Right Reverend Augustin Magloire Alexandre Blanchet, D.D.
♦ Consecrated Bishop of Walla Walla, September 27, 1846 (Bishop of Walla Walla, 1846-1850)
♦ Transferred as the First Bishop of Nesqually, diocese established by Pope Pius IX, May 31, 1850 (Bishop of Nesqually, 1850-1879)
♦ Resigned 1879
♦ Died February 25, 1887
Born on August 22, 1797 near St. Pierre Riviere de Sud, Canada, A. M. A. Blanchet was the brother of Francis Norbert Blanchet, one of the first missionary priests in the Pacific Northwest and first Archbishop of Portland in Oregon. A. M. A. Blanchet ministered to the Native American population of the diocese, drawing on his experiences as a young missionary in eastern Canada. He also made it a priority to strengthen the Catholic culture of the French-Canadian Catholics who had come to the Pacific Northwest with the Hudson Bay Company. As the population of the diocese became increasingly Euro-American, Blanchet went to great lengths to provide support for the often-deteriorating Catholic traditions of the highly mobile immigrant population. Blanchet solicited funds and help from others, inviting the Sisters of Providence from Montreal, and soliciting financial contributions from Mexico to strengthen the spiritual and pastoral ministries within his diocese.
Bishop Blanchet retired in 1879, praying that those who followed would “…have the pleasure seeing mature the good seed which has been scattered in this garden of God during the past forty years.” He died in February of 1887.