RT. REV. JOHN J. SWINT, WHEELING
From: West Virginians
Published by The West Virginia Biographical Association, 1928
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
Rt. Rev. John J. Swint, since December 11, 1923, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling, embracing nearly all the State of West Virginia, and part of Virginia, has in that time inaugurated and with much success pursued a program of progressive building and educational development throughout the diocese. During his administration an imposing list of new buildings has been added to the material properties of the diocese, and a strong stimulus has been given to education and spiritual organization.
Bishop Swint was born at Pickens, W. Va., December 15, 1879, son of Peter and Caroline (Winkler) Swint. He received his first education in the local public school and in I893 entered St. Charles' College, Ellicott City, Md., from which he graduated with the degree of A.B. in 1899. He made his course in philosophy and theology in St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, Md., receiving the degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1904. After his ordination he took the 1904-1905 course at the Apostolic Mission House, Washington, D. C.
For many years he served as head of the Diocesan Apostolate of Wheeling, and was for a time pastor of the Parish of Weston, West Virginia. He built the church at Beckley and the church and school at Weston. He was appointed auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling on February 22, 1922, and served actively as such until the death of Bishop Patrick J. Donahue on October 4, 1923, when he was made administrator of the diocese. On December 11, 1923, he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling.
Among the more notable items in the development of the diocese during Bishop Swint's administration have been the building of the magnificent new St. Joseph's Cathedral in Wheeling, the new Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksburg, the second largest church in the diocese; Corpus Christi Church in Warwood, Wheeling; St. John's Church, Wellsburg; Sacred Heart Church, Chester; St. Margaret Mary Church, Parkersburg, and Sacred Heart Church, Blufield; Parochial Schools on the Island in Wheeling, Weirton, Glenwood (Wheeling), Follansbee, the two parishes in Parkersburg, Thomas, Kanawha City and Bluefield. The new parishes of Kanawha City; St. Margaret Mary, Parkersburg; St. Joan of Arc, Glenwood; and St. James, Clarksburg, were formed. A new hospital was established in Huntington, and a large addition put to the St. Francis Hospital in Charleston.
The cause of Catholic progress in West Virginia is fortunate in processing for its leader a man of the capacity, the learning and the liberal outlook of Bishop Swint, who is today in the prime of life and happily situated to carry to greater and finer extent the program of development he has set himself, at the same time exerting an influence both stimulating and edifying upon the thousands of Catholic citizens who look to their institutions for counsel in the problems of life, for an unrelenting high standards of citizenship and moral conduct and for all those comforts of encouragement that a religious guidance can give humanity.