|6th & 8th President of Georgetown College|
|Preceded by||William Matthews|
|Succeeded by||Giovanni Antonio Grassi|
|Preceded by||Robert Molyneux|
|Succeeded by||William Matthews|
|Born||June 3, 1756|
Port Tobacco, Colony of Maryland, British America
|Died||December 20, 1837 81) (aged|
St. Thomas Manor, Maryland, United States
|Resting place||St. Thomas Manor|
|Alma mater||Colleges of Bruges and Liège|
|Ordination||April 3, 1788|
Francis Ignatius Neale –December 20, 1837), also known as Francis Xavier Neale, was an American Catholic priest and Jesuit who led several of the order's institutions in Washington, D.C. and played a significant role in the Jesuit order's restoration in the United States. Born to a prominent Maryland family, Neale was educated at the College of Bruges and Liège, where he was ordained a priest but was unable to enter the Society of Jesus, as it was suppressed by the pope. When Neale returned to the United States in 1788, Bishop John Carroll assigned him as pastor of the church at St. Thomas Manor, where he aligned himself with the rural clergy in opposing Carroll's founding of Georgetown College, which they believed would occur at the expense of the rural manors; his conflict with Carroll over various issues would continue for much of his life.(June 3, 1756
In 1790, Neale became the first pastor of the Georgetown Chapel, which would become Holy Trinity Church, the first Catholic church in Washington, D.C. Overseeing its construction and the rapid growth of its congregation, he would remain pastor for 27 years. He also established the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria, Virginia, and was its visiting pastor. Meanwhile, he assumed senior duties at Georgetown College, including a brief term as acting president, before becoming the permanent president of the college in 1809. His tenure was considered unsuccessful, as the number of students declined dramatically due to his institution of strict monastic discipline.
When the Jesuit order was restored in the United States in 1806, Neale entered the Society and became the master of novices at the novitiate in Georgetown, despite having never previously been a Jesuit. On top of simultaneously holding these multiple positions, he was made treasurer of the Jesuits' Maryland mission. In his later years, he was the spiritual director to the nuns at the Georgetown Visitation Monastery, before returning to St. Thomas Manor as pastor, where he died.
Francis Ignatius Neale was born on June 3, 1756, 2,000 acres (810 ha) in what would become Port Tobacco.at Chandler's Hope, the Neale family estate near Port Tobacco, located in Charles County of the British Colony of Maryland. He was born into a prominent Maryland family; among his ancestors was Captain James Neale, one of the settlers of the Maryland Colony, who arrived in 1637 upon receiving a royal grant of
His parents, William Neale and Anne Neale née Brooke, had thirteen children, and all seven of the boys, including Francis, the youngest, were sent to the Colleges of St Omer, Bruges, or Liège. Two of Francies Neale's brothers died during their studies, while four of the surviving five became Catholic priests. One brother, Leonard Neale, would go on to become president of Georgetown College and the Archbishop of Baltimore, while another, Charles Neale, also became a prominent Jesuit.One sister, Anne, entered the Order of Poor Clares as a nun, in Aire-sur-la-Lys, France. Through his sister, Mary, his nephew was William Matthews, another future president of Georgetown.
In 1773, Pope Clement XIV ordered the worldwide suppression of the Society of Jesus.Therefore, Neale was unable to enter the Jesuit order as he intended, but continued his seminary studies at the college in Liège. Following his ordination as a priest on April 3, 1788, he immediately left for the United States.
Meanwhile, John Carroll, the Bishop of Baltimore, had recently founded the long-planned Georgetown College in the District of Columbia, the first Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.As early as 1785, Carroll had requested that Charles Plowden return a cohort of Maryland Jesuits studying at the college in Liège to the United States so that they could staff the fledging college. He intended Neale, in particular, to play a significant role in the college's early years. Carroll's requests went unfulfilled until November 1788, when Neale, having completed his studies at Liège, arrived in Baltimore. He initially assigned Neale to the Jesuit estate of St. Thomas Manor, near Port Tobacco.
