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William A. Griffin (Roman Catholic bishop)

William Aloysius Griffin (November 20, 1885 – January 1, 1950) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Trenton from 1940 until his death in 1950.

Early life and educationEdit

Griffin was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the eleventh of twelve children of John J. and Catherine (née Lyons) Griffin.[1] One of his brothers, John J. Griffin, was city attorney of Elizabeth and a Democratic member of the New Jersey General Assembly.[2] He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Patrick Church in his native city, and then attended St. Patrick High School, also in Elizabeth.[3] He attended Seton Hall College in South Orange before studying for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary.[1]


Griffin was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Newark on August 15, 1910.[4] His first assignment was as principal of Bayley Hall, a grammar school attached to Seton Hall College.[5] A member of the faculty at Seton Hall for fifteen years, he taught Latin, Greek, and English in the preparatory school before becoming professor of philosophy and English in the college.[1]

In December 1924, Griffin was appointed diocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.[5] He later became national treasurer of the same organization in 1935.[6] From 1929 to 1938, he was pastor of St. Michael Church in Jersey City.[1] He was named a papal chamberlain in 1930.[6] He also served as administrator of St. John Church and St. Augustine Church in Newark, and state chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.[5]



On February 26, 1938, Griffin was appointed auxiliary bishop of Newark and titular bishop of Sanavo by Pope Pius XI.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 1 from Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh, with Bishops John A. Duffy and Moses E. Kiley serving as co-consecrators, at Sacred Heart Cathedral.[4] As an auxiliary bishop, he served as rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary.[7]


Following the promotion of Bishop Kiley to Archbishop of Milwaukee, he was named Bishop of Trenton on May 21, 1940.[4] His installation took place at St. Mary's Cathedral on July 23 of that year.[7]

Griffin died from a stroke at the home of his brother-in-law and sister in Elizabeth, at age 64.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "GRIFFIN APPOINTED BISHOP OF TRENTON". The New York Times. 1940-05-21.
  2. ^ "J.J. GRIFFIN DEAD; JERSEY LAWYER, 68". The New York Times. 1946-09-08.
  3. ^ "GRIFFIN CONSECRATED AS AUXILIARY BISHOP". The New York Times. 1938-05-02.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bishop William Aloysius Griffin".[self-published source]
  5. ^ a b c "Mgr. Griffin Is Named New Bishop for Newark". The New York Times. 1938-03-04.
  6. ^ a b Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  7. ^ a b "GRIFFIN ENTHRONED AS TRENTON BISHOP". The New York Times. 1940-07-24.
  8. ^ "BISHOP W.A. GRIFFIN OF TRENTON IS DEAD". The New York Times. 1950-01-02.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Moses E. Kiley
Bishop of Trenton
Succeeded by
George W. Ahr
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
Succeeded by