St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn

This 1916 poster advertises Long Island’s first Catholic women’s college. That Fall St. Joseph’s College opened in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn with twelve students. Founded under the auspices of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, until 1956 its president was a priest of the Brooklyn Diocese. Since then it’s had a Josephite [Read More...]

The Bishop who started the National Shrine

Today in 1932 marks the death of Bishop Thomas J. Shahan (1857-1932), fourth Rector of The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Born to immigrant parents in New Hampshire, he studied for the priesthood in Montreal and in Rome, where he was ordained in 1882. While he was in Rome he earned a doctorate in [Read More...]

Beautiful Meditation by Cardinal Newman

So much of whatever Cardinal Newman chose to write about cut right to the heart of the matter, and the following meditation is among the most beautiful of all his writing: God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself; but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have [Read More...]

More on Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust

This from the Catholic News Service wire: VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A document found in a Rome convent confirms that Pope Pius XII quietly ordered church institutions to open their doors to Jews fleeing Nazi arrest and deportation, a church expert said. “The Holy Father wants to save his children, including the Jews, and orders [Read More...]

St. John of God (1495-1550)

If today wasn’t a Sunday, we’d be celebrating the Feast of St. John of God (1495-1550). Nonetheless, this oft-overlooked saint deserves some attention. Shepherd, soldier, inmate in an insane asylum, bookseller, founder of a religious order, John Cuidad packed a lot of living into fifty-five years. Born in Portugal, as a young man he became [Read More...]

Letters from America

Between 1850 and 1890, approximately 1.2 million German Catholics came to America. Many settled on Manhattan’s lower East Side and in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section. Anna Heck was among the many German immigrants who came to Williamsburg. She and her family belonged to Most Holy Trinity parish on Montrose Avenue (seen here in the 1850’s). In [Read More...]

St. Siméon-François Berneux (1814-1866)

Today in 1866 marks the death of St. Siméon-François Berneux (1814-1866), who was martyred in Korea. Born to a poor family in France, he studied for the priesthood in Mans and was ordained in 1837. In 1839 he joined the Paris Foreign Mission Societyand volunteered for the missions in Vietnam. There he was captured, beath [Read More...]

Confederate General Received into the Church

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, General James Longstreet (1821-1904) became a scapegoat for the South’s woes. He was remembered as the general who argued with Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, the one that befriended Ulysses S Grant (they were actually lifelong friends), and the one became a Republican. He was also the [Read More...]

Upcoming Lectures on Sisters of Charity History

The Sisters of Charity are currently celebrating the bicentennial of their founding by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in 1809. Among the upcoming events is a lecture by Monsignor Thomas J. Shelley on the history of the Sisters in their educational apostolate. Monsignor Shelley, who teaches Theology at Fordham University, has just authored an impressive book [Read More...]

Ireland’s Spiritual Empire

In her 1989 book, The Living Legend of St. Patrick, Alanah Hopkins writes: “There are 800 Churches around the world named after St. Patrick. St. Patrick’s Day means the tolling of bells for Ireland’s saint from Buenos Aires to Shanghai.” In her 2000 book Goodbye to Catholic Ireland, Mary Kenny talks about the “spiritual empire” [Read More...]