Scope and Contents
The collection focuses primarily on Wigger's tenure as Bishop of Newark from 1881-1901. Although Bishop Wigger died on January 5, 1901, the collection's documents span the years 1868-1919, as some documents are part of large record books.
Upon Wigger's consecration, the Newark Diocese, which previously encompassed the entire state, was divided. Bishop Wigger retained jurisdiction over the seven northern counties of Sussex, Morris, Passaic, Essex, Bergen, Hudson, and Union, which remained the Newark Diocese, and New Jersey's remaining counties were administered from the newly-established Diocese of Trenton.
The number of parishes, parishioners, parochial schools, and Diocesan institutions multiplied during Wigger's episcopate. A new immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe resulted in the creation of Italian, Polish, and Hungarian national parishes by 1900. The Bishop's attempts to manage the new groups, as well as controversies surrounding some established pastors, such as Patrick Corrigan in Hoboken and Sebastien Smith in Paterson, constitutes a major theme in the collection.
In addition, Wigger remained very active in America's German Catholic community, and this is reflected in the collection's documents. Documents and reports concerning New York's Leo House and several lengthy series of correspondence is written in German.
Bishop Wigger's entries in the Episcopal Register grew increasingly succinct throughout the years, and little of the rich narrative that characterizes the Bayley and Corrigan diaries is found. Wigger, in fact, was the last Bishop to maintain the Register, and even his entries for visitations, blessings, and ceremonies are scattered and incomplete.
Conditions Governing Access
Temporarily closed to research.
From the Collection: 34.5 Linear Feet (, 74 boxes/containers)
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English