First American Roman Catholic Cardinal; archbishop of New York. Bishop of Albany, NY. President of St. John's College (Fordham).
SIG - Vintage signature on a small card with title of office. Accompanied by a 4"x6.5" sepia-tone carte-de-viste by Sarony/New York. Both items in very good to fine condition.
Early in his priestly career, McCloskey expressed a desire to minister to the victims of the cholera epidemic in New York City. On the recommendation of his sponsor, Cornelius Heeney (a wealthy merchant) Bishop John Dubois sent McCloskey to Rome to strengthen his health and further his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University and University of Sapienza. He eventually abandoned his pursuit of a Doctorate of Divinity in Rome and, after touring Europe, returend to Manhattan where he served as pastor of St. Joseph's Church, Greenwich Village. There is showed particular concern for homeless children.
He was appointed coadjutor bishop of New York in 1843 on his 34th birthday (quite an accomplishment). He was instrumental in the conversion of Isaac Hecker, founder of the Paulist Fathers, and of James Roosevelt Bayley, later Archbishop of Baltimore.
In 1847, McCloskey was named first bishop of the newly-erected Diocese of Albany. Following the death of Archbishop John Hughes in 1864, McCloskey was widely expected to be named his successor. Distressed by the rumors, he wrote to Cardinal Karl von Reisach of the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, objected, "I possess neither the learning, nor prudence, nor energy, nor firmness, nor bodily health or strength." Nevertheless, he was appointed the second archbishop of New York. Following the end of the Civil War in 1865, he resumed construction of the new cathedral begun under his predecessor. He later dedicated St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1879.
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