Bishop Matthias Loras (1792-1858)

Today marks the death of Bishop Matthias Loras (1792-1858), first Bishop of Dubuque, Iowa. Born in Lyons during the French Revolution, he lost seventeen relatives to the Reign of Terror(including his father when he was ten weeks old). At school he befriended Jean Vianney, the future saint. After his ordination in 1815, he spent a [Read More...]

Spellman Gets Red Hat, 1946

Today marks the day that New York’s Archbishop Francis Spellman (1889-1967) and 31 other men were elevated to the College of Cardinals. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Fordham in 1911 and studied at the North American College in Rome, where he was ordained in 1916. He returned to Massachusetts as a priest of the [Read More...]

Missionary Crucified in China, 1820

Today marks the death of St. Francis Regis Clet (1748-1820), a Vincentian missionary martyred in China. Born in Grenoble he joined St. Vincent De Paul’s Congregation of the Mission in 1769. He was ordained in 1773, and spent fifteen years teaching at the order’s seminary at Annecy. In 1788 he was named novice director at [Read More...]

Happy Birthday, Gregorian!

Today marks the founding of the world’s first Jesuit university, the Gregorian, in 1551. Originally named the Roman College, it was raised to university status in 1553. The university’s great patron was Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585), who gave a new building and endowment to the school, which was renamed in his honor. When the Society [Read More...]

Barnabites Founded, 1533

The sixteenth century saw a plethora of new religious communities like the Jesuits and the Oratorians, along with the reform of several others, such as the Capuchin Franciscans and St. Teresa of Avila’s Discalced Carmelites. Today marks the founding of the Barnabites in 1533 by St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria (seen here). It’s often assumed that [Read More...]

Just a Reminder

St. Patrick’s Day is one month away! [Read more...]

The Awful Anti-Catholicism of Maria Monk

The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk was one of 19th century America’s best sellers. It sold 300,000 copies before the Civil War. It belongs to a particular genre, that of the “escaped nun.” In his highly recommended book, American Catholic, Charles Morris writes: The tales follow a consistent pattern: An innocent young girl, full of [Read More...]

Catholic Action: The Comic Book

The phrase “Catholic Action” was an all-encompassing term that came into wide usage at the turn of the century. It referred to various groups of lay people attempting to bring a Catholicimprint to bear upon society at large. In his book The Soul of the Apostolate, Dom Chautard recalls a conversation Pope St. Pius X [Read More...]

Polish Religious Community Founded 1836

Today in 1836 marks the founding of the Congregation of the Resurrection in France. The first three members were a layman, Bogdan Janski, and two priests, Peter Semenenko and Jerome Kajsiewicz. Living among Polish refugees in Paris, Janski was an intellectual who found in the Gospel’s message the answer to the world’s problems. In his [Read More...]

Fordham Grad Leads Hunt for Lincoln Assassin

Tomorrow marks the death of General James Rowan O’Beirne (1844-1917), Civil War general and public official. Born in Roscommon, he emigrated to America as a child and graduated from St. John’s College (now Fordham University) before the war. During the war he served in the Eastern Theater, winning the Medal of Honor for bravey at [Read More...]