Poem for the Fiftieth Anniversary of Villanova, 1892

ODE FOR THE GOLDEN JUBILEE OF VILLANOVA COLLEGE (1892)By Eleanor C. DonnellyOH ! blest be the day, when the sun's golden rayFirst shone on these shades, Villanova revealing!Like the sunrise that shone on King Memnou's famed stone,Awaking a strain full of fervor and feeling!Grave doctor and sageIn that long- vanished age,Their record inscribed on our history's page,While the sons of St. Austin, with tears and with toil,Their altars uprear'd on this … [Read More...]

Fritz Williams

Catholics on Stage: Fritz Williams (1865-1930)

Williams, Fritz (Frederick Williams):Actor; b. in Boston, Mass., August 23, 1865; parents member at the stock company at the Boston Museum for 15 years; made his first appearance on stage at that theatre when six months old, being carried on by William Warren, the comedian, in a farce called Seeing Warren. Attracted much attention (1879), as Sir Joseph Porter in a juvenile Pinafore company at the Boston Museum; moved to New York and won some fame as a concert singer, singing Gilmore’s   … [Read More...]


Who’s Buried in Catholic Cemeteries: Supreme Court Justice joseph McKenna (1843-1926)

Joseph McKenna was one of the few politicians to have served in all three branches of the Federal Government: as a Congressman, as a U.S. Attorney General, and as a Supreme Court Justice. The son of Irish immigrants, he was born in Philadelphia, where he attended what is now St. Joseph’s University. After moving to California, he was admitted to the bar at age 22 in 1865. There he served as a District Attorney for Solano County and from 1875 to 1877 he served in the California State Assembly. In … [Read More...]


Catholics in the Movies: Mike Mazurki (1907-1990)

Mike Mazurki was what is known as a “Brothers’ Boy.” Born Mikhail Mazurkiewicz in Austria-Hungary, he emigrated to the United States on the eve of the First World War. Settling in upstate New York, he attended the La Salle Institute in Troy, New York, run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. After graduating from another Lasallian institution, Manhattan College, in 1930, he moved on to professional sports: wrestling, basketball and football. At 6’5”, he was an imposing presence, making his film … [Read More...]

Fr Wm Starrs NY

Father William Starrs, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York (1807-1873)

Very Rev. William Starrs, D.D. (The New York Times,  February 7, 1873)Very Rev. William Starrs, D.D., Rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of New York, died yesterday morning at 7:50 o’clock, at No. 263 Mulberry Street, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. He celebrated Mass yesterday week for the last time. On Friday last he was taken ill and could not leave his bed, but rallied a little on the succeeding days. On Tuesday he experienced a change for the wors … [Read More...]


Who’s Buried in Catholic Cemeteries: Annie Moore (1874-1924)

Born in County Cork, Ireland, on April 24, 1874, Annie Moore was the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island when it opened on January 1, 1892. (Prior to that, immigrants entered through Castle Garden.) Between 1820 and 1920, over four million Irish men and women came to America through the Port of New York. Annie, along with her younger brothers Anthony and Philip, left Ireland on December 20, 1891. Their parents had already moved to Manhattan ahead of them. As the first person processed … [Read More...]


Brooklyn Widow Enters Carmelite Monastery, 1916

Mrs. J. Delehanty  is Carmelite Nun. Former Miss Monahan of Brooklyn, Now a Widow, Joins Severe Order. RULES EXTREMELY STRICT. Picturesque Ceremony at Monastery on Bedford Avenue—Vicar General Officiates (The Brooklyn Eagle, July 19, 1916, 18.)A new member has been added to the Carmelite Monastery at St. John’s Place and Bedford Avenue, the black veil of the order being given to Sister Mary Angelus by Vicar General Joseph McNamee. There were impressive ceremonies which denoted her rejection … [Read More...]


Catholics in Public Service: Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832)

With the Fourth of July, McNamara's Blog launches a new feature, "Catholics in Public Service." It seems best to begin with the first major American Catholic to engage in public service, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the sole Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence (and the last to die). The following is taken from the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia and has been edited in the interest of blogging brevity.His grandfather, Charles Carroll, emigrated from England to Maryland … [Read More...]


Know-Nothings Appeal to Protestant Women of America, 1856

On America's great baptismal day, the Spirit of God moved like a wave over the whole nation; it was Protestant America, and the Bible was the cornerstone on which the mighty structure rested; and when we inquire what it is that is now shaking America, and attempting to unsettle her basis, and toss her like boys toss a ball, from her foundation, the problem is solved— she bears on her vast bosom the seal of the Book of Life! It is to take from her this halo of light and of glory, which surrounds h … [Read More...]

Catholic History in Less Than Five Minutes: The “Dark Century” of the Papacy (900-1000 A.D.)

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