Can Soap Be Anti-Catholic?

Back in the 1800′s, when people used the term “Native American,” they weren’t referring to the indigenous peoples of North America. They meant native-born white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Hence the anti-immigrant movement became known as Nativism. In 1849, a group of Nativists met in New York to form an organization they titled the “Order of the [Read More...]

Cardinal Consalvi, Papal Diplomat

Today marks the death of Cardinal Ercole Consalvi (1757-1824), a papal diplomat regarded as one of the greatest to ever serve the Holy See. A native Roman, he earned degrees in canon and civil law before entering the ranks of the papal government. He took Holy Orders early on, but wasn’t ordained a priest. In [Read More...]

St. Francis De Sales and the Universal Call to Holiness

Today is the Feast of St. Francis De Sales (1567-1622). Born to an aristocratic family in Savoy, he studied law and theology at the University of Padua before being ordained a priest in 1593. He was named Bishop of Geneva in 1602. In 1610, he and St. Jane Frances de Chantal founded the Visitation Sisters. [Read More...]

“Even a Fool is Silent and Adores.”

Today is the feast day for Blessed Marianne Cope (1838-1918), a Franciscan sister who worked with Father Damien on the island of Moloka’i ministering to the lepers there. Born in Germany, her family emigrated to upstate New York when she was young. At age twenty-four she joined the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia. Over the next [Read More...]

William Gaston: Southerner, Catholic, Politician

Today marks the death of William Gaston (1778-1844): lawyer, politician, judge, and Southern Catholic. Born in North Carolina to a Protestant father and a Catholic mother, in 1791 he was the first student to enroll at Georgetown College in Washington, D.C. (Until the early 1900’s, there wasn’t a clear line of demarcation between high schools [Read More...]

“When We Are Devoted to Mary We Will Imitate Jesus.”

The Church historian Roger Aubert estimates that every year of the nineteenth century saw a new religious community dedicated somewhere in the world to the Blessed Mother. Today marks the death of William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), a French priest who founded the Marianists in 1817. Ordained just before the French Revolution, Chaminade refused to take [Read More...]

“To Revive Faith and Rekindle Charity”

Today marks the Feast of St. Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850), an Italian priest who founded a religious order. Born to a noble Roman family, he taught theology after his ordination in 1820. But his real interest was in pastoral work, and his goal was to form a collaborative program between clergy, religious and laity, known as [Read More...]

“That Courageous Prophet of Peace”

Today marks the death of Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922). Born Giacomo Della Chiesa, he spent most of his ecclesiastical career in the Vatican diplomatic corps before being named Archbishop of Bologna in 1907. When Pope Pius X died in 1914, Word War I had just begun, and the cardinals who assembled to elect a new [Read More...]

This Day in Brooklyn Catholic History

Today marks the dedication of St. Paul’s Church in 1838, the second Catholic church founded on Long Island. (The first was St. James Cathedral in downtown Brooklyn, founded 1822.) Among Brooklyn Catholic churches, St. Paul’s (renamed St. Agnes and St. Paul in 2007) bears the distinction of being the oldest standing building. The original structure [Read More...]

“We have an obligation to radiate Christ all about us.”

Today marks the death of Mother Angeline McCrory (1893-1984), foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm. Born in County Tyrone, Ireland, she joined the Little Sisters of the Poor at nineteen. She was soon assigned to the United States, working in homes for elderly. In 1929, with the support of New York [Read More...]