Chanche, Bishop Jean Joseph

1852, July 22

Date of Birth:  1795, October 4

Seminary of St. Sulpice
August 6, 1852

Fathers and Very Dear in Our Lord:

Death has recently taken from us one of our confreres, Bishop Chanche, Ordinary of Natchez, in the United States.

Father Jean Joseph Chanche was born in Baltimore on October 4, 1795. He made his studies in that city at the college directed by our fathers and began theological studies in the seminary in September, 1814. Ordained priest on June 5, 1819, he joined the Society and was assigned to teach at the college; he became President there in 1834. Of a gentle and friendly personality, he drew to himself the affection of all who came to know him, and he edified them especially by his piety at the altar.

In March 1841, named Bishop of Natchez, he made a request to remain a member of the Society and, for considerations of a special nature this request was granted him. In the new diocese everything had to start from scratch. Instructing and zealously exhorting, he toured it several times. Before long he had planned and built a beautiful cathedral. He established in his see city a convent of the Sisters of Charity who would provide education for young girls.

He attended the Councils of Baltimore in 1843, 1846, 1849 and the National Council of 1852. In all of these he functioned as Promoter of the Council.

For some time, his health was weakening. It was for that reason as well as for the needs of his diocese that he made a trip to Europe in 1848. On a journey made to an area not far from Baltimore, he was felled all at once with an inflammation of the stomach and intestines which brought him to his grave within two weeks.

Bishop Chanche

He gave his soul to God on July 22nd in one of the houses that the Jesuits have in Frederick. I recommend him to the prayers and remembrances customary in the Society.

Accept, Fathers and very dear in Our Lord, the renewed assurance of my sincere and tender affection.

Yours very devotedly in Our Lord,


Superior of St. Sulpice