Archbishop Neil McNeil

McNeilArchbishop Neil McNeil (1851–1934)

Date of Birth:
November 23, 1851, Hillsboro, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Ordination:
April 12, 1879, by Cardinal Constantino Patrizzi, Rome, Italy

Episcopal Ordination:
October 20, 1895, by Bishop John Cameron, Bishop of Antigonish, assisted by Bishop James McDonald, Bishop of Charlottetown, and Archbishop Michael Howley, Archbishop of St. John’s, at Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Length of Episcopacy:
1910–1912

Motto:
Quis ut Deus—Evangelizare pauperibus misit me. (Who is like God—He sent me to preach the good news to the poor.)

Upon returning from his ordination in Rome, Archbishop Neil McNeil, at that time Father McNeil, was appointed vice-rector and then rector of the College of St. Francis Xavier in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where he served between 1880 and 1891. Between 1891 and 1895 he was pastor in West Arichat and then Descousse, Nova Scotia. McNeil Coat of AmrsOn August 6, 1895, he was appointed titular bishop of Nilopolis and vicar apostolic of St. George’s, Newfoundland, by Pope Leo XIII. He would become bishop of St. George’s in 1904. On January 19, 1910, Bishop Neil McNeil was appointed to the Archdiocese of Vancouver. He was the first secular priest to be named archbishop of the Archdiocese; he was responsible for establishing suburban parishes and encouraging Catholic settlement in the Fraser Valley. Archbishop McNeil remained in his position for only two years, after which time he was appointed archbishop of Toronto. He died May 25, 1934, in Toronto, at the age of 82. (Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Toronto)


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