Farley, John Murphy

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Cardinal, fourth archbishop of New York; b. County Armagh, Ireland, Apr. 20, 1842; d. New York, NY, Sept. 17, 1918. John was the fourth and youngest child of Philip and Catherine (Murphy) Farrelly, who died when he was very young. His maternal uncle, Patrick Murphy, had immigrated to New York in 1830 and, prospering in the furniture business, had become interested in educating a nephew for the priesthood. John wrote asking for the opportunity and was trained in the local schools and at St. Macartan's College, Monaghan, the preparatory seminary of the Diocese of Clogher. In 1864 he went to New York and entered Fordham College (University) as a junior. In 1865 he entered St. Joseph's Seminary, Troy, NY, and was sent to the North American College, Rome, in 1866. He was ordained in Rome for the Archdiocese of New York on June 11, 1870, by Cardinal Constantine Patrizi.

On his return to New York he was appointed curate at St. Peter's parish, Staten Island, and remained there until July 1872 when he became secretary to Cardinal John mccloskey, whom he had met during vatican council i (186970). At this time he changed the spelling of his name from Farrelly to Farley. During the next 30 years, Farley played an important part in the affairs of the archdiocese and moved steadily up the administrative ladder. He was secretary from 1872 until 1884 and vicar general of the archdiocese from 1891 to 1902. In the latter period he was also pastor of St. Gabriel's parish. He became a papal chamberlain in 1884, a domestic prelate in 1892, prothonotary apostolic and titular bishop of Zeugma, successively, in 1895; he was consecrated on Dec. 21, 1895, by Abp. Michael A. corrigan. Finally, on Sept. 25, 1902, he became the fourth archbishop of New York and, on Nov. 27, 1911, cardinal priest with the title church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

Two-thirds of Farley's priestly life was spent in close association with McCloskey and Corrigan, whose personalities and careers greatly influenced his own. He admired both, but modeled himself on McCloskey. His dominant traits were caution and the love of peace. The wounds left by the mcglynn affair were healed as far as possible.

Farley was the first American ordinary to distribute papal honors widely among those of his clergy who did not hold high administrative posts. He was a pleasing speaker with a wide range of interests, was fluent in French and Italian, and read Spanish. During his administration the number of parochial schools in the archdiocese doubled. He was a friend of The Catholic University of America and a supporter of higher education for women. He was also a patron of the old Catholic Encyclopedia. He continued his predecessor's interest in St. Joseph's Seminary, the major seminary of the archdiocese, and carried out his plans for the minor seminary, Cathedral College, which he opened in 1903. He supported the Propagation of the Faith with enthusiasm and welcomed the founders of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America (Maryknoll) to New York in 1911. He wrote two books, The History of St. Patrick's Cathedral (1908), and The Life of John Cardinal McCloskey (1918). He died of pneumonia in 1918 and was buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Bibliography: m. j. lavelle, "John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York," American Ecclesiastical Review 60 (1919) 113125. a. j. shipman, His Eminence, John, Cardinal Farley (New York 1912).

[f. d. cohalan]