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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HARKINS, Mathew, R. C. bishop, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 17 November, 1845. He attended the Latin school of his native city, and was graduated with a Franklin medal in 1862. He studied a year at the College of the Holy Cross at Worcester, Massachusetts, and on leaving was sent by Bishop Fitzpatrick to pursue a course of theology at the English college of Douay and in the seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris. After six years' study he was ordained, and visited Rome before returning home. After serving as curate of the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Salem, Massachusetts, he was appointed in 1876 rector of St. Malachi's church at Arlington, his parish including Lexington and Belmont. Here he remained for eight years, after which he was transferred to St. James's in Boston. He took an especial interest in the Sunday school, and gained great popularity as a preacher. He was nominated for the see of Providence in January, 1887. The diocese over which he presides is probably the largest in New England, with the exception of the archdiocese of Boston. Bishop Harkins was selected by Archbishop Williams as his theologian at the plenary council of Baltimore, where he was appointed one of the notaries.
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