Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998

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Consecrated on Nov. 1, 1846, St. Andrew Cathedral was located at the comer of Second and Center Streets in Little Rock. Byme's care - St. Andrew Day expansion of the faith in Cincinnati on Aug. 22, 1857. In and Boarding School for boys, St. Arkansas. Bishop Andrew Byrne his first and only assignment as a Anne Mercy Academy in Fort died June 10, 1862, at Helena and parish priest at St. Patrick ChurCh Smith, St. Catherine in Helena, was buried in the Mercy sisters' in Columbus, Ohio, Father and the first Catholic college in garden. In 1881 his remains were Fitzgerald proved himself as Arkansas with a small seminary removed and placed in a crypt able conciliator, making peace and boys' boarding school. It beneath the sanctuary of St. between two factions in the later closed. Andrew Cathedral. parish during his nine years as Questions and problems con- cerning immigration, civil liber- ties, and bias against Catholics challenged the first bishop. In 1856 he was seriously ill, but undaunted. He wrote: "I care not what trials and privations I have to meet ... provided I can estab- lish and uphold these institutions that are destined to instruct and win souls to our Blessed RedeemerY The Civil War began as Bishop Byme's 18 years of service to the diocese was coming to a close. He laid the foundation for the future of Catholicism in a predominant- ly Protestant state. A historian has described the bishop as a man with "a magnetic personality which drew men irresistibly to him:' He earned the respect of persons of many creeds as he tirelessly worked for the early Bishop Edward Fitzgerald: Lean years and good years Father Edward Fitzgerald was just 29 years old when he was appointed second bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock. In the inter- im since Bishop Byme's death five years previous, the diocese was administered by Father Patrick ReiUy who had served as vicar general. Born Oct. 13, 1833 in Limerick, Ireland, Edward Fitzgerald immi- grated to the United States with his parents in 1849. He entered St. Mary of the Barrons Seminary in PerryviUe, Mo., transferred to St. Mary Seminary in Cincinnati, and completed his theological studies at Mount St. Mary in Emmitsburg, Md. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of 6 bl siq pastor. On June 22, 1866, Pope pitls ! so IX informed Father Fitzgerald he was being appointed bishop of the See in Little Rock. On Sept. I, Father Fitzgerald declined the appointment. However, December of that year, he received a "mandamus" - a corn" mand from the bishop of Flew Orleans to accept the pap appointment. Submissive to divine providence, Father Fitzgerald accepted the office, and was consecrated a bishop Feb. 3, 1867, in his parish of St. Patrick Church in Columbus. Tlle consecration was administered by Archbishop John B. Purcell 0f Cincinnati. Bishop Fitzgerald entered the diocese on March 12, 1867, to Helena, the place his predecesSOr had died. He moved oll to Arkansas Ca~aliC