Vertin, John

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Third bishop of Marquette, MI; b. Dobliče, Carniola, Austria, July 17, 1844; d. Marquette, Feb. 26, 1899. His family immigrated to Houghton, Michigan (1863), where his father established a business. Accepted by Bp. F. Baraga as a student for the diocese, Vettin continued his education first with the great missionary John Čebul and later at St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was ordained Aug. 31, 1866, and successfully fulfilled pastorates at Houghton and Negaunee, Michigan, before his consecration Sept. 14, 1879. As a careful but liberal administrator, Vertin kept pace with the expanding needs of the Church in the Upper Peninsula during the great ore and lumber booms. He gave his own family wealth to aid this expansion and was especially generous in financing the construction of the second Cathedral of St. Peter at Marquette. Vertin convoked the diocese's first synod (1899) to implement the decrees of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore. By determined effort, he was generally successful in avoiding the nationalist controversies that disturbed the American Church in his era. During the two decades of his administration, three Catholic high schools and four hospitals were established in the diocese, where the Catholic population increased to 65,000; the number of priests, to 52; and churches, to 58.

Bibliography: Archives, Diocese of Marquette, Vertin Papers. a. i. rezek, History of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette, 2 v. (Houghton, MI 190607).

[c. j. carmody]