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1856 TO 1956

Our Fourth Shepherd



Bishop March was born at Northern Bay on July 13, 1863 He attended school there until he was fourteen years old. He used to assist his father, Simon March, an enterprising business man, and from him acquired those sound and thorough principles of order and method which later him so conspicuous in his ecclesiastical career. He entered St. Patrick's Hall in 1877, and in the following year, St. Bonaventure's College where he pursued his studies with mark success. From St. Bonaventure's , he proceeded on to Assumption College, near Montreal, where he spent two years, and in 1881 went to the College of St. Sulpice, Montreal. In 1882 he went to Propaganda College, Rome. Where he was ordained Priest on March 16, 1889, arriving in Newfoundland in June.

Father March's first appointment was as a curate at Harbor Grace, in 1889. For many years he did missionary work in several parts of the extensive Diocese, including Labrador. He was consecrated Bishop of Harbor Grace on November 4, 1906, by His Grace, Archbishop Howley. The sermon on that occasion was preached by Monsignor McCarthy, an eloquent speaker. The celebration was a unique event as it marked the first occasion that a native of Newfoundland was consecrated Bishop of Harbor Grace.

Bishop March quietly observed, on March 16, 1939, the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the Priesthood. It was his wish that there be no public demonstration. However, the spontaneous response on that occasion not alone from the Clergy, but also from various sections of the public, bore testimony to the love and esteem in which Bishop March was held throughout Newfoundland.

Bishop March died at the palace here on January 12 1940. The morning of his death he was up at his usual hour and celebrated Mass- a fitting climax to a lifetime of service in God's vineyard, as he began for the last time with the words: " I will go unto the alter of God, to God Who giveth joy to my youth." At one p.m. as he was being called to lunch it was found that he was dead, having passed away about half and hour earlier.

The funeral services were held on January 16. The congregation representing all classes and creeds from many parts of Newfoundland, was the largest ever seen here. Special arrangements had been made by the Newfoundland Railway, and a train arrived at Harbor Grace at 11 a.m. with over three hundred passengers. The Mass of Requiem began at 11:30 o'clock with Most Reverend E. P. Roche D.D., Archbishop of St. John's occupying the Episcopal throne, and attended > by Right Rev. F. D. McCarthy P. A., V.G. Right Rev. J Murphy, P .P. and Right Rev, T.

J. Flynn.

Celebrant of the Mass was Rev. Wm. Finn, P. P. Grand Falls with Rev. M. F. Dinn, P.P., North River, as deacon and Rev. M. P. Dwyer. P.P. Harbor Main, as sub-deacon. Rev. J. M. O'Neill and Rev F. P. Meaney
of Immaculate Conception Cathedral acted a Master of Ceremonies. The panegyric to the memory of the late Bishop was delivered by His Grace the Archbishop.



Transcribed by John Baird. (November 2000)

Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)

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