Bishop John T. McNally
1924 - 1937
Bishop John T. McNally was the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton. He was born in Prince Edward Island on 24 June 1871. Bishop McNally worked as a pastor in the Archdiocese of Ottawa and served for approximately three years as secretary and Chancellor to Archbishop Christie of Portland, Oregon. He also spent two periods of theological study in Rome. In 1913 a new diocese was formed in Calgary, Alberta and Rev. John McNally was named to head it. During these years Bishop McNally formed a warm relationship with fellow Maritimer, Richard Bedford Bennett, who became Prime Minister of Canada in 1930. In September 1924, Bishop McNally was transferred to the Hamilton Diocese. His installation took place in St. Mary's Cathedral on 26 November 1924. His episcopacy coincided with a time of relative peace between World War I and World War II.
There were fewer immigrants during this period and thus there was less need to establish new parishes. Bishop McNally was able to devote his energies instead to the building of a new cathedral. McNally was responsible for the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the King, which remains to be the cathedral for the diocese. In 1927, Bishop McNally transferred the cathedral from St. Mary's to the prominently located St. Patrick's Church. This was a temporary move, lasting until 1933 when the new cathedral was complete. St. Mary's and St. Patrick's were given the title of Pro-Cathedral or former cathedral. During Bishop McNally's thirteen year term, eight new parishes were formed in the diocese and several Catholic schools were opened. The Loretto Academy and Cathedral Boy's High School, both in Hamilton, also received improved accommodations. In 1937, Bishop McNally was named the Archbishop of Halifax, an office he held until his death on 18 November 1952.