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Styles of
Thaddeus Amat y Brusi
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style none

Thaddeus Amat y Brusi, C.M. (Catalan: Tadeu Amat i Brusi) was a Roman Catholic cleric who eventually became Bishop of Los Angeles, California.

Contents

Birth and Early Career

Amat was born in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, Spain on December 31, 1810. He was ordained a priest of the religious order of the Congregation of the Missions (Lazarists) in 1838 at Paris, France. Subsequently, he came to the United States as a religious missionary to Louisiana; later serving as a novice master in Missouri and Pennsylvania.

Appointed Bishop

In 1853, while serving as the rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, he was appointed bishop of Monterey in California. Monterey's previous bishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany had been promoted to archbishop of the newly created Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Amat was ordained bishop in Rome in 1854. Recognising the growth of Los Angeles and the decline of Monterey, he petitioned the Vatican to move the see to Los Angeles and to be known as Bishop of Los Angeles. Amat arrived in the pueblo of Los Angeles in 1855. On July 7, 1859, the diocese was renamed Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles. St. Vibiana's Cathedral was founded and consecrated during the episcopacy of Amat, and Amat himself brought back from Rome the remains (relics) of the saint that were housed in a sarcophogus above the cathedral's altar.

Dispute over Californian Missions

Bishop Amat came into conflict with Friar José González Rubio of the Mission Santa Barbara over the control of the mission after the U.S. President Abraham Lincoln returned the California missions to the Catholic church. The Franciscans claimed on canonical and historical grounds that the missions were rightfully under their direct jurisdiction, and not that of the diocese, and that, in the case of Mission Santa Barbara, they should hold the deed.

Schools founded

Bishop Amat founded some of the first schools in Los Angeles and invited the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul to open St. Vincent's College (now known as Loyola Marymount University). It was the first institution of higher learning in Southern California. He invited Franciscans into his diocese to work in the parochial schools, and also invited the Sisters of Charity and Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary into his diocese.

Death

Amat died on May 12, 1878, at Los Angeles, California, and was succeeded by his coadjutor bishop, Francisco Mora y Borrell who (like Alemany and Amat) was also Catalan. He is buried in the Bishop's crypt of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, California is named for him and his tombstone is located at the school's chapel.

Preceded by
Joseph Sadoc Alemany
Bishop of Monterey
1853–1859
Succeeded by
See of Monterey-Los Angeles
Preceded by
See of Monterey
Bishop of Monterey-Los Angeles
1859–1878
Succeeded by
Francisco Mora y Borrell

References

  • Who Was Who in America: Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1967.
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