Religion: Mountain Monsignor

Over West Virginia back country roads, made muddy by weeks of rain, ploughed a train of automobiles one day last week bearing 49 Catholic priests and Bishop John Joseph Swint of Wheeling. The party drew up before the small churchyard at Sand Fork. Forming in procession, the men of God marched into the church. There Bishop Swint solemnly handed purple robes, a purple biretta and a white lace cotta (surplice) to a wrinkled-faced, white-haired old priest named Thomas Aquinas Quirk whom Pope Pius XI had elected to invest with the title Monsignor.

This honorary...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!