Neale greatly enjoyed the rural life, and aligned with the manorial Jesuits who opposed Carroll's establishment of a college. He frequently expressed in correspondence with Carroll his belief that the Jesuits should direct their efforts to ministering to rural congregations in Southern Maryland, rather than on higher education. Neale's relationship with Carroll soured when Neale accused his superior of giving insufficient support to the rural missions, while Carroll chastised Neale for poorly managing his congregation's finances, such as failing to obtain orders for the new American-printed Douay–Rheims Bible.Eventually, Neale became the most outspoken opponent of Carroll's efforts to establish Georgetown College, which he believed to be at the expense of the Maryland Jesuits' rural manors.
Carroll sought to transfer Neale from St. Thomas Manor in 1790, when the Governor of Maryland, Thomas Sim Lee, requested that a priest be sent to the rapidly expanding city of Frederick. However, around the same time, Neale fell ill, and was unable to go.Later that year, Carroll appointed him as the first pastor of the yet-to-be-built Georgetown Chapel. Carroll reasoned that Neale's prominent ancestry, and acquaintance with many distinguished families in Georgetown would aid him in raising funds to support the nascent church. However, Neale would not arrive in Georgetown until January 13, 1792, after recovering from a period of ill health.
Neale's pastorate proved to be highly beneficial to the church. He succeeded in raising considerable funds from Catholics in Montgomery, Prince George's, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties in Maryland during the first several months of his tenure. This allowed construction on the chapel to begin quickly, and its foundation was complete by the end of 1792; the superstructure would be completed the following year.As the new church occupied the entire width of its lot, Neale sought to protect it and its adjacent cemetery from encroachment by purchasing land on either side as a buffer. Contributions proved to be inadequate, and he resorted to supplementing donations out of his own funds. He would again contribute his own money fifteen years later to purchase the remainder of the block's width, where the present Holy Trinity School now stands. Construction on the Georgetown Chapel was altogether complete by March 1794.
As the first Catholic church in the District of Columbia,the Georgetown Chapel drew parishioners from as far as Dumfries and Great Falls in Virginia and Bladensburg in Maryland. The size of the congregation increased rapidly, and the church soon became overcrowded, despite the erection of makeshift sheds on the sides of the church to augment the size of the building. In 1796, the parish established a mission church in Alexandria, which was the first Catholic church in the state of Virginia. Neale ministered to this church, but its location was inconvenient. Therefore, he purchased a former a Methodist meeting house more centrally located in Alexandria, and named it the Church of St. Mary.
Relations between Neale and Carroll continued to deteriorate, as Neale resisted Carroll's attempts to sell some of the Jesuits' rural properties. In April 1797, Carroll directed Neale to transfer from Georgetown to the Jesuit estate in White Marsh, Maryland, as had been tentatively discussed at a previous meeting of the clergy, despite Neale's opposition. However, before this order could be given effect, several wealthy parishioners and lay trustees of the Georgetown Chapel intervened to petition Carroll to keep Neale at Georgetown;Carroll acquiesced, and Neale remained as pastor until 1817, when he was succeeded by Benedict Joseph Fenwick.
In the meantime, Neale had become a prominent member of the Select Body of Clergy of the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen of Maryland,a civil corporation beyond Carroll's authority composed of priests who had been Jesuits prior to the order's suppression. Neale was made the legal agent of the corporation in 1798.
In addition to his priestly duties at the Georgetown Chapel, Neale also worked at Georgetown College as treasurer pro tempore, which was the sole source of income, room and board.In August 1797, a special committee of Maryland clergy was drawn up to determine the future of the college. It resolved that the institution was to be run by a five-member board of directors, composed of Maryland clergy who were selected from by their peers. The effect of this resolution was the deprivation of Carroll and the incumbent Sulpician president of the college, Louis William DuBourg, of any official control of the school. Neale was selected as one of the five directors. At the board's first meeting in October 1797, Neale was elected vice president of the college, whose duties largely corresponded to those of his current role of treasurer. He would hold the position of vice president for ten years.
