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James F. Vanderholt

DUFAL, PIERRE (1822–1898). Pierre Dufal, coadjutor bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Galveston (see GALVESTON-HOUSTON, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF) son of Pierre and Françoise (Galey) Dufal, was born on November 8, 1822, at St. Gervais d'Auvergne, France. He entered the Congregation of Holy Cross on September 29, 1848. He was perpetually professed on August 5, 1852, and ordained to the priesthood at Blois on September 29, 1853. His early assignments were to Rome, where he taught and served as superior of his community, and to France, where he taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Mans and at the seminary in Orleans. He was sent to India in 1858 and made a titular bishop and vicar apostolic of Eastern Bengal on November 25, 1860. Bishop Dufal gave a solid foundation to this mission field of over 50,000 square miles. His order elected him superior general in 1866, and he spent his tenure in this office wrestling with personnel and financial problems. He resigned in 1868 to return to India. He attended the First Vatican Council (1869–70). The congregation recalled him to France in 1876.

Dufal was transferred on May 14, 1878, to Texas as coadjutor to Bishop Claude M. Dubuis of Galveston, whose poor health had led him to request help. Dufal had the right of succession, but Dubuis retained jurisdiction. In Texas Dufal encountered personnel problems like those he had faced as superior general, and the financial problems of the diocese extended to litigation. Contention about courses of action arose between Dufal and Dubuis. Dufal was overburdened with work, was said to know little English, and had great difficulty with the Texas climate. He resigned his Texas office in 1879. In Rome he held the office of procurator general of the Congregation of Holy Cross from 1883 to 1888. He was also able to advise the church on the missions in India and the United States because of his experience. He died in Paris on March 15, 1898.


Catholic Archives of Texas, Files, Austin.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, James F. Vanderholt, "DUFAL, PIERRE," accessed May 25, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fdu56.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 9, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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