he searched for flowers and plants to be used in compounding medicines, and also found means to form a valuable collection, which he afterward forwarded to the museum at Munich. In 1840 he was prostrated by an intermittent fever, and he then sought admittance at the Redemptorist convent in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, on 18 October, and two years later he made his vows, being the first Redemptorist that professed in the United States. He spent the two following years in giving missions in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He was appointed in 1844 superior of the Redemptorist convent of Pittsburg, and built the church of St. Philomena, the whole superintendence of which devolved on him. He also wrote a catechism and a Bible history for the use of schools, spending night hours on these compilations when the day's work was over. At the same tithe he composed manuals for the various confraternities of the Redemptorist churches. Before leaving Pittsburg he had nearly finished a new Redemptorist convent and novitiate. He was appointed superior of the American province on 15 December, 1846, and during his provincialship Redemptorist foundations were made and churches were erected under his direction in the chief cities of the United States. In 1847 he intrusted the three female schools under his jurisdiction in Baltimore to the School-sisters of Notre Dame, who had just arrived from Bavaria, and his zeal in spreading this order throughout the United States entitles him to be regarded as its founder in this country. In 1849 he laid down his office and was made consultor to the provincial. In 1851 he was made rector of St. Alphonsus's church, Baltimore, and in the same year was appointed bishop of Philadelphia. Alter vainly endeavoring to decline the office he was consecrated by Archbishop Kenrick oil 20 March, 1852. He set about erecting churches wherever they were needed, and during the first five years of his episcopate he opened more than fifty. In some parishes where there was a feeling against ecclesiastical authority he restored peace by his prudence and firmness. At his death parochial schools in his diocese had increased from a few to more than a hundred. He also founded St. Joseph's college in Susquehanna county, and various academies and hospitals. The Sisters of the third order of St. Francis owe their existence to Bishop Neumann. They now have twenty-five convents and over 200 professed sisters, who are principally engaged in nursing the sick at their own homes. In 1854 he visited Rome to take part in the definition of the dogma of the immaculate conception, and after his return he devoted his energies to the completion of the cathedral of Philadelphia, which had been begun by his predecessor. In 1858 it. was opened for worship. It was said of him that in the eight years of his episcopate he had accomplished the work of twenty. To a great sanctity of life he added a high degree of learning and scholarship. He could converse freely in at least twelve modern languages. The Roman Catholics of his diocese believed after his death that many wonderful cures were effected through his intercession. In 1884 steps were taken toward his canonization. See "Life of Right Reverend John Neumann, D. D.," by Reverend Eugene Grimm, from the German of Reverend John A. Berger (New York, 1884).
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