Those Hanselman Boys

Today marks the death of Father Joseph F. Hanselman (1856-1923), who played a leading role in the American Jesuits during his lifetime. Born in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section, he began studies for the diocesan priesthood, but decided to join the Jesuits instead. Ordained in 1892, he began teaching at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, in 1893. From 1901 to 1906, he was college president. In 1905 he got President Theodore Roosevelt to speak at the 1905 commencement (which I’m pretty was the first time a president spoke at a Catholic college). In 1906 he was named head of the Jesuit’s Maryland-New York Province. Six years later he became Rector of Woodstock College, the Jesuit theologate in Maryland which closed in 1969. For the last five years of his life he was the American Assistant to the Jesuit General in Rome. His four brothers all became priests in the Diocese of Brooklyn: James , George, John and Thomas. All four of them had their first priestly assignment at Most Holy Trinity Church in Williamsburg, their home parish.

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