John J. Wynne, S.J. (1859-1948)

Today marks the death of Father John J, Wynne, the first Editor of America magazine. Born in New York City, John Joseph Wynne graduated from St. Francis Xavier College (now Xavier High School) before joining the Jesuits in 1876. After his ordination, he joined the staff of the Jesuit magazine Messenger of the Sacred Heart. He served as editor until 1909. It was largely a devotional magazine. Convinced of the need for a weekly to discuss national and world affairs, he launched America in 1909. He served as editor for the first year. He then went on to oversee the production of the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia, which is still extensively used online. He also oversaw the production of The New Catholic Dictionary. As Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs at Auriesville, New York, he actively promoted the cause of the North American Martyrs, who were canonized in 1930. He was also active in promoting the canonization cause of Kateri Tekakwitha, who was beatified in 1980.

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