Bishops O' Donel. Lambery and Scallan were the first three Roman Catholic bishops appointed from Ireland to Newfoundland. Several weeks under the sail over the perilous Atlantic ocean was only a prelude to the storms they would face in future.
They were spirited men in troubled times. In Europe the French Revolution rocked the established political and ecclesiatical institutions. In Ireland and the English language and protestant religion were being imposed upon a Roman Catholic population. In Newfoundland and British suzerainty with pro-protestant overtures was upheld by Admirals of the fleet and appointed governors.
Into the miilieu came these gentlemen-bishops, ready to heal wounds of dissention within the ranks of their churchand overcome anti-catholic sentiments beyond. Their staccato letters to superiors and peers reveal the new-settlement hardships, aristocratic attitudes and ecclesiastical ferment that often broke their health and threatened their lives. They had to be both 'gentlemen and fighters' to survive.
The Letters of Bishops O Donel, Lambert, Scallan and
other Irish Missionaries
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