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Edward John O'Dea

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Edward John O'Dea

The Most Reverend

Edward John O'Dea
Edward O'Dea
Church Roman Catholic Church
Diocese Diocese of Nesqually/Seattle
Installed June 13, 1896
Term ended December 25, 1932
Predecessor Egidius Junger
Successor Gerald Shaughnessy
Ordination December 23, 1882
Consecration September 8, 1896
Personal details
Born November 23, 1856
Boston, Massachusetts
Died December 25, 1932(1932-12-25) (aged 76)
Buried Holyrood Catholic Cemetery, Shoreline, Washington
Styles of
Edward John O'Dea
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor

Edward John O'Dea (November 23, 1856 – December 25, 1932) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Seattle from 1896 until his death in 1932.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, O'Dea was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Oregon City in 1876. He was named the third bishop of the Diocese of Nesqually in 1896. During his time as bishop, O'Dea moved the episcopal see of the diocese from Vancouver, Washington to Seattle, and the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Seattle. He was also responsible for the construction of the present-day St. James Cathedral, which opened in 1907.


Edward O'Dea was born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, to Edward and Ellen (née Kelly) O'Dea.[1] His parents were Irish immigrants, and his father traveled westward during the California Gold Rush in 1849.[1] The family later settled in Portland, Oregon, in 1866.[1] He attended St. Ignatius College in San Francisco, California, and graduated from St. Michael's College in Portland in 1876.[1] He continued his studies at the Grand Seminary of Montreal in Canada.

O'Dea was

On June 13, 1896, O'Dea was appointed the third Bishop of Nesqually, Washington, by Pope Leo XIII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 8 from Archbishop Gross, with Bishops Jean-Nicolas Lemmens and Alphonse Joseph Glorieux serving as co-consecrators, in Vancouver.[2] When he took office, O'Dea was confronted with financial difficulties, including a $25,000 debt for the construction of St. James Cathedral in Vancouver.[3] The name of the diocese was changed to the Diocese of Seattle on September 11, 1907.[2] He dedicated St. James Cathedral later that year.[3] He guided the diocese through World War I and the anti-Catholic sentiment engendered by Initiative 49, a Ku Klux Klan-sponsored initiative to make parochial schools illegal.[4] His final accomplishment was the establishment of St. Edward Seminary in Kenmore in 1930.[4]

O'Dea died on Christmas Day in 1932, at age 76.


External links

  • Find a Grave
Preceded by
Egidius Junger
Bishop of Seattle
Succeeded by
Gerald Shaughnessy
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