“The Apostle to the Chinese”: Father Charles E. Bradley, C.S.P. (1876-1947)

On December 7, 1947, Father Charles Eugene Bradley, CSP, died in New York at the age of 71 after 40 years in the Paulist priesthood. Born in Wichita, Kansas, on July 13, 1876, he moved to Chicago as a child and entered the Paulists in 1902. He was ordained in New York on May 25, 1907.

Father Bradley spent the first half of his career in San Francisco, much of it as Director of the Old St. Mary’s Chinese Mission. He built the Chinese school and chapel, introduced Chinese language and culture classes and converted an average of 15-20 Chinese immigrants a year. He was assigned to the Chicago mission band in the 1920s and in 1931 became pastor of Good Shepherd Church in New York, where he began plans to erect a new church. In 1934 he was appointed pastor of St. Lawrence parish in Minneapolis where he built the rectory and instituted popular inquiry classes and study clubs. He later worked once again in San Francisco, in Lubbock, Texas, and finally in Berkeley, California. In the early 1940’s illness forced him to retire, and he spent his final years after 1944 in New York City.

A parish builder and missionary, Father Bradley’s work in San Francisco was celebrated years after his death. He came to San Francisco unaware that he was to begin a labor of love with the Chinese which was to last for almost two decades. His devotion and untiring spiritual guidance converted hundreds of Chinese, young and old, and made him known throughout San Francisco as the “Apostle to the Chinese.”

NOTE: The above entry was posted on the website Find a Grave by the Office of Paulist History and Archives.

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