Bishop’s Grave Lost and Found

Today marks the death of John Connolly (1750-1825), second Bishop of New York from 1815 to 1825. Born in County Meath, he joined the Dominicans and studied in Belgium, where he was ordained in 1774. For 37 years he taught at the Irish Dominican College in Rome. In 1814 he was named second Bishop of [Read More...]

Librarian, Mountainclimber, Pope

Today marks the election of Pope Pius XI in 1922. Born Achille Ratti in 1857, he grew up near Milan and was ordained in 1879. He taught in Milan’s seminary and was named head of the Ambrosian Library in 1888. Father Ratti was an expert in Medieval paleography. In 1907 he was named head of [Read More...]

Eagle Scout Nears Sainthood

Just the other day, Deacon Greg Kandra posted the sad story of a seminarian who died just before his ordination. In a few days, we’ll be marking the passing of another seminarian who died young, and whose canonization cause is underway. February 7 marks the passing of Frank Parater (1897-1920), a seminarian from the Richmond [Read More...]

The First Nuns in Arkansas

Today in 1851 marks the arrival of twelve Sisters of Mercy in Little Rock, Arkansas. They soon founded Mount St. Mary’s Academy, where February 5 is known as “Founders’ Day.” Not only was it the first Catholic school in the state, it was the first school in the state. In an area where there were [Read More...]

Columbus Dominican Anniversary

The first Dominican Sisters in the United States took their vows in 1822 in Kentucky. Mother Angela Sansbury was the first superior. In 1830, at the request of Bishop Benedict Fenwick of Cincinnati, five Sisters came to Ohio, where they started St. Mary’s Academy in Somerset. Today marks the beginning of the Columbus Dominicans. They [Read More...]

His Cousin the Saint

On Thursday, March 12, 2009, at 6:00 P.M., author Justin Catanoso will the guest speaker at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute in Manhattan. An accomplished journalist, Justin will be talking about his new book My Cousin the Saint. The grandson of Italian immigrants, he talks about rediscovering his grandfather’s cousin Father Gaetano Catanoso [Read More...]

What were they singing in 1888?

Check archive.org to find out. The author was Father Alfred Young (1831-1900), a Paulist priest and musician. For more on the Paulists’ musical contributions through the years take a look at this essay on the community’s website. [Read more...]

Leonard Feeney and the “Boston Heresy Case”

This day in 1953 marks the excommunication of Father Leonard Feeney (1897-1978), a Boston-based Jesuit whose views on salvation were at the center of the 1949 “Boston Heresy Case.” Born in Massachusetts, he joined the Jesuits at age eighteen and was ordained in 1928. A popular lecturer, author, and poet, in the early 1940’s he [Read More...]

America’s First Black Nuns

Today marks the death of Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange (1784-1882), foundress and first superior of the Oblate Sisters of Providence. Born Elizabeth Clarisse Lange in Haiti, she came to America as a child, settling in Baltimore. With money left her by her parents, she started teaching African-American children in her own home. With the support [Read More...]

McNamara’s Blog Gets Darted!

Yesterday I learned that the Premio Dardo blog award has been bestowed on McNamara’s Blog. Many thanks to Pentimento, whose lovely blog I admire for doing one of the noblest things we can: “working to create a culture of love and beauty on the web.” She kindly describes McNamara’s Blog as a “reverent treasure trove [Read More...]


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