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John Patrick Farrelly

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Title: John Patrick Farrelly  
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Subject: Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Joseph Patrick Hurley, Michael Joseph Ready
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John Patrick Farrelly

The Right Reverend
John Patrick Farrelly
Bishop of Cleveland
Church Roman Catholic Church
Diocese Cleveland
See Cleveland
In office June 13, 1909—February 12, 1921
Predecessor Ignatius Frederick Horstmann
Successor Joseph Schrembs
Ordination May 22, 1880
by Cardinal Raffaele Monaco La Valletta
Consecration May 1, 1909
by Cardinal Girolamo Maria Gotti O.C.D.
Personal details
Born (1856-03-15)March 15, 1856
Memphis, Tennessee
Died February 12, 1921(1921-02-12) (aged 64)
Knoxville, Tennessee

John Patrick Farrelly (March 15, 1856 – February 12, 1921) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Cleveland from 1909 until his death in 1921.


John Farrelly was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to John and Martha (née Clay) Farrelly.[1] His father was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, and his grandfather was one of the authors of the original Arkansas Constitution.[2] He and his parents moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and later to Kentucky (1868), where young Farrelly attended St. Mary's College.[1] After studying at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he entered Notre-Dame de la Paix at Namur, Belgium, in 1873 and completed his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, from where he obtained a Doctor of Sacred Theology.[2]

Farrelly was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Raffaele Monaco La Valletta on May 22, 1880.[3] After touring Egypt and the Holy Land, he returned to Tennessee in 1882 and became a curate (and later pastor) at the Cathedral of Nashville.[1] He was named chancellor of the Diocese of Nashville in 1883, and secretary of the American bishops at Rome in September 1887.[2] While in Rome, he also served as spiritual director of the North American College (1893–1909).[1]

On March 18, 1909, Farrelly was appointed the fourth Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio, by Pope Pius X.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 1 from Cardinal Girolamo Maria Gotti, O.C.D., with Bishops John Baptist Morris and Thomas Francis Kennedy serving as co-consecrators.[3] He was installed at St. John's Cathedral on June 13, 1909.[3] During his 12-year-long tenure, he improved the parochial school system; organized Catholic Charities; and erected 47 churches and schools, including Cathedral Latin High School.[4] During World War I, he was appointed by Mayor Harry L. Davis to the Cleveland War Commission.[2] He also ordered English to be spoken at all German churches and schools in the diocese.[5]

Farrelly died from pneumonia in Knoxville,[1] aged 64. He is buried in the crypt beneath the main altar of St. John's Cathedral.[2]


Preceded by
Ignatius Frederick Horstmann
Bishop of Cleveland
Succeeded by
Joseph Schrembs
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