In 1834 the diocese was reduced to Kentucky and Tennessee, and in 1836 the latter was made a separate diocese, known as the diocese of Nashville, of which the Rt. Rev. Dr. Richard Pius Miles was consecrated bishop September 18, 1838. He was a native American and descendant of a Maryland family. Congregations had already been organized at several points in the State, and mission work was pushed forward with the energy and zeal characteristic of the Catholic Church. In 1859 the work, having considerably increased, became too arduous for the failing strength of Bishop Miles, and in May of that year Rt. Rev. Bishop James Whelan was appointed his coadjutor, with right of succession. On the death of Bishop Miles, which occurred February 1, 1860, he entered upon his duties, and remained until his resignation in 1863. He was succeeded as administrator of the diocese by the Rev. Father Kelly, a Dominican priest, who remained until November, 1865. He was then relieved by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Patrick A. Feehan, of St. Louis, who was consecrated in that city on the first day of that month. He continued in charge of the diocese until June, 1883, when he was succeeded by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Rademacher. While the Catholic Church in Tennessee does not embrace so large a membership in proportion to population as many other States, it is due rather to the small foreign element than a lack of prosperity or wise management. The Catholic population of the State at the present time is estimated by the bishop of the diocese at from 20,000 to 25,000 of which about 8,000 are residents of Nashville, and 10,000 or 12,000 of Memphis. The number in the latter city was greatly reduced by the yellow fever epidemic of 1878-79. Chattanooga and Knoxville also have large congregations. The whole number of churches in the diocese in 1886 was thirty. The church supports a large number of excellent schools and academies, and one college. One of the best known institutions for young ladies is the Academy of St. Cecilia, at Nashville. This school was established in 1860 by six ladies from St. Mary's Literary Institute, Perry County, Ohio, and has long enjoyed a high reputation for the excellence of its management. The Christian Brothers College, of Memphis, was chartered in 1854. It has an attendance of 200 pupils, and is presided over by Brother Maurelian.
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