Those Hanselman Boys

Today marks the death of Father Joseph F. Hanselman (1856-1923), who played a leading role in the American Jesuits during his lifetime. Born in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section, he began studies for the diocesan priesthood, but decided to join the Jesuits instead. Ordained in 1892, he began teaching at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, [Read More...]

Upcoming Lecture at Fordham

Back in 2001, Father Mark Massa, S.J., started a center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham. The Curran Center has become one of the premier institutes of its kind in the country. On Tuesday, February 3, at 6 p.m., they’ll be hosting a lecture by Dr. Margaret McGuiness, Chair of the Department of Religion at [Read More...]

The Dominican “Home Boys”

The Dominican History Blog is a model for Church History blogs. Today they have a great entry on the friars’ baseball teams from the 1920′s and 1930′s: At Ocean City the summer residence for the student brothers from the Dominican House of Studies had been used as an orphanage or a ‘home’, which is why [Read More...]

The Clerical Country Club

Until 1957, the Brooklyn diocese covered all of Long Island. For most of that time, the bulk of its parishes were concentrated in Brooklyn and Queens. Only after World War II did the number of Nassau and Suffolk parishes grow significantly. Before that, churches in that area were considered “country parishes.” This 1898 line drawing [Read More...]

Did the Jesuits Assassinate Lincoln?

According to Charles Chiniquy (1809-1899) they did. Today marks the death of the ex-priest who spent forty years on the anti-Catholic lecture circuit. Ordained in his native Quebec, he made his way to Illinois, where he became a Protestant. His books and lectures exposed both priestly corruption and Vatican plans to rule America. His bestseller [Read More...]

A Jesuit Brahmin

Today marks the death of Roberto de Nobili (1577-1656), an Italian Jesuit who spent more than fifty years as a missionary in India. Unlike most missionaries, de Nobili didn’t attempt to impose his own culture on the people he encountered. Instead, he studied theirs and attempted to reach them through it. He started to dress [Read More...]

“Weeping and Yet Hoping”

The occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday offers a good opportunity to share this photo taken during his audience with Pope Paul VI on September 18, 1964. It’s also a good chance to share the pontiff’s reflections on Dr. King’s death, which he delivered in his sermon at the 1968 Palm Sunday Mass: Brothers [Read More...]

Quote of the Day

Redeemed is the story of Heather King’s conversion to Catholicism and her life thereafter. It’s very readable, slightly irreverent, and highly relevant. She has a great quote that I can’t refrain from sharing here: “I’d be wrong to claim that the Church is perfect, but I’d be just as wrong to overlook the schools and [Read More...]

A Strange but True Coincidence

On January 15, 1888, Pope Leo XIII canonized Peter Claver (1581-1654), a Spanish Jesuit who ministered to African slaves in Colombia for over thirty years. Claver, who called himself the “slave of the Negroes,” was proclaimed patron of missions to people of African descent. Among the first churches named in his honor was a Brooklyn [Read More...]

“The Lord Challenges Our Faith to Do Something New”

Today is the Feast Day of St. Arnold Janssens (1837-1909), a German priest who founded the Divine Word Missionaries in 1875. During the Kulturkampf, a government crackdown on the Church, religious orders were dissolved, and a mass exodus of priests and religious from Germany occurred. Janssen suggested that they devote themselves to the missions, arguing [Read More...]


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