When the president of Georgetown College, Robert Molyenux, was forced to resign the presidency due to declining health in December 1808, 40 acres (16 hectares) to expand the campus for student recreation.Neale was made the acting president, until a permanent successor could be found in his nephew, William Matthews, in March 1809. Following the end of Matthews' tenure, Neale succeeded him as president on November 1, 1809. His administration of the college was poor, as he instituted the same severe monastic discipline that his brother, Leonard, had previously implemented at the college during his presidency. Students were required to follow a daily regimen, which heavily focussed on religious activities. While this resulted in a considerable number of students entering the priesthood, it led to a significant decrease in the number of non-Catholic students and a severe decline in the overall number of students. Enrollment was also affected by competition for students with St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. At the college, Neale established the first Sodality of the Blessed Virgin in the United States. He also purchased
Neale had little interest in managing the academic affairs of the college, and upon assuming the presidency, transferred responsibility for the school's academics to the vice president.As he simultaneously held numerous other pastoral and administrative positions, he was largely absent from the college. Carroll's evaluation was that the college had "sunk to the lowest degree of discredit." Neale's tenure came to an end in August 1812, and Giovanni Antonio Grassi was named as his successor.
In response to the request of Emperor Paul I of Russia, Pope Pius VII issued a bull in 1801 partially lifting the 1773 order of suppression by permitting the Jesuits to officially resume operation in the Russian Empire (which they had been already doing unofficially).Bishop Carroll had long sought to restore the Jesuit order in the United States, and aimed to do so by submitting the Maryland Jesuits to the jurisdiction of the Jesuits' Russian province. However, he was wary that such an arrangement would contravene the pope's order and might draw the attention of political enemies of the Jesuits. Neale and his brother, Charles, led a group of clergy in persistently urging Carroll to effectuate the arrangement. Carroll was eventually persuaded, and a Jesuit novitiate was formally opened on October 10, 1806 in a house offered for use by Neale, across the street from the now-Holy Trinity Church.
The newly appointed superior of the Maryland Jesuits, Robert Molyneux, named Neale as the master of novices.His selection drew some criticism from the European Jesuits sent at Carroll's request to aid the re-establishment of the Jesuits in the United States, on the grounds that Neale had never been trained in a Jesuit novitiate, and that he would simultaneously be a novice himself. In addition to his duties as master of novices, Neale assumed of treasurer of the Jesuit's Maryland mission. During the War of 1812, Neale had most of the Jesuits' livestock in St. Inigoes removed to White Marsh, to keep them safe from looting by the British.
Upon his brother, Leonard's, death in 1817, Neale assumed his duties as spiritual director to the nuns of the Georgetown Visitation Monastery.However, before long, he suffered a stroke while in Alexandria. Though this necessitated that he relinquish the full-time position, he continued to hear the nuns' confessions until his death. After his recovery, he once again took up missionary work in rural Maryland. He returned to St. Thomas Manor, where he became pastor of its church, later known as St. Ignatius Church. He served in this office from 1819 until his death, on December 20, 1837. He was buried in the cemetery at St. Thomas Manor.
Louis William Valentine DuBourg was a French Catholic prelate and Sulpician missionary to the United States. He built up the church in the vast new Louisiana Territory as the Bishop of Louisiana and the Two Floridas and later became the Bishop of Montauban and Archbishop of Besançon in France.
Benedict Joseph Fenwick was an American Catholic bishop, Jesuit, and educator who was the founder of the College of the Holy Cross and the Bishop of Boston from 1825 until his death in 1846. Prior to that, he was twice the president of Georgetown College and established several educational institutions in New York City and Boston.
