John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R. ( March 28th, 1811 -January 5th 1860), was a native of Bohemia who emigrated to the United States, where he became a Catholic priest, Redemptorist and the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia (1852–1860). He is the first American bishop (and thus far the only male citizen) to be canonized. While Bishop of Philadelphia, Neumann founded the first Catholic diocesan school system in the United States.
In the whole New York Diocese with its thousands of immigrants, there were only three priests who could speak the German language. “I can and must ordain you quickly,” said the Bishop. “I need you.” He sent the young man to the German Church of St. Nicholas on Second Street in Manhattan to prepare for ordination . It was most appropriate that Neumann’s first assignment in America was to teach catechism in German to the group of children soon to receive first Communion. All his life he was deeply concerned for the religious education of young people in church and in school.
St. John Nepomucene Neumann “The Little Bishop”