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Peterson, John Bertram


Bishop, educator; b. Salem, Mass., July 15, 1871; d. Manchester, New Hampshire, March 15, 1944. Peterson studied at the Marist College in Van Buren, Maine, and at St. Anselm's College, Manchester, New Hampshire, before entering St. John's Seminary in Boston, Mass. He was ordained on Sept. 15, 1899 and spent two years studying church history at the Institut Catholique in Paris and at universities in Rome. Upon returning to St. John's Seminary, he became professor of church history, and two years later, professor of moral theology, a post he held for 20 years. While rector of St. John's (191126), he was named domestic prelate and held the archdiocesan posts of tribunal judge, defender of the bond, synodal examiner, moderator of ecclesiastical conferences, and consultor. In 1926 he was appointed pastor of St. Catherine of Genoa parish, Somerville, Massachusetts, and a year later was named titular bishop of Hippo and auxiliary to the archbishop of Boston. He was consecrated on Nov. 10, 1927. On the death of Bp. George A. Guertin, he was named to the See of Manchester and installed on July 14, 1932.

In New Hampshire, his influence was felt through his efforts to alleviate industrial problems. On the national scene, he was one of the founders (1904) of the National Catholic Educational Association and served as its president for five years. In 1930 President Herbert Hoover appointed him to a national commission that surveyed the U.S. educational system. He was vice chairman of the Administrative Council of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and episcopal chairman of its education department. He served as a trustee of both the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and of the North American College in Rome. In 1934 he was named an assistant at the pontifical throne.

[j. j. markham]

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