Former Know-Nothing Converts to Catholicism

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The Order of the Star Spangled Banner was founded in New York in 1849 in opposition to the rise of a predominantly Catholic immigration to the United States. Members were pledged to secrecy about the order. When asked about it, they answered “I know nothing”; hence the nickname the “Know-Nothings.” During the 1850′s, membership rose [Read More...]

Catholic Sermons: “Holy Mass a Treasure” (1912)

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In further considering the First Commandment of the Church it is to be noted that there is no other difference between the Third Commandment of God and the First Commandment of the Church except that the Church, inspired by the Holy Ghost and following Apostolic tradition, orders the Sunday to be observed instead of the [Read More...]

Who’s Buried in Catholic Cemeteries: “Nonpareil” Dempsey (1862-1895)

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  Born John Edward Kelly in County Kildare, Ireland, he was known in boxing circles as “Nonpareil Jack Demsey” because of his reputation as being unbeatable in the ring. In his first 65 matches, he lost only three times. He reigned as World Middleweight Champion from July 30, 1884, to January 14, 1891. He lost [Read More...]

Catholic Poetry: “Our Lady of the May” by J. Corson Miller

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Our Lady of the May By J. Corson Miller   Hail, thou thrice-glorious Queen of the slumbering night! All hail, immortal Queen of radiant day! Sweet Mistress of the May— Through thee, through thee The Son of God assumed the mystery Of flaming Savior for this fallen world, And death was hurled Into the pit [Read More...]

Parish Mission for Deaf Catholics, 1899

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The New York Mission to Deaf Mutes By Rev. Joseph Rockwell, S.J. The Woodstock Letters, Vol. XXVIII (1899): 248-252. For some years back, a Father of the Society has been in charge of the deaf mutes of New York City. He preaches to them in the sign language every Sunday afternoon, at St. Francis Xavier’s, [Read More...]

Catholics on Stage: Blanche Walsh (1873-1915)

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This popular favorite has made herself a prominent place among the actresses whose forte is found in emotional roles. She was born in New York, January 4, 1873, and is the daughter of Thomas and Minnie Savorie Walsh. Miss Walsh made her debut on the professional stage at the age of sixteen, with Marie Wainwright, [Read More...]

Queens Parish First One Named for St. Joan of Arc, 1920

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CHURCH OF ST. JOAN OF ARC. Parish at Jackson Heights First in America to be Named for New Saint. (The New York Times, July 11, 1920)   Ground was broken last Tuesday for the new church of St. Joan of Arc, on Fillmore Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens. This new parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese [Read More...]

Roads to Rome: U.S. Army Officer Enters the Church, 1909

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Georginia Pell Curtis’s 1909 anthology Some Roads to Rome offers a series of first-hand accounts of Catholic converts. The following is the story of an unidentified U.S. Army officer who embraced Catholicism. His account of going to Confession during the Philippine War is quite interesting, and sheds some light on the real universality of the [Read More...]

St. Francis Xavier College Entrance Requirements, 1899

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The College of St. Francis Xavier was founded in 1847 by the Jesuits in Manhattan. Until 1912 it operated a high school division and a college division. The college closed in the early 1920′s and the high school still operates today as Xavier High School on West Sixteenth Street. The following is a list of [Read More...]

A Franciscan in Memphis: Father Francis Moening, O.F.M.

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Founder of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Fr. Francis, of German extraction, entered the Franciscan Order in 1862; was ordained priest in 1867, and was successively appointed Assistant Pastor, Apostolic Missionary, College Professor, Pastor and Superior and Episcopal Consultor in various places before coming to Memphis in 1887. Here in Memphis he built and enlarged St. Mary’s [Read More...]


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