Anti-Catholic Cartoon of the Week: “Three Things That Never Marry”

This widely circulated tract did duty in several anti-Catholic campaigns in the 1910’s and 1920’s. It reads as follows:THREE THINGS THAT NEVER MARRYThree things that never marry—a bull, a bulldog, and a Catholic priest. The bull and the dog are living in harmony with the laws of nature. The priest ignores and defies the laws of nature and the commandments of God, insults decency and outrages social custom by assuming the pagan obligation of celibacy. The priest can have no woman of his … [Read More...]

Fr Kelly OP

A Dominican in Memphis: Father Joseph A. Kelly, O.P. (1827-1885)

Very Rev. Joseph Augustine Kelly, O.P.— Born in Dublin, Ireland, 1827. Came to America at the age of ten. Reared in Philadelphia, Pa., and Louisville, Ky. Graduate St. Mary’s… [in] Bardstown, Ky. Entered Dominican Order 1843. Ordained July 27, 1850; classical course, St. Rose’s, Springfield, Ky.; St. Joseph’s, Somerset, Ohio, after ordination; 1854 was elected President of college; 1858 was elected Provincial of Dominican Fathers in eastern states, holding office until 1862. In spring, 1863, was … [Read More...]

African American Daguerrotype

An African-American Woman Writes to Pope Pius IX, 1853

New York, October 29th, 1863Most Holy Father Visible Head of the Church of Jesus Christ.I humbly write these lines to beseech your Holiness in the name of the same Saviour if you will provide for the salvation of the black race in the United States who is going astray from neglect on the part of those who have the care of souls. Now I would dare to say anything disrespectful against the ministers of God but the reason for this neglect is, as it is well known to your Holiness, that most … [Read More...]


“New York Catholics” Now Available on Amazon!

My new book New York Catholics: Faith, Attitude & the Works! is now available on Amazon. It's a celebration of the difference that 76 different Catholic women and men have made, and are making, in the life of New York City. The first half of the book profiles historical figures from St. Elizabeth Seton to Mychal Judge, while the second looks at people ranging from our own Deacon Greg Kandra of The Deacon's Bench to Jimmy Fallon and Martin Scorsese. It's been already lauded by authors and hi … [Read More...]


Who’s Buried in Catholic Cemeteries: Mayor Hugh J. Grant (1858-1910)

Born in New York City on September 10, 1858, Hugh J. Grant grew up in Manhattan, where he attended Manhattan College (then located in Manhattanville) before studying abroad. Upon his return he studied at Columbia Law School. An active Democrat. he soon got into politics, running unsuccessfully for Mayor at age 27. He did serve as the 88th Mayor of New York City from 1889 to 1892, as one of the nation's youngest mayors and one of the city's first Catholic mayors. After leaving the mayor's office, … [Read More...]

John Lee Carroll

Catholics in Public Service: John Lee Carroll (1830-1911)

Born in Baltimore, John Lee Carroll was the great-great-grandson of Charles Carroll (1737-1832), the sole Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence.  His great-grandfather  Thomas Sim Lee (1745-1819) was Governor of Maryland (1779-1783, 1792-1794). John Lee Carroll studied at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and Georgetown University. He later studied law at Harvard University. After many years practicing law, Carroll was elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1 … [Read More...]


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...]