Just a Reminder…

[Read more...]

“Racism is a God Damned Thing”

He looked like a movie star, and John Markoe’s life would make a pretty good movie. Born to a blue-blood Philadelphia family in 1890, he left home after high school to work on the railroad out west. He came back when he was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He played in [Read More...]

Tolkien’s Parish

Today marks the founding of the Birmingham Oratory in 1848. After his conversion, John Henry Newman decided to join the Oratorians, founded by St. Philip Neri in 1575. For Newman, the Oratory most closely approximated his ideal of religious life with its balance between the communal life and individual initiative. When he returned to England, [Read More...]

Queen Victoria’s Favorite Poet

Today marks the death of Adelaide Anne Procter (1825-1864), poet, social reformer, and convert. The daughter of poet Bryan Waller Procter, she began publishing her poems in Charles Dickens’ literary magazine Household Words anonymously. Her identity was soon discovered, and Dickens published her poems regularly over the next few years. Her first collection of poems [Read More...]

A New Approach to Religious Life

Today marks the founding of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary in France in 1791. At the height of the French Revolution, Adelaide de Cicé, a French noblewoman, founded this community. What made this community different was that the sisters didn’t wear habits, nor were they known as sisters. To this day they still [Read More...]

Francis Paul Libermann (1804-1852)

Today marks the death of Francis Libermann (1804-1852), founder of a missionary order. Born Jacob Libermann in Alsace, the son of a Rabbi, he converted to Catholicism and was ordained a priest in 1841. He soon founded a community, the Congrregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which worked both with Africans and with people [Read More...]

Francis Clement Kelley and the Home Missions

Today marks the death of Francis Clement Kelly (1870-1948), Bishop and founder of the Catholic Extension Society. Born in Canada, he was ordained in Detroit in 1893. It was while he was working in rural parishes that he got the idea of creating an organization to meet the needs of parishes like his own. He [Read More...]

Catholic Press Month 2009

The Catholic Press has been a part of the American experience since the first newspaper under Catholic auspices was published in Charleston in 1822, The U.S. Catholic Miscellany. But for most of the 1800’s, Catholic journalism was a shaky endeavor, the biggest issue being finance. Newly formed dioceses lacked funds for a newspaper, so most [Read More...]

Black History Month 2009

Father Cyprian Davis is a Benedictine priest who teaches Church History at St. Meinrad;’s School of Theology in Indiana. His book The History of Black Catholics in the United States is one I can’t recommend highly enough. The following is a reflection he wrote for Michael Leach and Therese Borchard’s lovely book I Like Being [Read More...]

“Father and Teacher of Youth”

Today marks the feast of St. John Bosco (1819-1888), founder of the Salesians. Born Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco in Piedmont, he was ordained a priest in 1841 and assigned to Turin, where he began a ministry to city’s disadvantaged youth. He started by forming youth clubs and expanded the work into a religious order that is [Read More...]