Fonds - Bishop Patrick Lambert fonds

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Bishop Patrick Lambert fonds

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20 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Patrick Lambert (1754-1816), Catholic bishop, was born in Gurtinminogue, Kildavin, County Wexford, Ireland in 1754. He died in a friary in Waterford, Ireland, on September 1816.

Lambert joined the Order of Friars Minor at Capranica, Italy in 1775. In that year he also began his studies for the priesthood at St. Isidore's College, Rome. He was ordained as a priest in Rome (1776) as a member of the Franciscan Community at Wexford, where he was engaged as a professor of a seminary attached to the convent. In 1781 he was appointed as a lecturer in philosophy at St. Anthony's College, Louvain, Belgium. Between 1783 and 1805 Rev. Lambert was active in the administration of the Franciscan order. In 1783 he was appointed guardian of St. Isidore's Friary in Rome, returning to Ireland in 1785. In 1794 he was elected one of the definitors (consultors) to the Reverend Provincial, with residence in Wexford, (1794-1801). In 1803 he was elected custos (assistant provincial) of the Irish Franciscans and a few months later, on the death of the Provincial, he became Vicar Provincial.

On 2 August 1805 Lambert was appointed by Pope Pius VII as Vicar-Apostolic of Newfoundland, with the right of succession to Bishop James O'Donel. Lambert was consecrated Bishop on 4 May 1806 in the old Franciscan church in Wexford; he became Vicar Apostolic of Newfoundland on 1 January 1807.

During his episcopate, tolerance towards Catholics became noticeable, the penal restrictions became more relaxed and the Roman Catholic population rapidly increased. In 1807 Lambert covered about 60 miles of coastline and confirmed 7400 people while visiting Conception Bay. During his tenure of office he brought several new priests to Newfoundland from Ireland. He extended the old chapel on Henry Street, St. John's and built a comfortable wooden building, which he used as an episcopal residence and an administrative centre. Before his death the government granted Lambert's request for the first Roman Catholic cemetery in Newfoundland and the right for Roman Catholic priests to witness the marriages of Catholics.

Bishop Lambert's health began to fail around 1813 and he left Newfoundland in 1815. He died at Wexford, Ireland, on 23 September 1816.

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Fonds consists of letters of appointment, diary notes, testimonial letters, land lease for the Old Chapel (St. John's), correspondence and a copy of his last will and testament. Fonds also includes newspaper clippings and printed material related to his life.

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  • English
  • Latin

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All canonical documents are in Latin. Translations are available.

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Associated materials

Reverend James O'Donel fonds, Reverend Patrick Cleary fonds, Reverend Thomas Scallan fonds; Basilica-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Parish fonds.

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Created - May 7, 2013

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  • English

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