Happy Birthday, Mrs. Brady!

Today marks pop culture icon and lifelong Catholic Florence Henderson’s seventy-fifth birthday. Born Florence Agnes Henderson in Owensboro, Kentucky, she studied at St. Francis Academy, a local girls’ high school run by the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand. After graduation she went to New York, making her Broadway debut in 1952. (No information is [Read More...]

Before Father Duffy, there was Father Chidwick

On February 14, 1898, in Spanish-controlled Havana harbor, the U.S. battleship Maine blew up, the event that triggered the Spanish-American War. Research now shows that the explosion was an accident, but a war-hungry American public was all too eager to accept the conspiracy theory hatched by the jingoist “Yellow Press.” One of the forgotten heroes [Read More...]

Upcoming Lecture on Italian Emigrants

JOHN D. CALANDRA ITALIAN AMERICAN INSTITUTEQueens College, CUNY THE PHILIP V. CANNISTRARO SEMINAR SERIES IN ITALIAN AMERICAN STUDIES Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 6 p.m.Emigrant Nation: The Making of Italy AbroadMark Choate, Brigham Young UniversityBetween 1880 and 1915, thirteen million Italians left their homeland, launching the largest emigration from any country in recorded world history. As [Read More...]

Willa Cather’s Archbishop

Willa Cather once wrote that the story of the Catholic Church in the American Southwest “was the most interesting of all its stories.” She was particularly interested in the figure of Santa Fe’s first Archbishop, Jean-Baptiste Lamy (1814-1888), whom she described as “well bred and distinguished… there was something about him both fearless and fine.” [Read More...]

Harvard Honors R.C. Bishop, 1861

Today marks the death of John Bernard Fitzpatrick (1812-1866), Boston’s third Bishop. While his father emigrated from Ireland, his mother’s family had deep roots in Boston history; a grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. As a young man he studied at the prestigious Boston Latin School, America’s oldest public school (founded in 1635). Fitzpatrick studied [Read More...]

Jesuit Creates Gregorian Calendar

Today also marks the death of Father Christopher Clavius (1538-1612), the Jesuit mathematician and astronomer who created the Gregorian Calendar, which is still the internationally accepted civil calendar. During his lifetime, he was in close contact with the likes of Galileo and Kepler, who esteemed him highly. Born In Germany, he joined the Jesuits at [Read More...]

Pitchers and Catchers Report Today

[Read more...]

Bishop Sheen’s TV Debut

Today in 1952 marks the debut of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen’s Emmy award winning television program “Life is Worth Living.” During its five year run, the program had nearly thirty million viewers. The show was placed in the same time slot with Milton Berle, Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., and it wasn’t expected to survive. Berle [Read More...]

A Catholic New Deal

Today marks the release in 1919 of a document known as the “Bishops’ Program of Social Reconstruction.” The primary author was Father John A. Ryan, a Catholic University professor whose writings were among the first to endorse a federally mandated minimum wage. The Bishops’ Program was the first statement released by the newly formed National [Read More...]

Extreme Parish Makeover: Lourdes Edition

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes offers a good opportunity to pay tribute to a local parish named (or rather renamed) in her honor. In 1872 the Fathers of Mercy, a French-based religious community, started a parish in Brooklyn’s Bushwick section for a growing Catholic population. Named for St. Francis De Sales, the parish [Read More...]