Leonard Neale was an American Catholic prelate and Jesuit who became the Archbishop of Baltimore and the first Catholic bishop to be ordained in the United States. While president of Georgetown College, Neale became the coadjutor bishop to John Carroll and founded the Georgetown Visitation Monastery and Academy.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church is a Jesuit Catholic church located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the United States. Holy Trinity Parish was founded in 1787 and is the oldest Roman Catholic community and house of worship in continuous operation both in Georgetown and in the larger city of Washington, D.C. The original church building was completed in 1794. It is now called the Chapel of St. Ignatius, and is used for smaller ecclesiastical celebrations and as an auxiliary space for parish activities. A larger church building, necessitated by the growing community, was dedicated in 1851, and still serves as the parish church today.
The history of Georgetown University spans nearly four hundred years, from the early European settlement of America to the present day. Georgetown University has grown with both its city, Washington, D.C., and the United States, each of which date their founding to the period from 1788 to 1790. Georgetown's origins are in the establishment of the Maryland colony in the seventeenth-century. Bishop John Carroll established the school at its present location by the Potomac River after the American Revolution allowed for free religious practice.
Anthony Kohlmann, was an Alsatian Catholic priest, missionary, and Jesuit educator. He played a decisive role in the early formation of the Diocese of New York, where he was the subject of a lawsuit that for the first time recognized the confessional privilege in the United States, and served as the president of Georgetown College from 1817 to 1820.
Robert P. Molyneux was an English-American Catholic priest and Jesuit missionary to the United States. Born to a prominent English family, he entered the Society of Jesus and studied at the College of St Omer in France. When the school moved to Bruges, Belgium, he followed, becoming a master. In 1771, he emigrated to the United States as a missionary, where he took up pastoral work in Philadelphia.
John Early was an Irish-American Catholic priest and Jesuit educator who was the president of the College of the Holy Cross and Georgetown University, as well as the founder and first president of Loyola College in Maryland. Born in Ireland, he emigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen. Upon his arrival, he enrolled at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Maryland, and entered the Society of Jesus, completing his education at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
St. Thomas Manor (1741) is a historic home and Catholic church complex located near Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland. It is now known as St. Ignatius Church and Cemetery. The manor house complex is recognized as the oldest Jesuit residence in the world to have been continuously occupied by that order. The mission settlement of Chapel Point was started in 1641 by Father Andrew White, S.J., an English Jesuit missionary. He administered to the Potapoco Native Americans, some of whom he converted to Catholicism. Established in 1662, this is the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic parish in the Thirteen Colonies of North America founded by Great Britain. With the consecration in 1794 of Bishop John Carroll, St. Thomas became the first Roman Catholic see in the United States.
Robert Plunkett was an English Catholic priest and Jesuit missionary to the United States who became the first president of Georgetown College. Born in England, he was educated at the Colleges of St Omer and Bruges, as well as at the English College at Douai. There, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1769, but left four years later, just before learning of the papal order suppressing the Society. Therefore, he was ordained a secular priest at the English College, and became the chaplain to a monastery of English Benedictine nuns in exile in Brussels.
William Matthews, occasionally spelled Mathews, was an American Roman Catholic priest from the colonial Province of Maryland who became the fifth Catholic priest ordained in the United States and the first such person born in British America. He was briefly a novice in the Society of Jesus, and became influential in establishing Catholic parochial and educational institutions in Washington, D.C. He was the second pastor of St. Patrick's Church for most of his life and was the sixth president of Georgetown College, later known as Georgetown University. Matthews acted as president of the Washington Catholic Seminary, which became Gonzaga College High School, and oversaw the continuity of the school during suppression by the church and financial insecurity.
Thomas F. Mulledy was an American Catholic priest from Virginia who became the president of Georgetown College, a founder of the College of the Holy Cross, and a prominent 19th-century leader of the Jesuits in the United States. His brother, Samuel Mulledy, also became a Jesuit and president of Georgetown.
