Henry Damian Juncker

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Henry Damian Juncker (born August 22, 1809 in Fénétrange , Lorraine , France , † October 2, 1868 in Alton , Illinois , USA ) was a German -born American Catholic bishop .


Juncker came at a very early age in the US and later studied at a seminary before on March 16, 1834 his ordination by the bishop of Cincinnati , John Baptist Purcell , took place. He then became pastor of the Church of the Holy Trinity (Church of the Holy Trinity), the first German church in Cincinnati ; called. In 1836 he was appointed pastor in Canton , Ohio , and in 1846 pastor of the Emanuel Church of Dayton , Ohio. He was not only responsible for some English-speaking communities, but also for more than a dozen German-speaking settlements.

On January 9, 1857 he was appointed bishop of the newly established diocese of Alton . On April 26 of the same year, John Baptist Purcell, who had meanwhile been raised to Archbishop of Cincinnati, donated him episcopal ordination . Co- consecrators were the Bishop of Milwaukee , John Henni , and the Bishop of Erie , Joshua Young .

The diocese spanned much of Illinois but had only 18 priests at the time. At the beginning of 1858 he traveled to Europe and returned in July 1858 with four seminarians , whom he subsequently ordained as priests . He was also able to persuade the Saxon Franciscan Province to send eight Franciscans who arrived in Alton on September 21, 1858 and took over pastoral care in the local parish on October 3. In just over a year, the number of priests in the diocese rose to 42 and eight new churches were built. In 1859 the construction of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, one of the most beautiful churches in the USA, was completed. The visits to his diocese were extensive and led to the establishment of new congregations, to which he then sent clergymen. In addition, he also performed many of the duties of a simple priest. Another focus of his work was education: in addition to founding two colleges for boys and six academies for girls, he also founded a seminary next to the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, two hospitals and an orphanage. At the time of his death, there were 100 priests and 25 theology students serving in 125 churches. There were also 56 community schools and a number of brotherhoods.

Bishop Juncker spoke French as well as German and English. His personal friendships extended beyond his own religious affiliation.

After Juncker's death, Peter Joseph Baltes was appointed the new Bishop of Alton on September 24th.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Lothar Hardick OFM: For the centenary of the Order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in North America. In: Vita Seraphica , 39, 1958, pp. 226–232, now also in: Dieter Berg (Hrsg.): Spiritualität und Geschichte. Ceremony for Lothar Hardick OFM on his 80th birthday. Werl 1993, ISBN 3-87163-195-7 , pp. 157-161, here pp. 157 f.