BISHOP HEALY: He Loved Outcaste by

BISHOP HEALY: He Loved Outcaste

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While lecturing at Howard University the author was asked by one of the Negro students, ""Why is it that no Fegro can ever hope to be a bishop in the Roman Catholic church?"" This chance question turned the author's attention to Bishop Healy and the result was his biography. Healy was the son of an Irish immigrant who eventually became a prosperous planter in Georgia. He married a mulatto girl, and their children, including the subject of his biography, bore unmistakable marks of their negroid ancestry. The elder Healy found life in the south of pre-civil war days unbearable because of his alliance with a Negro, and the entire family migrated to the north. The book tells of the experiences of the son James in securing an education at Holy Cross and of preparing for the priesthood at Montreal. After a successful first parish in Boston, Healy became the Bishop of the Diocese of Maine and New Hampshire with his seat at Portland. In this Yankee territory a Roman Catholic bishop in those days encountered much prejudice and this was of course heightened by the fact that he was of Negro extraction. The way he dealt with this ever-recurring problem of race-prejudice marked Bishop Healy as a high-minded prelate. He often felt like an ""outcaste"", indeed; but he won the admiration and love of the priests, sisters and communicants of the church in that area. The book is significant chiefly because of the light it throws on the early Catholic approach to the race problem.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1954
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young