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History of Cambria County, V.2

    REV. FERDINAND KITTELL, Rector of St. Michael's Church, Loretto, is a native of Cambria county, born at Ebensburg, April 20, 1847, son of William and Margaret (McDonald) Kittell. The father, a lawyer well known in his day, was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania; his mother was a native of Monaghan, Ireland, whence her family emigrated to the United States nearly a hundred years ago. The Kittell family has given several of its members to the church. The eldest sister of Rev. Ferdinand Kittell has been for about forty-five years a member of the Order of the Sisters of Mercy of Pittsburg, and for some years past has been Mother Assistant of the community. A younger brother, the Rev. William Kittell, made his preparatory studies at St. Francis' College, Loretto, and at St. Michael's Seminary, Pittsburg; at the age of seventeen he entered the College of the Propaganda, Rome, and in his twenty-fifth year was raised to the priesthood in the Basilica of St. John Lateran by His Eminence Cardinal Patrizi, the vicar of the Holy Father. Returning home he was appointed professor at the Diocesan Seminary, and in subsequent years labored on the missions at Alpsville, Connellsville, Johnstown, St. Augustine, Freeport, and at St. Mary's and at St. John the Baptist's, Pittsburg. He later became pastor at Uniontown, where he labored with great success, until 1893, when he was called by Rt. Rev. Bishop Phelan to the responsible position of diocesan secretary and chancellor, which he efficiently occupied to the present time. Another brother of the Rev. Father Kittell, still younger, began an ecclesiastical career, but in 1873, while about to finish his classical course at St. Michael's seminary, died after a brief illness.
    From an early age Father Ferdinand Kittell manifested an inclination for an ecclesiastical life, and at the early age of twelve took up classical studies under the preceptorship of Rev. M. J. Mitchell, then pastor at Ebensburg. When fourteen, he entered St. Michael's Seminary, where he continued his studies. After two years, on October 18, 1863, he entered the college of the Propaganda, Rome, to occupy a place procured for him by Rev., James Keogh, D.D., then vice-president of the Diocesan Seminary. While a student in the Holy City it was his good fortune to witness a wonderful event--the occupation of the city by the Italian army, on September 20, 1870--and to perform an act of great significance; being privileged, by permission of the rector, on the morning of that eventful day, and while the bombardment was at its height, to place over the college two American flags which had safeguarded the institution during the revolution of 1848. In the third year of his theological course, on June 3, 1871, he was raised to the priesthood in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, by Monsignor Castellacci, vice-regent of the Cardinal Vicar.
    Completing his studies in June, 1872, Father Kittell left college, and on arriving home was appointed president of St.

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Created: 28 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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