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Styles of
John Joseph Mitty
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style none
Archbishop Mitty redirects here. For the high school in San Jose, California, see Archbishop Mitty High School.

John Joseph Mitty (20 January 1884—15 October 1961) was an American Roman Catholic bishop. He served as the third Bishop of Salt Lake City and the fourth Archbishop of San Francisco.

Mitty was born in New York City. He attended St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of New York on 22 December 1906.[1] During the First World War, he served as a chaplain in the Vicariate Apostolic for the Military. In 1919, Mitty was assigned to be Catholic chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. During Mitty's tenure at the Academy, General Douglas MacArthur served as Superintendent. [2]

He was appointed the third bishop of Salt Lake by Pope Pius XI on June 21, 1926,[1] and was ordained to the episcopate at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York,[2] on September 6, 1926. His Principal Consecrator was Archbishop Patrick Cardinal Hayes, and his Principal Co-Consecrators were Bishop John Joseph Dunn and Bishop Daniel Joseph Curley.[1] Bishop Mitty inherited a diocese deeply in debt. His predecessor had resorted to taking out new loans to pay the interest on previous debt, and left the diocese owing over $300,000. Mitty took control of the finances, focusing on improving the weekly offertory collection. When he left in 1932, the diocese was beginning to pay off its debts, and his successor was able to finish paying them off in 1936.[2]

In 1932 Pope Pius XI appointed Mitty to be the coadjutor to the Archdiocese of San Francisco and named him titular archbishop of Aegina.[1] Upon Archbishop Edward Joseph Hanna's retirement on March 2, 1935, Mitty succeeded as the fourth Archbishop of San Francisco, California. He was installed as archbishop and presented the pallium, the symbol of a metropolitan bishop, at a Pontifical High Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in September of that year.[3]

Mitty worked to rebuild or establish Catholic institutions in the archdiocese. His first act as archbishop was to direct his installation gift from the clergy to restoring Saint Patrick Seminary.[3] He had the archdiocese purchase the foreclosed upon St. Mary's College of California in 1937, and reopened the college in 1938.[4] In the twenty six years of his episcopate, 84 parishes and missions were founded in the archdiocese, and over 500 building projects were completed.[5]

Mitty caused controversy when he called for a boycott of the San Francisco News for factually reporting that a priest of the archdiocese was arrested, plead guilty, and fined for drunk driving, calling the coverage anti-Catholic.[6] He joined with several other American bishops and archbishops in criticizing the Moscow Declaration, particularly questioning the Soviet Union's motives.[7]

In 1951, Archbishop Mitty approved the establishment of the Western Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in San Francisco for the Western United States. He presided at the first investiture ceremony of the association in 1953.[8]

Archbishop Mitty died of a heart attack in Menlo Park, California.[5] He is buried in the Archbishops' Crypt at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, California. Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California, is named for him.

Preceded by
Joseph Sarsfield Glass, C.M.
Bishop of Salt Lake
Succeeded by
James Edward Kearney
Preceded by
Edward Joseph Hanna
Archbishop of San Francisco
Succeeded by
Joseph Thomas McGucken


  1. ^ a b c d "Archbishop John Joseph Mitty". Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  2. ^ a b c "A Tale of Two Cities". Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. January 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  3. ^ a b "Pallium to Mitty". TIME. September 16, 1935.,9171,749032,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  4. ^ "St. Mary's Resurgent". TIME. January 31, 1938.,9171,759075,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  5. ^ a b "Milestones". TIME. October 27, 1961.,9171,873522,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  6. ^ "Catholic Campaign". TIME. October 23, 1944.,9171,932487,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  7. ^ "Moscow: Catholic View". TIME. November 22, 1943.,9171,851844,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  8. ^ Carl Edwin Lindgren. "Some notes about the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the U.S.A.". Retrieved 2007-03-29.  


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