Peter William Bartholome
Peter Bartholome was born in Bellechester, Minnesota, the youngest son of Nicholas and Catherine (née Jacobs) Bartholome, who were Luxembourgian immigrants. His mother, who died at age 103, was the first woman named Catholic Mother of the Year by the National Catholic Conference on Family Life in 1942 and received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal in 1952. He received his early education at St. Mary's Grade School in Bellechester (1898-1905) before attending public school in Goodhue from 1906 to 1908. He studied at Campion College in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1914. He then returned to Minnesota and continued his studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul.
Bartholome was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Patrick Heffron on June 17, 1917. His first assignment was as a curate at St. John the Evangelist Church in Rochester, where he remained for two years. In 1919, he was appointed to the faculty of St. Mary's College in Winona, where he taught Latin, Greek, and philosophy. From 1928 to 1930, he studied canon law at the Apollinare University in Rome.
Returning to Minnesota, Bartholome served as chaplain at the motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Francis in Rochester for three years. He was pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Caledonia from 1933 to 1936. He was then named diocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. In 1939, he returned to St. John the Evangelist Church in Rochester, serving as its pastor until 1942.
On December 6, 1941, Bartholome was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Saint Cloud and Titular Bishop of Lete by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on March 3, 1942 from Archbishop Amleto Cicognani, with Bishops Joseph Busch and John Peschges serving as co-consecrators, at St. Mary's Hospital Chapel in Rochester. Upon the death of Bishop Joseph Busch, Bartholome succeeded him to become the fifth Bishop of Saint Cloud on May 31, 1953. He was named an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne the following year.
Born and raised in a rural area, and spending his entire ministry there as well, Bartholome once said that "the dignity, independence, and freedom of men can reach its fullest stature on the farm, not in the industrial world." Between 1962 and 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council. He also served as episcopal moderator of the Family Life Bureau and of the National Catholic Conference on Family Life.
After 14 years as Bishop of Saint Cloud, Bartholome retired on January 31, 1968. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Tanaramusa on the same date; he later resigned on January 13, 1971. He died at age 89, and is buried at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud.
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