Bishop Martin J. O’Connor and the Pontifical North American College

By Monsignor Stephen M. DiGiovanni

As in most efforts, the influence of personalities is an important factor, sometimes overlooked. The re-opening of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and the building of the new College atop the Janiculum Hill, both works soon after the end of hostilities of World War II, are no exceptions. The personalities involved were large: Pope Pius XII; Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York; Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia; Edward Cardinal Mooney, Archbishop of Detroit; Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago; Count Enrico Galeazzi, Papal and College architect; Francesco Silvestri, College lawyer – and Bishop Martin J. O’Connor, the College Rector. And it is simply my self appointed goal to help set the record straight about Martin J. O’Connor and his greatest work as the second founder of the Pontifical North American College.”

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