Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Neumann. At 41, as bishop of Philadelphia, he organized the parochial school system into a diocesan one, increasing the number of pupils almost twentyfold within a short time.
Gifted with outstanding organizing ability, he drew into the city many teaching communities of sisters. With his guidance in 1855 the Sisters of St. Francis were founded in Philadelphia in 1855 by Sister Mary Francis Bachmann, Sister Mary Margaret Boll and Sister Mary Bernardina Dorn.
Well-known for his holiness and learning, spiritual writing and preaching, on October 13, 1963, John Neumann became the first American bishop to be beatified. He was canonized in 1977.