Thomas Joseph Toolen

Thomas Joseph Toolen

infobox bishopstyles
name=Thomas Joseph Toolen
dipstyle=The Most Reverend
offstyle=His Excellency
deathstyle=not applicable |
Archbishop Thomas Joseph Toolen (February 28, 1886 – December 4, 1976) was a Roman Catholic bishop and the sixth Bishop of Mobile.


He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and ordained to the priesthood for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mobile on September 27, 1910. He was appointed Bishop of Mobile on February 28, 1927,and consecrated on May 4, 1927. The Diocese of Mobile was renamed the Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham on May 27, 1954, at which time Toolen was appointed Archbishop (Personal Title) of Mobile-Birmingham. Toolen retired when the diocese split into the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama and the Diocese of Mobile, on September 29, 1969. Upon retirement, he was named Titular Archbishop of Glastonia. He died December 4, 1976, and is entombed in the crypt of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Alabama.


He established Bishop Toolen High School, in Mobile, Alabama, in 1928. Toolen Hall, on the campus of Spring Hill College, is named in his honor. One of the first projects envisioned by Archbishop Thomas Joseph Toolen when he was assigned to the former Mobile-Birmingham Diocese in 1927 was the establishment of a Catholic high school in the Birmingham area.

Toolen is also remembered for his opposition to the use of English in Eastern Catholic liturgical services. His prohibition against Eastern Catholic and bi-rital priests celebrating the Divine Liturgy in English was reversed by the Holy See on March 31, 1960 at the request of Melkite Catholic Partiarch Maximos IV. ["Pope John Reverses Ban on Use of English." "Journal Herald,", Dayton, Ohio, December 9, 1960. Referenced in Sabada, Lesna, "Go to the Deep: The Life of Archbishop Joseph M. Raya," (2006), pp. 64-65 ] [Archbishop Neophytos Edelby. "The Divine Liturgey in the Vernacular." "Proche-Orient Chetien" (1960). Referenced in Sabada, (2006), pp. 63-64 ]



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