DOLLARD, PATRICK, Roman Catholic priest; b. 1 March 1804 at Glenmore, County Kilkenny (Republic of Ireland); d. 12 Feb. 1868 at Kingston, Ont.
Patrick Dollard was educated at the ecclesiastical seminary in Waterford, Ireland, and, in response to appeals from Canada for missionaries, immigrated to Montreal where he studied theology at the Grand Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice. Early in 1836 he was ordained by Bishop Jean-Jacques Lartigue* of Montreal and assigned to Kingston, Upper Canada. Dollard had been ordained early at the request of Bishop Alexander Macdonell* of Kingston who was in great need of help. In May 1836 Dollard took up his duties at St Joseph’s Cathedral.
From all contemporary accounts he was a good and pious priest. During the rebellion of 1837 when loyalist militia crowded the town and during the epidemics of cholera and typhus, he counselled his parishioners and administered the sacraments. He was admired for his disregard of the danger of infection and for his unceasing work.
Dollard was appointed vicar general to Bishop Rémi Gaulin* who in 1842 entrusted him with directing the construction of St Mary’s Cathedral. In this capacity Dollard raised the necessary funds by subscription in Kingston and Quebec, kept the accounts, and supervised the construction, much of the labour being volunteered by parishioners. The cost of the cathedral has been estimated at $90,000. The cornerstone of the church was laid early in 1843 by Bishop Patrick Phelan*, Gaulin’s coadjutor, and the church was being used by its congregation as early as 1846, though construction was not completed until 1848. Dollard was appointed first rector of the cathedral; as vicar general to bishops Gaulin, Phelan, and Edward John Horan* he was administrator of the diocese in 1857 and 1862. He also served periodically as Roman Catholic chaplain to the military garrison at Kingston.
Dollard was deeply involved in the Roman Catholic struggle for educational rights from his arrival in Kingston until his death. The sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame first established a Catholic school in Kingston in 1841, and in 1853 the Christian Brothers also started a school. After 1848 a common school board provided funding, but it was withdrawn in 1854 because of changes in the school act. The following year a Roman Catholic school board, on which Dollard served as a member and for several years as chairman, was established to supervise and fund separate schools.
Dollard was noted for his amiability of character and the purity of his life, and was widely consulted by townspeople on many matters from the spiritual to the political. He was in great demand as a confessor and spiritual director for religious as well as lay people; his sermons were models of erudition and practicality and displayed a gifted mind in theology and scripture.
Archives of the Archdiocese of Kingston (Kingston, Ont.), unpublished letters and ecclesiastical documents. Daily British Whig (Kingston), 14, 15, 17 Feb. 1868. Daily News (Kingston), 13 Feb. 1868. Weekly British Whig (Kingston), 20 Feb. 1868.