James Bradley was born in Lisbane, parish of Upper Badoney County Tyrone, Ireland about 1804. He studied at the Bishop’s College in Londonderry, and came to America in October of 1825. He attended Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was ordained to the priesthood on 25 September 1831. He served about as pastor of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania and in 1832 he became pastor at Newry, Pennsylvania and would remain in that position until his death 51 years later in 1883. In his early years as a priest, his congregation was far flung and he would travel many miles by horseback to minister to his flock, saying Mass and attending sick calls. His parishioners, primarily Irish immigrants, included farmers and the men who built the railroads of western Pennsylvania.
The parishioners at Newry held appear to have held Rev. Bradley in great respect. In honor of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, a bell was commissioned. The bell still hangs in the steeple of the church at Newry.
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.