|Louis Charles Casartelli, Bishop of Salford|
Louis was the second child to enroll at the Salford Catholic Grammar School, where he shone, it being said of him that he 'was as wax to receive and marble to retain'. He had a particular talent for languages - he is supposed to have set himself to learn Flemish, 'as there was nothing else to do one afternoon'. By the time he entered the seminary at Ushaw, he was fluent in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Flemish. At Ushaw he won the Gold Medal for Classics and was awarded an MA degree externally from London University. He then went on the Catholic University of Louvain where, along with his theological studies, he specialised in Eastern languages.
He was ordained priest by Bishop Vaughan of Salford (later Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster) in September 1876 and was attached to the teaching staff of St Bede's College, Manchester (becoming rector of the college in 1891). In 1884 he gained a doctorate in Oriental Literature from Louvain. He lectured at Louvain and Manchester University on Iranian languages and was offered a post at Oxford University (though was prevented from accepting it by the hierarchy).
When he was nominated for the vacant see of Salford in 1903, he wrote to Cardinal Vaughan and traveled to Rome in a futile attempt to decline the post. During his episcopate confessions went up by over 50%; there were 90 additional priests, 24 new parishes, 14 secondary and central schools and 7 new religious communities.
|Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist, Salford|
During the First World War, he worked on the behalf of Belgian and other refugees, and was later instrumental in the rebuilding of the library and collections of the University of Louvain, which had been destroyed during the war. He was a correspondent of the the Prefect of the Vatican Library, Cardinal Ratti (later Pope Pius XI), hosting his visit to England and introducing him to British academic libraries.
Bishop Casartelli suffered from poor health - he wintered every year at Westcliffe-on-Sea, almost inevitably catching bronchitis. He died at Bishop's House, Salford, on 18 January 1925 at the age of 73 and is buried in Moston Cemetery, Manchester.