Camden’s first bishop named


On Dec 15, 1937, it was announced that the first bishop of Camden would be Father Bartholomew J. Eustace of New York, then 50 years old. On May 3, 1938, 5,000 people lined the streets leading from the railway station at Haddonfield as the new bishop made his way in a motorcade down Haddon Avenue to the rectory of his new cathedral, Immaculate Conception Church, in Camden.

eustace-webThe past history of Catholicism in South Jersey strongly inspired Bishop’s Eustace’s homily at his installation May 4 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He dedicated the new diocese to the Blessed Virgin Mary “to take under her care and protection from this moment henceforth the infant Church of Camden.”

In the homily, Bishop Eustace committed his whole self to Camden when he said: “By the cross I bear I vow to be a faithful leader, gentle father and true bishop. Floreat Camdenum! (May Camden flourish).” He pointed to the many challenges that he and his people were to face and said, “In proportion as afterwards a building rise high, so the foundation must be deep, and all that Camden is ever to be is rightly founded in commencement on my heart.”