Plaque blessed by Cardinal Dolan memorializing Bishop John England
At the July 11 Bicentennial Closing Mass, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone announced that a plaque honoring our founding bishop, Most Rev. John England, will be placed in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, blessed the plaque with the Prayer of John England.
Bishop England was an immigrant from Cork, Ireland. He dedicated his life to fighting for religious liberty in America and was the first Catholic bishop to appear before Congress. In that address, he called for the acceptance of Catholicism in this country.
While in Ireland, Bishop England was ordained bishop of Charleston in St. Finbarr's South Church in Cork. When he founded the cathedral here, he dedicated it to St. Finbar. Although the original church was razed and the second was destroyed in a fire that burned much of the Charleston peninsula in 1861, we now have a plaque in our newly renovated mother church to commemorate the immense love and sacrifice of the immigrants who founded our diocese.
A duplicate plaque has been created and will reside in St. Finbarr's South Church in Cork.