Pellicer, Anthony Dominic Ambrose (1824–1880)

By: Ann Graham Gaines

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: May 1, 1995

Anthony Dominic Pellicer, first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of San Antonio (see SAN ANTONIO, CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF), was born on December 7, 1824, in St. Augustine, Florida, the son of Francisco and Margarita (Juanada) Pellicer. He was of Minorcan descent. Because his mother died when he and his twin brother were born, he was raised by Pedro and Maria Manucy, the parents of his third cousin, Dominic Manucy, later bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.

As children, Pellicer and Manucy studied at an academy in St. Augustine. In 1837 they left St. Augustine to study at Spring Hill College near Mobile, Alabama. Pellicer also taught at Spring Hill and studied at a seminary in New Orleans. The two were ordained in 1850. After ordination Pellicer was assigned to St. Peter's Church in Montgomery, Alabama. While he was there, a new church was erected for his congregation. During the Civil War he served as a Confederate chaplain. In 1865 he was assigned to the cathedral at Mobile. From 1867 to 1874 he served as rector of the cathedral and vicar general of his diocese.

When the Diocese of San Antonio was formed in 1874, Pellicer was named its first bishop. He and Manucy were consecrated as bishops in the Mobile cathedral by Napoleon Joseph Perché, archbishop of New Orleans, on December 8, 1874. Pellicer was installed in San Antonio on December 27, 1874. As bishop, he visited many of the parishes and missions in his diocese, which then extended from the Colorado to the Nueces and from the Gulf of Mexico to El Paso County. During his tenure at least twenty-five Catholic churches and twenty-seven Catholic schools were established in his diocese. As bishop, Pellicer lived in poverty and gave away most of his income. In 1876 he visited Rome.

In his later years Pellicer suffered from diabetes. On April 14, 1880, he died at his home in San Antonio, partly from exhaustion. He is buried under the floor of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio.

Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). A. D. A. Pellicer Papers, Catholic Archives, Archdiocese of San Antonio. Jane Quinn, Minorcans in Florida: Their History and Heritage (San Augustine, Florida: Mission, 1975).
  • Religion
  • Catholic

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Ann Graham Gaines, “Pellicer, Anthony Dominic Ambrose,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 13, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995