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James Augustine Healy

James Augustine Healy (1830-1900), the first African American bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.
James Augustine Healy (1830-1900), the first African American bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. | Wikimedia Commons

The son of an Irish immigrant and an enslaved woman, James Augustine Healy became the first African American bishop in the Roman Catholic Church in 1875.

His consecration ceremony was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Maine, with the bishop focusing on helping white minority ethnic groups.

“Being half Irish, he immediately bonded with the many Irish immigrants living in the Munjoy Hill area at that time,” MaineUSA.net explains.

“Bishop Healy also was fluent in French, and won the trust and admiration of the many French Acadians who moved to Maine after their forced removal from Canada by the British.”

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