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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary


reasons for refusing the Bishopric of Detroit. As Your Grace did not reply to it, I took your silence as proof of your approbation. Indeed, if you knew the mission of Loretto you would agree with me that it is one of the most important in the United States, and that it would ruin it and ruin me to remove me from this mission. When I established myself here in 1799 the entire county of Cambria was but an immense forest and almost impenetrable. By force of labor and expense (expenses which already reach to more than forty thousand dollars), I have succeeded, with the help of God, in forming an establishment wholly Catholic, extending over an immense extent of country, which is being rapidly augmented by the annual accession of families who come here from Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and from different parts of America. Now, to form my establishment, I have been to great expense in establishing the various trades which are the most necessary, so that I have part of my funds in tanneries, etc., etc., and it is impossible to draw them suddenly without ruining many families.
    Several years ago I formed a plan for the good of religion, for the success of which I desire to employ all the means at my disposal when the remainder of my debts are paid. It is to form a diocese for the western part of Pennsylvania. What a consolation for me if I might, before I die, see this plan carried out, and Loretto made an Episcopal See, where the Bishop, by means of the lands attached to the bishopric, which are very fertile, would be independent, and where, with very little expense, could be erected college, seminary and all that is required for an Episcopal establishment.
    Permit me to add that no Bishop has ever penetrated to the distant missions of Western Pennsylvania. Archbishop Carroll was on his way in 1802, but frightened by the horrible description they gave him at Chambersburg of the mountains, the roads, etc., he retraced his steps. Bishop Egan penetrated as far as Pittsburg and the neighboring congregations, but went no further. Bishop Conwell has not done so much. There are, then, many missions which have never seen a Bishop, and never will, at least not until a Bishop is

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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