Father Matthew Cahill

Father Matthew Cahill was born in County Cavan, Ireland, and was ordained for the Diocese of Los Angeles on June 24, 1872. His first assignment was to a parish in Bakersfield, CA. At the time, California was still fairly unsettled, and many of Fr. Cahill’s assignments involved long days of traveling by horseback and camping outside. After five years he returned to Ireland in poor health. He soon returned to New York, and after almost four years in a parish assignment was appointed to the Mission in 1887.

Fr. Cahill was the first associate at the Mission, appointed to Fr. Riordan when Our Lady of the Rosary became a parish. When he first came to the Mission, the two priests shared one room—one slept in the bed and one slept in a chair. After a short time, he moved to nearby St. James’ Rectory, where he stayed for his first few years because so many young women were coming through the Mission that there wasn’t suitable space for him. For most of his time there, he was the only assistant, so he often attended to the duties of the parish while the pastor was busy with Mission work.  After leaving the Mission in 1901, he was appointed chaplain at St. Agnes’ Hospital in Baltimore, where he died on March 1, 1932.