James A. Ryder was an American Catholic priest and Jesuit who became the president of several Jesuit universities in the United States. Born in Ireland, he immigrated with his widowed mother to the United States as a child, to settle in Georgetown, in the District of Columbia. He enrolled at Georgetown College and then entered the Society of Jesus. Studying in Maryland and Rome, Ryder proved to be a talented student of theology and was made a professor. He returned to Georgetown College in 1829, where he was appointed to senior positions and founded the Philodemic Society, becoming its first president.
Joseph Havens Richards was an American Catholic priest and Jesuit who became a prominent president of Georgetown University, where he instituted major reforms and significantly increased the quality and stature of the university. Born to a prominent Ohio family, his father was an Episcopal priest who controversially converted to Catholicism, and had the infant Richards secretly baptized as a Catholic. Richards eventually entered the Society of Jesus.
Charles Henry Stonestreet was an American Catholic priest and Jesuit who served in prominent religious and academic positions, including as provincial superior of the Jesuit Maryland Province and president of Georgetown University. He was born in Maryland and attended Georgetown University, where he co-founded the Philodemic Society. After entering the Society of Jesus and becoming a professor at Georgetown, he led St. John's Literary Institution and St. John the Evangelist Church in Frederick, Maryland. He was appointed president of Georgetown University in 1851, holding the office for two years, during which time he oversaw expansion of the university's library. The First Plenary Council of Baltimore was held at Georgetown during his tenure.
John William Beschter was a Catholic priest and Jesuit from the Duchy of Luxembourg in the Austrian Netherlands. He emigrated to the United States as a missionary in 1807, where he ministered in rural Pennsylvania and Maryland. Beschter was the last Jesuit pastor of St. Mary's Church in Lancaster, as well as the pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. He was also a priest at several other German-speaking churches in Pennsylvania.
Samuel A. Mulledy was an American Catholic priest and Jesuit who served as president of Georgetown College in 1845. Born in Virginia, he was the brother of Thomas F. Mulledy, who was a prominent 19th-century Jesuit in the United States and a president of Georgetown. As a student at Georgetown, Samuel was one of the founding members of the Philodemic Society, and proved to be a distinguished student, which resulted in his being sent to Rome to complete his higher education and be ordained to the priesthood. Upon his return to the United States, he became the master of novices at the Jesuit novitiate in Maryland, before being named president of Georgetown. He sought to be relieved of the position after only a few months, and returned to teaching and ministry.
William Feiner was a German Catholic priest and Jesuit who became a missionary to the United States and eventually the president of Georgetown College, now known as Georgetown University.
Enoch Fenwick was an American Catholic priest and Jesuit, who ministered throughout Maryland and became the president of Georgetown College. Descending from one of the original Catholic settlers of the British Maryland Province, he studied at Georgetown College in Washington, D.C. Like his brother and future bishop, Benedict Joseph Fenwick, he entered the priesthood, studying at St. Mary's Seminary, before entering the Society of Jesus, which was suppressed at the time. He was made rector of St. Peter's Pro-Cathedral in Baltimore by Archbishop John Carroll, and remained in the position for ten years. Near the end of his pastorate, he was also made vicar general of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which involved traveling to say Mass in remote parishes throughout rural Maryland.
Arthur Aloysius O'Leary was an American Catholic priest and Jesuit, who served as president of Georgetown University in from 1935 to 1942. Born in Washington, D.C., he studied at Gonzaga College before entering the Society of Jesus and continuing his education at St. Andrew-on-Hudson and Woodstock College. He then taught at St. Andrew-on-Hudson and Georgetown University, where he eventually became the university's librarian, and undertook a major improvement of the Georgetown University Library. O'Leary then assumed the presidency of the university in the midst of the Great Depression and, later, World War II.
|Catholic Church titles|
|New office||1st Pastor of Holy Trinity Church |
Benedict Joseph Fenwick
John B. Cary
| Pastor of St. Ignatius Church |
|6th President of Georgetown College |
|8th President of Georgetown College |
Giovanni Antonio Grassi