Life and Times of John Timon (1797-1867): The First Bishop of Buffalo, New York

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Outstanding Book
This excellent book is a biography of John Timon (1797-1867), the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York. Beginning with the formative period of his youth, as well as his years as a member of the Vincentian order, this book gives a detailed account of Timon’s leadership in Buffalo. While Timon’s many contributions in the areas of education and social services are documented, this study also deals at length with his involvement in issues of great significance for the larger Catholic community in the United States, in particular, trusteeism and the issue of Catholic assimilation into American society. This monograph is the first historical study of the founding bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Western New York. The author has studied all the available sources and provides a reliable account of both the religious and the social problems of the Buffalo diocese during its first fifty years. This study will be of interest to scholars in American social and religious history. It is an essential resource for all research and Catholic libraries.


“This biography of John Timon, first Bishop of the Buffalo, New York diocese, helps to fill an important need for more thorough studies of the emergence of Catholicism in the United States. In the wake of excellent surveys by writers such as Martin Marty, Jay Dolan and Patrick Carey, Dr. Riforgiato’s book provides a detailed account of ‘grass roots’ growth and development in the Church during the mid nineteenth-century. The picture that emerges is of a faith that was richer for Timon’s presence but also poorer for its refusal to follow his lead on key issues ... Dr. Riforgiato emphasizes that Timon represented an alternative that the Church never followed. The newness of Buffalo, with its more diverse ethnic and civic identities, complemented Timon’s approach in ways that other dioceses could not at the time ...” – Professor John Waldmeir, Loras College

Table of Contents

1. Youth and the Vincentian Years
2. God Has Made Buffalo: The History of the City Before Timon
3. Trusteeism and the Planting of the Catholic Church in Buffalo
4. John Timon, Bishop of Buffalo: The Early Years
5. Timon Versus the Trustees of St. Louis Church, Round 1
6. Timon Versus the Trustees of St. Louis Church, Round 2
7. Timon Versus the Trustees of St. Louis Church, Round 3
8. Timon, Hughes, and Irish Colonization
9. Timon and Politics, Civil War, and Fenianism
10. Timon, the American Hierarchy, and the Clergy of Buffalo

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