Jones, William Ambrose

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Bishop, missionary; b. Cambridge, New York, July 21, 1865; d. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Feb. 17, 1921. After joining the Augustinians in 1886 at Villanova, Pennsylvania, he made his religious profession on Feb. 6, 1887, and was ordained in Philadelphia by Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan in 1890. Having been assigned first to parishes in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey, he was master of novices and clerics at Villanova from 1896 to 1899. Following the SpanishAmerican War an appeal was made for American clerics to go to Cuba, and Jones was sent to Havana in January of 1899 to take charge of an old church called San Agustín (Spanish Augustinians had been in Cuba since the early 17th century). Two years later he opened the Colegio San Augustín, and in 1903 he assumed care of the church known as El Cristo. Jones's Cuban mission later developed into three parishes and a pontifical university (St. Thomas of Villanova, which was confiscated by the Castro government in April 1961). In 1906 he was appointed bishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico. When he was consecrated in Havana on Feb. 24, 1907, he became the second American bishop in Puerto Rico, succeeding James H. Blenk, SM (18991906).

[a. j. ennis]