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Home > History of St. John Neumann

History of St. John Neumann
St. John Neumann Regional Academy was formed in 2006, when the local parish schools (St. Boniface, St. Ann's, Immaculate Conception and St. Joe's) and Bishop Neumann High School were consolidated.  At that time, Catholic education in the Lycoming County area was fully regionalized.
 
Prior to 2006, Bishop Neumann High School served local students in Grades 7-12 from 1969-2006.  Bishop Neumann originated after St. Mary's High School and St. Joe's High School were both closed in the 1960s.
 
Parish elementary schools have been present in our county for more than 100 years, and we are proud to continue that tradition.  Saint John Neumann himself travelled through our area and was responsible for the rise of Catholic schools in our area and in the United States.
 
SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE NEUMANN, BISHOP (A.D. 1860)
About Saint John Neumann
 
Born at Prachitz in Bohemia on March 28, 1811, John was the third of the of the six children of Philip, a German, and of Agnes, a Czech. He early showed signs of considerable intellectual ability, coupled to a wish to become a religious servant. He went to school in Budweis, and then to the diocesan seminary in 1831. He continued his theological studies at the Charles Ferdinand University in Prague, where he went in 1833, but on completion of his studies he was not ordained to serve his home diocese because of the great number of clergy already at work there.

For this reason he determined to leave Europe and to set out for the New World as a missionary. Soon after his arrival in New York he was accepted for ordination and was promptly ordained by Bishop James Dubois on June 25, 1836. He spent four years of pastoral work in and around Buffalo before joining the Redemptorists. For a short time he was in charge of the American vice-province of the order, though for most of the time he returned to parish work where his chief care was for the establishment of schools.

In 1852 Pope Pius IX appointed him Bishop of Philadelphia, and this office gave him yet great scope for his efforts to increase the system of parochial schools. To staff them he attracted to the diocese a number of orders of teaching brothers and nuns, so that in a short time the population of his schools increased twenty-fold. He also erected a large number of new parishes, introduced the devotion of the Forty Hours, and began the building of the cathedral. Despite all this activity he still found, time to write, including, usually anonymously, articles for newspapers. His most. important works, however, he composed in German, his preferred language for composition even though he had a thorough grasp of seven other modern languages. The two catechisms he produced were, in 1852, given the approval of the entire American hierarchy, and continued in wide use in the United States for most of the rest of the century.

He died, renowned for his sanctity and for his pastoral work, on January 5, 1860, on a street in Philadelphia. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1977.
 
Prayer to Saint John Neumann
 
Saint John Neumann,
Servant of God and Man,
your desire to bring all souls to Christ
inspired you to leave your family, home and your country.
Ask for us the grace to live worthily in the spirit of our Baptism
so that all our thoughts, words and actions of every day
will bring God our Father greater honor and glory.
Ask for us the graces necessary to help and to serve
the poor, the suffering and the oppressed.
 
May we live as you lived persevering in every difficulty
to know and to do God's will.
In this life, may we share your intercession,
the protection of Mary and the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer.
 
Saint John Neumann,
Pray for Us.
Amen.
 

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