What’s in a Name: Curley Hall/ Court
Victor David, Class of 2014
April 26, 2012
Filed under Quill
Curley Hall, home to our campus priests…Curley Court, home to our beloved “trailers” (aka, our modular housing units)…who has the honor of having TWO things on campus named after him/her? None other than our second Chancellor, Archbishop Michael Curley.
Michael Joseph Curley was born in County Westmeath in central Ireland. After many academic successes as a young student, Curley graduated from the Royal University of Dublin in 1900. He had dreamed of becoming a missionary to the Fiji Islands, but after talking with his spiritual director, travelled to the Diocese of St. Augustine in Florida. He also continued his studies in Rome and earned a licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1903. One year later, he was ordained a priest in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
He returned to Florida and became pastor of St. Peter’s Church in DeLand. At one point, the parish’s territory comprised 7,200 square miles, one of the largest in the region. In 1914, Curley was appointed the Bishop of St. Augustine. His career was marked by a growing Catholic population, support for the war effort, and his valiant defense of the Church against an anti-Catholic atmosphere.
Pope Benedict XV then appointed Curley to be the Archbishop of Baltimore. Archbishop Curley served from 1921 until 1947. In his capacity as Archbishop, Curley was ex-officio the Chancellor of Catholic University, succeeding the famed Cardinal Gibbons. In 1939, Pope Pius XII separated the city of Washington and its surrounding counties in Maryland from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and established the new Archdiocese of Washington. From 1939, until his death in 1947, Curley governed both territories as he was appointed the first Archbishop of Washington. He remains the only Archbishop of Washington to have not been named a Cardinal.