John T Sullivan.

Sacerdotal silver jubilee of Rt. Rev. John J. Kain ... second bishop of Wheeling, July 2, 1891 online

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Online LibraryJohn T SullivanSacerdotal silver jubilee of Rt. Rev. John J. Kain ... second bishop of Wheeling, July 2, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 6)
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■c collegiate studies at Emmitsburg,
Md., and bis philosophical and theological studies at St. Sul-
pice, Paris, France. A brief biographical notice o£ his life and
labors is given by Richard II. Clark, LL.D., " Lives of the De-
ceased Bishops «»f the Catholic Church in United States." After
an episcopate of thirty-three years Rt. Rev. Dr. Wnelan died in
Baltimore, his birthplace, July 7th, 1874. As a prelate his rec-
ord is as bright and glorious as that of any bishop of the church

6 Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee

from the days of the Most Rev. John Carroll, first bishop in the
States, to his own day. He was a model in everything — simple as
a child, gifted and learned in an extraordinary degree. He was a
man of indomitable will, of wonderful courage and of a power of
endurance that knew no bounds. It was frequently remarked
that he lived out of his time ; that he belonged to the great galaxy
of Fathers of the early church. As a churchman his life was so
grand, so heroic that it may be termed apostolic. The demon-
stration on the occasion of his funeral July 10th, 1874, attested
the veneration in which he was held by the whole community,
non-Catholic as well as Catholic.

The Diocese was wisely and ably governed from July 7th,
1874, to May, 1875, by Very Rev. H. F. Parke, administrator
sede vacante.

Rt. Rev. John J. Kain, D.D.

Y Apostolic Letters, bearing date February 12th, 1875,
Rev. John J. Kain was appointed second bishop of
Wheeling. The diocese comprises the State of West
Virginia, except the following counties, which are in
the Diocese of Richmond : Pendleton, Grant, Mineral,
Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson ;
also all that portion of the State of Virginia lying west of the
counties of Patrick, Franklin and Roanoke ; also that portion of
Craig County which in 1850 belonged to the County of Mont-

Rt. Rev. John J. Kain's consecration took place in the Wheel-
ing Cathedral, May 23d, 1875.

or Kt. Rev. Johx J. Kaix, D.D. 7

Farewell Correspondence Between Bishop Kain and
His Old Congregation.

To the Rigid Rev. Dr. J. J. Kain, Bishop of Wheeling:

Very Rev. Sir: In view of your recent elevation to the dig-
nity of the mitre, we, the undersigned, members of your late con-
gregation at Harper's Ferry, beg leave to give expression to our
feelings on this auspicious event. Our emotions are singularly
compounded of grief, satisfaction and pride. We feel that your
inevitable removal from us will entail a loss not easily remedied,
for we but echo the general opinion entertained by men of all re-
ligious denominations in this community when we say that, while
your zeal in the cause of heaven has been singularly fruitful in
good, your talents and learning have rendered the services of the
Church more than usually attractive, and commanded the respect
of even indifference and unbelief.

Our sorrow, however, is more than counterbalance. 1 by the re-
flection that our loss is the gain of the Church, and that your re-
moval from us only gives a wider field for the exercise of the
extraordinary powers with which you are professedly endowed,
and which were partially lost to religion while yon occupied the
comparatively obscure position of a missionary priest. The church
has again fallen on evil days, and not even when the heroic
Athanasius combatted the first great heresy, and vindicated the
Godhead of her divine founder, or when the ferocious feuds of
Guelphs and Ghibellines obliged the Pontiffs to take refuge among
the peaceful shades of Avignon, did the tempest rage as it does
now around the "Barque of Peter." The Eoly See realizes this
fact, and inspired as ever by divine wisdom, it is nol alow in rec-
ognizing the clear heads and atoul hearts which the occasiozi de-
mands, and which, in pursuance of God's promise, are never lack-
ing, and we reflect with pride that our beloved pastor has been
designated by the infallible Vicar of Christ as one to whom the

8 Saceedotal Silver Jubilee

helm may be safely entrusted. With these mingled feelings we
present you with this expression of our good will, and, as we pray
that your future course may not belie the glorious promise of your
youth, we beg that you reciprocate by invoking for us the blessing
of the God whom you have so faithfully served, and in whose army
you now take so exalted a rank. Trusting that our mutual good
wishes and prayers may meet the favorable attention of heaven.

We remain your ever faithful and loving children in Christ.

