Father Patrick Manogue is one of the most widely celebrated figures of the Comstock. Born in Ireland in 1831, Manogue immigrated to the United States at seventeen and began his studies of priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary of Chicago. Unable to continue financing his education, he left the seminary and joined the California Gold Rush. He labored in the mines of Moore's Flat for two years when he met Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany, who persuaded Manogue to continue his studies at the seminary of Saint Sulpice in Paris, France.
After receiving his priestly ordination on December 21, 1861, Father Manogue returned to California. There, he received instructions from Bishop Eugene O'Connell to travel to Virginia City and set up a ministry encompassing a territory that included what is now the state of Nevada. O'Connell apparently chose Manogue for this task because his previous experience as a miner would be instrumental in attending to the needs of the mining community. First-hand accounts report that the popular priest often traveled the entire Nevada territory to minister to his flock.
Perhaps Father Manogue's most well known accomplishment is his role in the construction of one of the first Catholic churches in Virginia City, which was dedicated Saint Mary in the Mountains by Bishop O'Connell in 1864. The church still stands close to its original location today and is ornamented with tributes in memory of Manogue.
In 1881, the Archbishop Alemany of San Francisco's St. Mary's Cathedral ordained Father Manogue a Bishop. He returned to Virginia City to continue his service as pastor of St. Mary in the Mountains and was named coadjutor (assistant) bishop to Bishop O'Connell of the Grass Valley diocese. In 1884, Bishop Manogue was permanently called away from Virginia City to replace the aging Bishop O'Connell in his role as the Bishop of the Grass Valley diocese, which became known as the Sacramento diocese in 1886. Bishop Patrick Manogue became the first Bishop of the new Sacramento diocese, where he served until his death in 1895.
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