John Lancaster Spalding

Infobox bishopbiog
name = John Lancaster Spalding †

religion = Roman Catholic
See = Diocese of Peoria
Title = Bishop of Peoria
Period = May 23, 1877 – September 11, 1908
Predecessor =
Successor = Edmund Michael Dunne
Reason = Retirement
ordination = December 19, 1863
bishops =
post =
date of birth = June 2, 1840
place of birth = Lebanon, Kentucky, USA
date of death = August 25, 1916
place of death = Peoria, Illinois, USA

John Lancaster Spalding (June 2, 1840August 25, 1916) was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria from 1877 to 1908 [ [ John Lancaster Spalding] , Historic Peoria] and a co-founder of The Catholic University of America.

Peoria's Catholic high school for boys, Spalding Institute, was named for him; the school was closed in 1989 during the Peoria Notre Dame High School merger. Spalding Hall at The Catholic University of America is also named for him.

Early years

He was born on June 2, 1840 in Lebanon, Kentucky and ordained a priest at age 23, on December 19, 1863, in the Diocese of Louisville.cite web
title = Bishop John Lancaster Spalding †
url =
work = Catholic-Hierarchy
date = 2007-10-06
accessdate = 2008-01-12
] His uncle, Martin John Spalding, later became Bishop of Louisville then Archbishop of Baltimore, but did not live to see John himself become bishop.cite web
title = Archbishop Martin John Spalding †
url =
work = Catholic-Hierarchy
date = 2007-10-06
accessdate = 2008-01-12


On November 11, 1876, Pope Pius IX appointed Spalding as the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, newly created out of part of the then-Diocese of Chicago. He was installed as the first Bishop of Peoria on May 23, 1877cite web
title = Bishop John Lancaster Spalding
first = Albina
last = Aspell
url =
work = The Catholic Post
publisher = Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria
accessdate = 2008-01-12
] by John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, with Thomas Patrick Roger Foley, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago presiding.

As bishop, Spalding was a proponent of education. He was instrumental in the founding of The Catholic University of America, [] and several Catholic schools in Peoria were founded during his tenure.fact|date=January 2008 He also oversaw the construction of St. Mary's Cemetery just outside Peoria (now in West Peoria, Illinois).

Spalding was the author of several books, including a biography of his uncle Archbishop Martin John Spalding, and poetry under the pseudonym Henry Hamilton.

Spalding became paralyzed from a stroke in 1905 and, as a result, retired on September 11, 1908 at the age of 68 and was appointed Titular Bishop of Scythopolis, by Pope Pius X. He died on August 25, 1916, aged 76.


* "Essays and Reviews"
* "Lectures and Discourses"
* "Education and the Higher Life"
* "The Poet's Praise" (as Henry Hamilton)
* "Opportunity and Other Essays" (as Henry Hamilton)


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