Thomas Joseph Dowling

Thomas Joseph Dowling, Roman Catholic bishop of Peterborough, Ontario, from 1887-89, and of Hamilton, Ontario, from 1889-1924 (b in Shannagh County, Limerick, Ire 28 Feb 1840; d at Hamilton, Ont 6 Aug 1924).

Dowling, Thomas Joseph

Thomas Joseph Dowling, Roman Catholic bishop of Peterborough, Ontario, from 1887-89, and of Hamilton, Ontario, from 1889-1924 (b in Shannagh County, Limerick, Ire 28 Feb 1840; d at Hamilton, Ont 6 Aug 1924). In 1851 Dowling migrated with his family to Hamilton, where he was ordained at Saint Mary's Cathedral on 5 October 1864. He was stationed first in Paris, Ontario, and quickly established himself as a gifted orator, an able financial administrator and a builder priest. He was vicar general of Hamilton in 1881 and was raised shortly thereafter to the monsignorate. In 1887 he became second bishop of Peterborough and in 1889 was installed as fourth bishop of Hamilton.

During his bishopric, Dowling oversaw great physical expansion in churches, convents and hospitals. His gregarious personality won him a personal affection, but it was his work in providing foreign-language services for non-English-speaking immigrants of the diocese which set him apart. The Resurrectionists at Saint Jerome's College, Berlin [Kitchener], trained German-speaking priests, and Italian parishes were established in Guelph and Hamilton, with Polish-speaking priests recruited for new congregations in Hamilton and Berlin.