My Dear Friends and Beloved Children of Christ: Mine is
not an easy task to put in words what my heart now feels. Your
address, with its accompanying token of affectionate esteem, has
aroused me to a fuller realization of my approaching change, and
the sad parting it will entail.

I have given the matter much serious thought. I have often
looked ahead and brought to mind the coming separation from
my dearly loved flock, and the pain it was going to inflict. But
as the time draws near for my final departure, I feel more keenly
the pang of parting, and whilst I thank you — but thank is too
cold and formal a word; I only use it for want of a better —
whilst, then, I thank you from my heart for the kind, affectionate
sentiments you express towards me, I cannot but own that their
very expression has made me feel very sad, for I am thereby
warned how soon the rending will come of ties most dear and
sacred — how soon I must forever leave those among whom I have
spent all the years of my ministry, and whom I have grown to
love with all a father's affection.

Cheerfully would I still minister to you and spend my remain-
ing years among you, for you have always showed me the docility
and devotedness which gladdens the heart and stimulates the zeal
of a pastor of souls. But God, our Master, has deemed it other-
wise, and you and I must bow in humble submission to His will,
as expressed in the voice of His Vicar upon earth — the Sovereign

Though I must now leave my present home, endeared by so

of Rt. Rev. John J. Kain, D. D. 9

many pleasant memories, I shall ever entertain in my heart the
most grateful recollection and wannest appreciation of your kind-
ness and affection, of which your handsome and so appreciated a
gift is the pledge, as it will be the memento.

That God may bless you with every good gift is the fervent
wish and daily prayer of your devoted friend and father in Christ,

John -I. Kain,
Bisfo p elect of Wheeling.

As the election and consecration of Rev. .John J. Kain as

Bishop of Wheeling is the great event of twenty-fiv< of his

priesthood, it is deemed becoming to record the fact with its
solemn ceremonies in this Silver Jubilee pamphlet.

(From Daily Intelli . May J4th, 1875).

Consecration Ceremonies of Rt. Rev. J. J. Kain, 1>.1».

Ill-] consecration of a Bishop is considered one of the
most august ceremonies of the Roman Catholic
Church. The various ceremonii iplendid and

impressive, and, in the words of a late distinguished
prelate, " those who regard it as an idle display,
Btr o it.- nature and meaning." The essentia]

rite by which the power of the Episcopacy i- communicated is the
imposition of hands, with prayer; hut every ceremony, such a- the
preparatory examination, the delivery of the emblems of pastoral
authority, etc., hae a significance. The entire ceremony, when
thoroughly understood, i.- at once beautiful, interesting, and im-


The death of lit. Rev. Bishop Whelan, of this dicx
about one year ago, and the Bubsequenl appointment oi Rev. -I. .1.
Kain, of Martmsburg, W. Va., aa his successor, are well known

10 Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee

to the public. The consecration of the new Bishop was looked
forward to with an unusual degree of interest, it being the first
ceremony of the kind ever witnessed in the Virginias, either be-
fore or since the birth of the new State. It had been announeed
that Bishop Kain would be consecrated on Sunday morning, May
23d, and for some weeks past the clergy in this city were engaged
in active preparations for the important event. An immense
crowd was attracted to the Cathedral, many coming from a dis-
tance to witness the imposing ceremony. By 10 o'elock in the
morning the edifice was crowded in every part, and hundreds were
unable to obtain even a glimpse of the inside of the church.
Among the distinguished gentlemen who occupied seats in the
Cathedral were several of the officers of the State government,
members of both branches of the Legislature, members of the
City Council, and leading clergymen of the city and vicinity.


The interior of the Cathedral was handsomely decorated with
flowers and evergreens. Inside the chancel, above the altars and
thrones, over the images and on the walls around the chapels,
beautiful flowers had been arranged with much taste and effect ;
and the myriads of gas jets and wax candles shone upon a brilliant
scene. The pillars of the church were trimmed with evergreen,
with white roses at intervals.


About 10:30 o'clock, Prof. Herman Ebeling began a volun-
tary upon the organ, and an instant later the procession entered
the Cathedral from the door opening on Eoff Street, in the fol-
lowing order :

Cross-bearers with cross.


Thurifers bearing censers with burning incense.

The Acolytes.

Ecclesiastical Students.

of Rt. Rev. Johs .). Kain, D.D. 11

Diocesan Priests — about twenty-four in number.

Eminent clergy of other dioceses — about thirty in all.

Hi-hops Rosecrans, Domenec, Shanahau and O'Hara.

.Rev. J. J. Kain, the Bishop-elect, supported on cither Bide by

Bishops Becker and Gibbons.

