Bishop Laurence J. FitzSimon papers
- Creation: 1948 - 1956
Lawrence Julius FitzSimon was born on January 31, 1895, in San Antonio, Texas. In 1896, the FitzSimon family moved to Castroville, about 25-miles west of San Antonio. FitzSimon attended parochial school in Castroville and at the age of 12 was accepted to the Oblate of Mary Immaculate’s St. Anthony’s College in San Antonio. He entered the North American College in Rome in 1911 but was forced to return to Texas in 1916 before his studies were complete due to poor health. After recuperating, FitzSimon enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to a minesweeper in the North Sea at the end of World War I. FitzSimon resumed his studies in 1919 and was ordained in Indiana at St. Meinrad’s Seminary on May 17, 1921, by the bishop of Indianapolis. FitzSimon then taught for four years at St. John’s Seminary in San Antonio until 1925 and served as the pastor of Runge and Karnes City until 1931. In 1931, FitzSimon was transferred to Seguin where he served as pastor of St. James parish until his appointment to the See of Amarillo on August 2, 1941. FitzSimon was consecrated on October 22, 1941 and installed as the third bishop of Amarillo on November 4, 1941. Under his administration the diocese grew rapidly as FitzSimon was extremely active in bringing more priests into the diocese and establishing new parishes. In 1958, FitzSimon passed away at the age of 63.
FitzSimon was renowned as a scholar and historian. FitzSimon had one of the most complete private library collections ever assembled on Texana and did extensive research on the early bishops and priests in the state during the colonization period. FitzSimon made several trips to Rome and France to do research. FitzSimon was also active in supporting the Catholic Archives of Texas which he had moved to Amarillo in 1941 and supplemented with some of his own private materials. The Texas Catholic Historical Society presents an annual award posthumously named after FitzSimon to individuals active in preserving Texas Catholic history.
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Part of the Catholic Archives of Texas Repository
6225 E US 290 HWY EB SVRD
Austin TX 78723 United States