First Catholic Priest Ordained in the United States, 1793

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June is traditionally the month when most ordinations to the priesthood take place. For that reason, for this month “McNamara’s Blog” will be highlighting the history of the priesthood in the United States by looking at ordinations, seminaries, and historic “firsts,” such as the following: The first Catholic priest ordained within the limits of the [Read More...]

Former Know-Nothing Converts to Catholicism

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The Order of the Star Spangled Banner was founded in New York in 1849 in opposition to the rise of a predominantly Catholic immigration to the United States. Members were pledged to secrecy about the order. When asked about it, they answered “I know nothing”; hence the nickname the “Know-Nothings.” During the 1850′s, membership rose [Read More...]

A Franciscan in Memphis: Father Francis Moening, O.F.M.

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Founder of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Fr. Francis, of German extraction, entered the Franciscan Order in 1862; was ordained priest in 1867, and was successively appointed Assistant Pastor, Apostolic Missionary, College Professor, Pastor and Superior and Episcopal Consultor in various places before coming to Memphis in 1887. Here in Memphis he built and enlarged St. Mary’s [Read More...]


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