Archbishop Bayley.

Arch Priest, Deacon and Sub-Deacon.

how tup: participants WERE CLOTHED.

Bishop Rosecrans, of Columbus, Ohi; Bishop Domenec, of
Pittsburg, Pa.; Bishop Shanahau, of Harrisburg, l'a.; ami Bishop
O'Hara, of Scranton, Pa., were dressed in purple mantelets or
capes. Bishops Becker and Gibbons were in Bishop's vesture and
caps, but the Bishop-elect appeared only in dark BOUtau and -ur-
plice. Archbishop Bayley wore his cope and mitre, and
carried in his right hand his crosier. As usual, the traditional
train-hearers were on hand to hear the Bishops' long train.

Upon arriving in the chancel, Archbishop Bayley, of Haiti-
more, who officiated as Consecrator, was vested in lull pontificals.
The Bishop-elect put on the aniict, all), cincture and stole, crossed
upon his heart as a priest, and took the cope and sandals.

Bishops Rosecrans and Shanahau took .-eats on the right of

the altar, the former next to an inner d \ and the latter nearer

the congregation. On the left of the altar, and near the Arch-
bishop's' throne, Bishops O'llara and Domenec seated themselves.
The former sat next to the congregation. The members of the
clergy were -eated just in front of the chancel.

consecrator AM> assistants.

Archbishop Bayley, the ( lonsecrator, was assisted by Very Rev.
J. Paul Dubreul, President of St. Mary'- Beminary, Baltimore,
as Arch-Priest, and the assistants of the Bishop-elecl were Bishop
Gibbons, of Richmond, Va., and Bishop Becker, of Wilmington,
Delaware. Rev. Stanislaus Perte, Preaidenl of St. Charles Col-
lege, near Baltimore, was the Master of Ceremonies; Rev. D.

12 Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee

O'Connor, of Clarksburg, W. Va., was Deacon of the Mass, and
Rev. Joseph W. Stenger, of Charlestown, W. Va., Sub-Deacon.


After the Consecrator had been vested he sat down at the
altar, and the elect, wearing his small cap, was led to him by the
assistant Bishops, who saluted the Consecrator and sat down,
Bishop Becker, as the senior Bishop, on the right, and Bishop
Gibbons on the left of the elect. A pause ensued, when the as-
sistant Bishops uncovered their heads and rose, and Bishop Becker
addressed the Consecrator, stating in Latin that he was required
" to raise this priest here present to the burthensome office of


The Consecrator then asked the senior assistant if he had the
Apostolic Commission, and upon being answered in the affirmative
commanded that it be read. The document was presented by the
assisting Bishop to the Consecrator's Notary, who read it aloud.
When he had concluded, the Consecrator said " Thanks be to
God." Not only this " Papal Bull," but the ceremony through-
out, with the exception of the sermon, was in the Latin language.


The Consecrator then administered to the elect his oath of
duty and fidelity, a literal translation of which is here presented :

" I, 1ST., elect of the church of 1ST., will be from this hour hence-
forward obedient to blessed Peter the Apostle, and to the Holy
Roman Church, and to the most blessed Father, Pope N., and to
his successors canonically chosen. I will assist them to retain and
to defend against any man whatever the Roman Popedom, with-
out prejudice to my rank. I will take care to preserve, defend
and promote the rights, honors, privileges and authority of the
Holy Roman Church, of the Pope, and of his successors, as afore-
said. With my whole strength I will observe, and cause to be
observed by others, the rules of the Holy Fathers, the decrees, or-

of Et. Rbv. Johm J. Kain, D.D. 13

dinances or dispositions, ami mandates of the Apostolic See.
When called to a Synod, I will come, unless I be prevented by a
canonical impediment. I will personally visit the Apostolic See
once every ten years, and render an account to our most blessed
Father N., and his successors as aforesaid, of my whole pastoral
office, and of everything in any way appertaining to the state of
my Church, to the discipline of the clergy and people, and to the
salvation of the souls entrusted to my care, and I will humbly re-
ceive in return the Apostolic mandates, and most diligently exe-
cute them. But if I be prevented by a lawful impediment, I will
perform all the things aforesaid by a certain messenger specially
authorized for this purpose, a priest of the diocese, or by Borne
secular or regular priest of tried virtue and piety, well instructed
on all the above subjects.

