“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...]

“Be prepared only for hard work”

Today marks the birth of Mother Mary Anselma Felber (1843-1883), foundress of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Born Elizabeth Felber, at seventeen she entered the Convent of Perpetual Adoration in Maria Rickenbach, Switzerland. In August 1874 she led a group of sisters to Conception, Missiouri, to help the Benedictine Fathers in ministering to the [Read More...]

“America may come to exhibit a proof to the world”

In 1789, when the United States got its first President, it also got its first Roman Catholic Bishop, John Carroll (1735-1815). On November 6, 1789, he was named Bishop of Baltimore, and his diocese encompassed the entire American nation. Born to a prominent Maryland family, his brother Daniel signed both the Articles of Confederation and [Read More...]

Father Moreau, Founder of the Holy Cross Family

Today marks the death of Father Basil Moreau (1799-1873), a French priest who founded the Congregation of the Holy Cross to addresss the pastoral and educational needs of the local Church, which was still recovering from the French Revolution. The community’s name is taken from the place where it was founded: Sainte Croix, a suburb [Read More...]

The Apostle of Japan

Today marks the death of Alessandro Valignano (1539-1606), the Italian missionary who oversaw Jesuit activity in Asia for over thirty years. He was among the first Europeans to master the language. It was Valignano who sent the great Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci to China, but his real ambition was the conversion of Japan, a country [Read More...]

“The Snowshoe Bishop”

Today marks the death of Bishop Frederic Baraga (1797-1868), first Bishop of Marquette and the first Slovenian priest in America. Ordained in 1823, he answered a call for volunteers to minister to Michigan’s Native peoples. For nearly forty years he worked in northern Michigan, often traveling on snowshoes through harsh winter weather. He wrote the [Read More...]

“Whatever concerns the poor is always our affair.”

Today marks the death of Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart (1823-1902). Born Esther Pariseau in Montreal, she joined the Sisters of Providence at age twenty. In 1856, she and four other sisters were sent to Fort Vancouver, Washington. In 1858 she founded the first permanent hospital in the Pacific Northwest, St. Joseph’s. By the [Read More...]