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About John Francis Cardinal O'Hara

JohnFrancisOharaPic.jpgBishop O'Hara was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1888 to a large family. When his father was named American Consul to Uruguay, young John went with him to Montevideo. While only 17, he became a private secretary to the U.S. Minister in that republic. At 18, he was making market surveys for the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Service. Even while thus working, the future Bishop found time to attend the Jesuit University in Montevideo. Upon his return to the States, John Francis went to the University of Notre Dame and was graduated in 1911. Having graduated, he entered the seminary of the Holy Cross Fathers and after five years of intensive study of the Sacred Sciences, was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 1916.

One year later, he returned to Notre Dame. There, he held such posts as Instructor of Religion, Dean of the College of Commerce and Vice-President. In 1934, he was elected President and served in that capacity until 1939 when he was consecrated bishop. He served as Bishop of Buffalo from 1945 to 1952. His long years as an educator at one of the greatest universities in the country prepared him to meet the pressing problems of Catholic education. His dream and greatest accomplishment was to establish a Diocesan Catholic High School system, opening 23 schools over time in the Diocese of Buffalo. Fifty years ago, his mission was memorialized in a special way with the opening of Cardinal O'Hara High School.

In 1952 he was named Archbishop of Philadelphia and in 1958 was named Cardinal by Pope John XXIII. John Francis O'Hara died in 1960 and is buried on the campus of Notre Dame University.