The Most Reverend
Thomas Arthur Connolly
|1st Archbishop of Seattle|
|Province||Portland in Oregon (1950–1951)|
|Installed||May 18, 1950 (as Bishop of Seattle)|
Elevated to Archbishop June 23, 1951
|Term ended||February 13, 1975|
|Other posts||Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco (1939–1948)|
Coadjutor Bishop of Seattle (1948–1950)
|Ordination||June 11, 1926|
|Consecration||August 24, 1939|
|Born||October 5, 1899|
San Francisco, California
|Died||April 18, 1991 (aged 91)|
First Hill, Seattle
Ordination history of
Thomas Arthur Connolly
Thomas Arthur Connolly (October 5, 1899 – April 18, 1991) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the fifth bishop and first archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle from 1950–1975. Born in San Francisco, California, Connolly was ordained to the priesthood in San Francisco in 1926. As a priest, he held several posts in the San Francisco area before being appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1939. In 1948, Connolly was named coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Seattle with right of succession to Bishop Gerald Shaughnessy, who had been in poor health for several years. Archbishop Connolly, who selected the episcopal motto Justitia et Pax ("Justice and Peace"), took bold steps in supporting the civil rights movement, ecumenical programs, and labor issues. He attended the Second Vatican Council and helped guide the archdiocese through the tumultuous era of the 1960s.
Thomas Connolly was born in San Francisco, California, to Thomas and Catherine (née Gilsenan) Connolly. After studying at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 1926. He then served as a curate at St. Rose Church in Santa Rosa and St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Sausalito. In 1930 he was sent to further his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from where he obtained a doctorate in canon law in 1932. After his return to California, he became secretary to Archbishop Edward Joseph Hanna in 1934 and chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1935. He was named a Domestic Prelate by Pope Pius XI in 1936, and pastor of Mission San Francisco de Asís in 1939.
On June 10, 1939, Connolly was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco and Titular Bishop of Sila by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 24 from Archbishop John Joseph Mitty, with Bishops Robert John Armstrong and Thomas Kiely Gorman serving as co-consecrators. In 1941 he was named vicar delegate to the Catholic chaplains serving the Army and Navy in the Pacific Coast.
Connolly was named Coadjutor Bishop of Seattle, Washington, on February 28, 1948, with immediate right of succession to Bishop Gerald Shaughnessy, who had been in failing health for several years. Upon Shaughnessy's death on May 18, 1950, Connolly became the fifth Bishop of Seattle. When the diocese was elevated to the rank of an archdiocese on June 23, 1951, Connolly became its first Archbishop.
During his tenure, he became known as a "brick and mortar bishop" for his construction of hundreds of Catholic facilities to accommodate the post-World War II population growth in the Archdiocese. He renovated St. James Cathedral; established 43 new parishes; and built over 350 churches, schools, rectories, convents, parish halls and religious education centers. He became an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne in 1959. He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965. He was also an outspoken supporter of the civil rights movement, ecumenism, and pro-life issues.
- "Bishops' Biographies". www.seattlearchdiocese.org. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
- Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
- "Archbishop Thomas Arthur Connolly". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
- "Archbishop Thomas A. Connolly". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. Archived from the original on 2006-12-29.
- "Thomas Connolly, 91, Archbishop in Seattle". The New York Times. 1991-04-20.
- Thomas A. Connolly (1899–1991) – Find A Grave Memorial
|Catholic Church titles|
| Archbishop of Seattle