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William Hickley Gross

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William Hickley Gross

The Most Reverend

William Hickley Gross

Archbishop of Oregon City
File:Archbishop William Hickley Gross.jpg
See Oregon City
Installed March 31, 1885
Term ended November 14, 1898
Predecessor Charles John Seghers
Successor Alexander Christie
Other posts Bishop of Savannah (1873-1885)
Ordination March 21, 1863
Consecration April 27, 1873
Personal details
Born (1837-06-12)June 12, 1837
Baltimore, Maryland
Died November 14, 1898(1898-11-14) (aged 61)
Baltimore, Maryland

William Hickley Gross, C.Ss.R. (June 12, 1837—November 14, 1898) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Savannah, Georgia (1873-1885) and Archbishop of Oregon City, Oregon (1885-1898).

Early Life

William Gross was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Jacob and Rachel (née Haslett) Gross.[1] His father was German and his mother was Irish;[2] his paternal ancestors came to the United States from Alsace during the nineteenth century.[3] Following his mother's death, his sister assumed responsibility for William and his five brothers.[1] He enrolled at St. Charles College in Ellicott City at age 13.[4] In 1853 he returned to work in his father's store after St. Charles decided that he was not suited for the priesthood.[5]


In 1857, William Gross entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (more commonly known as the Redemptorists) at Annapolis.[4]

Following the outbreak of the


On February 14, 1873, Gross was appointed the fifth Bishop of Savannah by Pope Pius IX.[6] He received his episcopal consecration on the following April 27 from Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley, with Bishops Thomas A. Becker and James Gibbons serving as co-consecrators.[6] At age 36, he was then the youngest member of the American hierarchy.[5] He selected as his episcopal motto: "Lumen Aeternum Mundo Effudit" (Latin: "She gave forth to the world the Everlasting Light").[7] During his tenure in Savannah, Gross laid the cornerstone of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in November 1873 and dedicated it in April 1876.[2] In addition to erecting several churches, schools, orphanages, and hospitals, he opened a men's college at Macon, introduced into the diocese the Jesuits and Benedictines, and established a diocesan newspaper, The Southern Cross, in 1875.[1][2][5]



After falling ill while giving a

See also

Biography portal
Catholicism portal
Georgia (U.S. state) portal
Oregon portal


External links

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Preceded by
Ignatius Persico, O.F.M. Cap.
Bishop of Savannah
Succeeded by
Thomas Albert Andrew Becker
Preceded by
Charles John Seghers
Archbishop of Oregon City
Succeeded by
Alexander Christie
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