Looking Forward in 2019: Some American Catholic History Anniversary Dates

Looking Forward in 2019: Some American Catholic History Anniversary Dates January 1, 2019

Friends, as we begin a new year, here are some anniversary dates to keep in mind for this coming year:

  • The 250th anniversary of the birth of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852), who brought the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (R.S.C.J.) to the United States.
  • The 250th anniversary of St. Junipero Serra’s founding the first of the California Missions, in what is now San Diego.
  • The 230th anniversary of the founding of the first American Diocese, Baltimore, and the naming of its first Bishop, John Carroll.
  • The 230th anniversary of the founding of Georgetown University, the first Catholic university in the United States.
  • The 210th Anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity in Emmittsburg, Maryland, by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in 1809.
  • The 200th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Mary Frances Schervier (1819-1876), who founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor (S.F.P.) in 1845.
  • The 200th anniversary of the birth of Servant of God Issac Thomas Hecker, C.S.P. (1819-1888), founder of the Paulist Fathers, the first religious community of priests in the United States. 
  • The 190th anniversary of the founding in Baltimore of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first community of African American women religious.  
  • The 175th anniversary of St. Mary’s College, South Bend, the first women’s college in the Great Lakes region, by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
  • The 175th anniversary of the Kensington Riots in Philadelphia, which showed the extent to which anti-Catholicism permeated American life during the years of heavy immigration from Ireland and Germany.
  • The 150th anniversary of the birth of Monsignor John A. Ryan (1869-1945), one of the leading promoters of Catholic social thought in American life. 
  • The 130th Anniversary of the First Lay Catholic Congresses, as well as of the First Colored Catholic Congresses.  
  • The 130th anniversary of the passing of St. Damien De Veuster, better known as “Father Damien.”
  • The 100th anniversary of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Many people don’t know that the first school of any kind to train men (and later women too) for careers in diplomacy and foreign commerce was founded under Catholic auspices.
  • The 100th anniversary of the Bishops’ Program of Reconstruction, a  visionary document that called for far-reaching changes in American politics, economics and society to realize the aims of Catholic social teaching. Author Upton Sinclair hailed it as “a Catholic miracle.”
  • The 100th Anniversary of the passing of Servant of God Father Thomas Frederick Price (1860-1919), co-founder of Maryknoll, America’s first Catholic missionary order.
  • The 80th anniversary of the passing of George Cardinal Mundelein (1872-1939), Chicago’s first Cardinal Archbishop, first Cardinal West of the Mississippi.
  • The 80th anniversary of the founding of Glenmary Home Missioners by Father William Howard Bishop (1885-1953), to serve rural America.
  • The 40th anniversary of the passing of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), perhaps the greatest Catholic evangelizer in the history of American media.

To all my readers, I wish a blessed and happy New Year in 2019! May God bless us all this coming year!

(*The drawing of St. Elizabeth Seton is by Pat McNamara.) 

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