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Right Reverend
Clement Smyth, OCSO, DD
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Senior posting
See Dubuque
Title Bishop of Dubuque
Period in office February 20, 1858—September 22, 1865
Consecration May 9, 1857
Predecessor Mathias Loras
Successor John Hennessy
Religious career
Priestly ordination May 29, 1841
Date of birth February 24, 1810(1810-02-24)
Place of birth Finlea, County Clare, Ireland
Date of death September 22, 1865 (aged 55)
Place of death Dubuque, Iowa

Timothy Clement Smyth, OCSO (February 24, 1810 – September 22, 1865) was a 19th century Roman Catholic bishop. who served as the second leader of the Diocese of Dubuque following the death of Bishop Mathias Loras.


Timothy Smyth was born on February 24, 1810 in Finlea, County Clare, Ireland. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He took the name of Clement when he entered Mount Melleray Abbey in Ireland. He professed religious vows as a member of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, also known as the Trappists. He was ordained a priest at the abbey on May 29, 1841. Father Smyth came to the Dubuque, Iowa area when the Trappists were invited to establish a monastery in the diocese by Bishop Mathias Loras. Smyth established what would become New Melleray Abbey on July 16, 1849, and served as the first prior of the monastery.

Bishop Loras realized that his health was failing and he requested a coadjutor bishop from the Holy See. On January 9, 1857 Pope Pius IX named Father Smyth the Titular Bishop of Thennesus and Coadjutor Bishop of Dubuque. Because of the time involved in sending communications, the papers from Rome did not arrive in Dubuque until April, 1857. On May 9, 1857, Father Smyth was consecrated by Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick of Saint Louis in Old St. Raphael's Cathedral. Bishops John Martin Henni of Milwaukee and Anthony O'Regan of Chicago served as co-consecrators.[1]

After his consecration as bishop, Smyth directed the construction of the present St. Raphael's Cathedral. The health of Bishop Loras continued to decline, but Loras was well enough to hold the first Mass in the new cathedral on Christmas Day, 1857. Just under two months later, Bishop Loras died, February 20, 1858. On that day Bishop Smyth succeeded Loras as the second bishop of Dubuque.

The Altar of the Mortuary Chapel at St. Raphael's Cathedral

Bishop Smyth was known for his deep piety and boundless charity. He would oversee the continued expansion of the church's presence in Iowa as immigration continued into the state. Because of difficult economic times and the American Civil War, not much progress was made on building new churches.[2] Bishop Smyth led the diocese for seven years until his death on September 22, 1865.

He was succeeded by Bishop John Hennessy, who became Dubuque's first archbishop. Before his death in 1900, Archbishop Hennessy requested that a mortuary chapel be built to serve as a final resting place for bishops and archbishops of Dubuque. In 1902 the mortuary chapel was completed. The body of Bishop Smyth was brought to the cathedral, and reburied in the mortuary chapel.

Bishop Smyth's final resting place




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