Robert Coffin (bishop) bigraphy, stories - Catholic bishop

Robert Coffin (bishop) : biography

19 July 1819 - 6 April 1885

Robert Aston Coffin C.Ss.R., D.D. (born 19 July 1819 in Brighton, Great Britain, died 6 April 1885) was an English Redemptorist and Bishop of Southwark (25 May 1882-6 April 1885)

Coffin was born at Brighton and educated at Harrow School and at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A. 1841, M.A. 1843). In 1843 he became vicar of St. Mary Magdalene, Oxford, but resigned two years later, and was received into the Roman Catholic Church on 3 December 1845. For a year after this he resided with Ambrose Lisle Phillips at Grace Dieu manor, and then he went with John Henry Newman to Rome, where he was ordained priest in 1847.

He joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, and in 1848-9 he was superior of St. Wilfrid's, Cotton Hall, Staffordshire. He entered the novitiate of the Redemptorist Fathers at Trond in Belgium, and made his profession on 2 February 1852. In 1855 he was chosen rector of St. Mary's, Clapham, and in 1865 appointed to the office of provincial, in which he was successively confirmed every three years until his elevation to the episcopate. From 1852 to 1872 he was mostly employed in preaching missions and giving clergy retreats throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland.

In April 1882 Pope Leo XIII nominated Coffin to the see of Southwark, in succession to James Danell. He was consecrated by Cardinal Howard in the church of St. Alfonso, on the Esquiline, at Rome, 11 June 1882, and enthroned at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, on the 27th of the following month. He died at the house of the Redemptorists at Teignmouth.


Coffin published English translations of many of the works of Alphonso de' Liguori; and of Blosius's 'Oratory of the Faithful Soul.'

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