Blanc, Anthony Dd

Blanc, Anthony D.D., a Roman Catholic bishop, was born at Sury, near Lyons, France, Oct. 11, 1792. In 1816 he was admitted to the priesthood, and soon after, upon invitation of bishop Dubourg of New Orleans, he volunteered for the American mission. On his arrival, in 1817, he spent a short time at Annapolis, Md., and then proceeded south-west through Kentucky. His first mission was at Vinceines in 1818; in 1820 he was called to New Orleans by Dr. Dubourg, and appointed associate vicar-general. In 1830 he declined an appointment as coadjutor to bishop De Neckere, but in 1833, on the death of that prelate, he was elected administrator of the diocese, and in 1835 was appointed bishop, and consecrated in the cathedral of New Orleans, Nov. 22 of that year. The diocese of New Orleans then included Louisiana and Mississippi, and subsequently Texas. The Roman Catholic population was large, but careless and inert. Churches were few, small, and widely scattered; religious teaching was at the lowest ebb, while charitable institutions were almost unknown. The new bishop called to his aid the Lazarists, Jesuits, Redemptorists, and other orders, besides various communities of women, who opened schools and asylums. In 1838 a diocesan seminary was established in the parish of Assumption, and soon several colleges and schools. In 1843-44 the lay trustees of the Cathedral of St. Louis refused to recognize his episcopal authority, but after several months' litigation, and upon an appeal to the state legislature, he triumphed. On the recommendation of the seventh council of Baltimore, New Orleans was erected into an archdiocese July 19, 1850, Blanc being raised to the dignity of a metropolitan, with four suffragans. In 1854 he visited Rome, and assisted in the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The following year he summoned the first council of New Orleans, and initiated measures for its better government. Bishop Blanc died suddenly, after celebrating mass, June 20, 1860, admired by all for "his amiability of character, and unbounded charity to all men." See (N.Y.) Cath. Almanac, 1875, p. 44; De Courcy and Shea, Hist. of the Cath. Church in the U. S. p. 607-609.

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