" I will not sell nor give away nor mortgage, enfeoff anew,
nor in any way alienate the possessions belonging to my table,
without the leave of the Roman Pontiff. And Bhould I pn
to any alienation of them, 1 am willing to contract, by the very
fact, the penalties specified in the Constitution published on this

The above oath was taken on bended knees. The Consecrator
sat wearing his mitre, because he excreted authority, and because
he was the superior of the Bishop-elect. The frequent taking off
and putting on of his mitre arose from the variety of offices which
he performed through the ceremony. When answering the Con-
secrator, the Bishop-elect uncovered his head to signify respect.


After the oath had been administered the elect and his a
ant.- were seated, and the Consecrator and assistants proa
with the form .D. 15

the majesty of God. While all the c fcion and clergy w

kneeling the Consecrator rose ap, and with In- crosier in his

left hand, turned toward them and prayed aloud that " God may

vouchsafe to bless f and sanctify t and consecrate t this elect here



The Litanies concluded, the Consecrator, aided by the assistant
Bishops, placed the Bible, open, upon the shoulders of the eli
who knelt before him. [t was placed inversely, so that the bottom
of the page was turned toward the Consecrator, and was so held

by one of the clergy until it was given to the elect. The i

tion meant to be conveyed by this rite was that the Gospel should

not be to him a sealed book.

The Consecrator and assistant Bishops then put their hands
simultaneously upon the head of the elect, each of them touch]
the head with both hands, saying, " Receive thou the Holy Gl
The prayers which followed determine the Imposition of hands to
signify and confer the grace and power of the Episcopa. y.

The Sacred Canticle, altera Bhort prayer, was sung by the
Consecrator, after which the head of the elect was bound with
some tine linen prepared for the purpose. The Consecrator, on
bended kne< , iegan the hymn, "Veni Creator Spiritus," which
was continued by the rest. While the choir were singing the hymu
th«' Consecrator seated himself, and, wearing the mitre, made the

pign ofa CrOJ - with holy chri.-nioii the head of the I bop, and

anointed the whole crown, saying, " -May thy head be anointed and
consecrated with heavenly blessing, in the Pontifical Order, in
the name of the Father,! and of the 8on,tand of the Holy Gh08t.t"
This unction, which is intended to signify the interior unction of
the Holy Spirit, is a rite of antiquity in the Latin Church. ,
Consecrator, after cleansing his thumb with a crumb of bread, laid

aside his mitre and arose and delivered a brief address, which was

followed by an antiphon chanted by the clergy.

16 Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee


Psalm CXXXII was also chanted by the clergy, during which
the elect had a cloth placed upon his neck to support his hands, and
joining them side by side knelt before the Consecrator, who
anointed the palms with chrism in the figure of a cross, and then
their entire surface. This unction is intended 'to signify the powers
that are imparted to him.


The Consecrator again cleansed his thumb with a piece
of bread, and laying aside his mitre, arose and blessed the crosier,
which he sprinkled with holy wafer. The crosier, or the pastoral
staff, is blessed to signify that the power of the pastoral office
must be derived from " God, the supporter of human weakness."
The newly-consecrated, kneeling, received the staff with his fore
and middle fingers, without disjoining the hands, which were sus-
pended from the neck in a linen scarf, through reverence for the
oil with which they were anointed. The ring was then blessed,
sprinkled with holy water, and placed upon the proper finger of
the right hand of the consecrated. The ring is an emblem of the
fidelity which a Bishop owes to the Church.


The Bible was then taken from the shoulders of the consecra-
ted and placed in his hands, and he was commanded to go and
preach to the people committed to his care. He then received the
kiss of peace from the Consecrator and his assistants, each saying
to him, "Peace be to thee," and he answering, " And with thy
spirit." After this he was conducted to a side chapel, where the
crown of his head was rubbed and dried, to take away the chrism,
and his 1 hair adjusted. The Mass was proceeded with to the offer-
tory, when " Credo," from " Farmers' Mass," was sung by Miss
Hubbard, Mrs. Whittaker, Mr. Lucas and Mr. Caldwell.

At the conclusion of the music, Right Rev. Bishop Gibbons,
of Richmond, Ya., delivered an eloquent sermon, taking for his

of Rt. Rev. John J. Kain, D.D. 17

text the 5th chap, of the 2nd Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthi-
ans, beginning with the 18th verse. We are unable to give more
than a brief outline of the Rt. Reverend gentleman's remarks.

1 3 4 5 6

Online LibraryJohn T SullivanSacerdotal silver jubilee of Rt. Rev. John J. Kain ... second bishop of Wheeling, July 2, 1891 → online text (page 1 of 6)