Log In

Hugh Charles Boyle

bishop , Catholic priest

Hugh Charles Boyle was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church.


Hugh Boyle was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, one of nine children of Charles and Anna (née Keelan) Boyle. His father was an Irish immigrant who worked as a coal miner. During the 1889 Johnstown Flood, his father and most of his siblings drowned.

Only his mother and one brother survived.


Educated St. Vincent’s preparatory school, college and seminary, Beatty, Pennsylvania, 1888-1898.


He served as Bishop of Pittsburgh from 1921 until his death in 1950. He received his early education at local parochial schools, and enrolled at St. Vincent College in Latrobe at age 14. He began his studies for the priesthood at St. Vincent Seminary, also in Latrobe, in 1891.

Boyle was ordained a priest by Bishop Richard Phelan on July 2, 1898. His first assignment was as a curate at St. Aloysius Church in Wilmerding, where he remained for five years. He then served at the Cathedral of St. Paul and secretary to Bishop Regis Canevin until 1909, when he became superintendent of diocesan schools.

From 1916 to 1921, he served as pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Church in Homestead. On June 16, 1921, Boyle was appointed the sixth Bishop of Pittsburgh by Pope Benedict XV. He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 29 from Bishop Canevin, with Bishops Philip R. McDevitt and John Joseph McCort serving as co-consecrators. He was a strong supporter of social justice movements, such as the Catholic Radical Alliance.

In 1941, he established the Catholic Workers' School in Pittsburgh. During World War II, Boyle served as chairman of the National Catholic Welfare Council's Committee for Polish Relief. Boyle died at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, at age 77.

He is buried in St. Mary Cemetery in the city's Lawrenceville neighborhood.


He defended the Allied bombing of Rome as a wartime necessity and praised the care that was taken in the air raids to protect the city's religious and cultural treasures.


Boyle also played a prominent role in the activities of the Legion of Decency and was a member of the Episcopal Committee on Motion Pictures.


Charles Boyle

Ann (Keelan) Boyle