Bishop Thomas F. Barry

Bishop Thomas Francis Barry was born in Pokemouche, NB, on 3 March 1841. He studied at the seminary in Saint John, NB, in the 1850s, before completing the classical course at Montreal College and entering the Grand Seminary in 1862. He was ordained in 1866 and was assigned to Chatham, where he served as the priest of the Pro-Cathedral and as head of St. Michael's Male Academy until 1871.

After 1871, he served as a missionary priest, first at Dalhousie, then in 1876 at St. Basile. In 1880 he was made parish priest at Caraquet and vicar-general of the Diocese of Chatham. In 1896, Bishop Rogers selected Father Barry to go to Rome on his behalf, the Bishop himself unable to travel due to old age and failing health.

Also in 1896, Bishop Rogers selected Father Barry to serve as co-adjutor Bishop with the right to succession. It was not until 1902, however, that Bishop Rogers officially retired and Thomas Barry became the diocesan Bishop of Chatham.

Like his predecessor, Bishop Barry had a lasting influence on Chatham and St. Michael's in particular. Notably, the construction of the present St. Michael's Basilica, which had been already planned for some time, was started under his guidance and direction shortly after he became Bishop in 1902. In addition, Bishop Barry invited the Basilian Fathers of Toronto to take charge of the new St. Thomas College in Chatham, which was established in 1910 and would eventually be named St. Thomas University.

Bishop Thomas F. Barry passed away in Chatham on January 19, 1920, less than two months away from his 79th birthday. Thereafter, the Most Rev. Alexandre Patrice Chiasson became the Bishop of Chatham.