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Joshua Maria Young

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Right Rev. Joshua Maria Young
Bishop of Erie
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
In officeApril 23, 1854 – September 18, 1866
PredecessorMichael O'Connor
SuccessorTobias Mullen
OrdinationApril 1, 1838
ConsecrationApril 23, 1854
Personal details
Born(1808-10-29)October 29, 1808
Acton, Maine
DiedSeptember 18, 1866(1866-09-18) (aged 57)
Erie, Pennsylvania

Joshua Maria Young (October 29, 1808 – September 18, 1866) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, from 1854 until his death.

Life and church

He was born in Acton, Maine, to Jonathan and Mehetable (née Moody) Young.[1] One of ten children, he had three brothers and six sisters.[2] Raised as a Congregationalist, he belonged to a prominent New England family of Harvard graduates and Protestant ministers.[3][4] At age eight Young was sent to live with his uncle in Saco, and later became a printer's apprentice for the Portland-based Eastern Argus newspaper in 1823.[1] He was editor of The Maine Democrat for about a year after his apprenticeship.[1] After a co-worker lent him Catholic books, Young decided to convert to Catholicism and received a conditional baptism in October 1828.[1] Following his conversion, he changed his name to Joshua Maria in honor of the Virgin Mary.[3]

In 1830 he went to study for the priesthood at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he hoped the climate would be more congenial with his health.[1] He briefly continued to work in publishing, and was employed with The Catholic Telegraph.[1] After completing his theological studies at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Young was ordained a priest by Bishop John Baptist Purcell on April 1, 1838.[5] He then labored as a missionary in the West before becoming pastor of St. Mary's Church at Lancaster, Ohio.[1] He also attended the First Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1852 as a theologian to Bishop Purcell.

On July 29, 1853, Young was appointed the second Bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, by Pope Pius IX.[5] He received his episcopal consecration on April 23, 1854, from Bishop Purcell, with Bishops Martin John Spalding and Louis Amadeus Rappe serving as co-consecrators.[5] He was an opponent of slavery during the Civil War (1861–1865),[4] and witnessed the 1859 discovery of oil in Titusville, which forced him to erect numerous churches to accommodate the settlers along Oil Creek and the Allegheny River.[3] At the beginning of Young's tenure, the diocese contained 28 churches and 14 priests; by the time of his death, the number of churches and priests were both over 50.[3] He established several Catholic schools and orphanages, and a hospital.[3] He also introduced into the diocese the Sisters of St. Joseph from Buffalo, New York.[4]

Young died suddenly at his residence in Erie, at age 57.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Clarke, Richard Henry. "RIGHT REV. JOSUE MARIA YOUNG, D.D.". Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States.
  2. ^ "Jonathan Young , III". The Schliesser-Hicks Family Tree. Archived from the original on 2009-10-28.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Erie". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  4. ^ a b c "About the Diocese: Early History (1853–1900)". Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04.
  5. ^ a b c "Bishop Joshua Maria (Moody) Young".[self-published source]
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Michael O'Connor
Bishop of Erie
Succeeded by
Tobias Mullen
This page was last edited on 30 March 2021, at 08:23
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