The majority of Bishop McCloskey’s immigrant Irish flock came to America from Ireland during the harrowing Potato Famine. Being poor and uneducated, they became the object of much ridicule and scorn from the Yankee establishment. The “Know Nothing Movement” at the time was strong in its attacks on immigrants, especially Catholics. Bishop McCloskey realized that his first task was to help Catholics take their rightful place in their new country. One way for this to be done was by building a great cathedral of which all could be proud. Bishop McCloskey commissioned a young Irish architect, Patrick Charles Keely, (1816-1896) of Brooklyn, New York, to design and build Albany’s Cathedral. Keely emigrated to New York in 1842 at age 26.