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Select a Month
January 11, 2019
“A Victorian Mother Teresa”: Servant of God Elizabeth Prout (1820-1864)
During the Industrial Revolution, Manchester became England’s leading manufacturing center. In 1844, Friedrich Engels, co-author...
January 08, 2019
Catholics in the Movies: J. Carrol Naish (1896-1973)
He was known as “Hollywood’s one-man U.N.” for the various characters he played: Italians, Native...
January 07, 2019
Katherine Burton and the Future of Catholic Biography
Let me make a confession: I have no head for philosophy or theology. It’s too...
January 06, 2019
Who’s It Named For? General Judson Kilpatrick Columbiettes, Vernon, N.J.
The Columbiettes are an organization of Catholic women connected to the Knights of Columbus. They...
January 05, 2019
New Biography of St. Aloysius Hits the Mark
Silas S. Henderson, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J., With an Unidivided Heart (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius...
January 04, 2019
Newly Made Saints: St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (1877-1940)
The Church is never short of saints, and I always enjoy learning about new ones....
January 03, 2019
Holy Name Rally at Ebbets Field Attracts 60,000 Catholic Men, May 1941
Since the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is celebrated as an optional memorial...
January 02, 2019
“A Shame and a Scandal”: Black Catholics Fight Racism
This day in 1889 marks the birth of the National Black Catholic Congress. On January...
January 01, 2019
Looking Forward in 2019: Some American Catholic History Anniversary Dates
Friends, as we begin a new year, here are some anniversary dates to keep in...
December 31, 2018
Looking Back at 2018: Some Anniversary Dates in American Catholic History
Here are some of the anniversaries that we commemorated in McNamara’s Blog for 2018:...
December 30, 2018
From West Point to the Priesthood: Father George Deshon, C.S.P.
Today marks the passing in 1903 of a seminal figure in early Paulist history,...
December 29, 2018
Three Giants of Brooklyn Catholicism
On this day in three separate years, three significant figures in the early history of...
December 28, 2018
Who’s It Named For? Corrigan Hall, Seton Hall University
As we travel around the nations's Catholic college campuses this week, we come to Seton...
December 27, 2018
The Briordys of Brooklyn, New York: A Tribute
One of the reasons I got into American Catholic history was as a way to...
December 26, 2018
New Books on Catholics and the American Civil War
As readers might guess, I've long been interested in the intersection between Catholic history and...
December 25, 2018
When Catholics Swept the Oscars
On Christmas Day, I always enjoy watching movies with a spiritual theme, and one of...
December 22, 2018
Soon-to-be Saints: Servant of God Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin (1770-1840)
Today marks the birth of a priest known as “the Apostle of the Alleghenies,” one...
December 21, 2018
What’s in a Name? Canisius College, Buffalo, New York (1870)
Founded in 1870 in downtown Buffalo, Canisius College is one of twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and...
December 20, 2018
Gerard Manley Hopkins: Finding God in All Things
In 1800’s England, becoming Catholic was, writes historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, “a fate worse than death.”...
December 19, 2018
Who’s Buried in Catholic Cemeteries: Mayor William R. Grace (1832-1904)
Michael Bloomberg wasn't the first New York Mayor to learn Spanish. That distinction belongs to...
December 18, 2018
Isaac Hecker: Who He is, Why He Matters
The Paulist Fathers were founded by Servant of God Isaac Hecker in 1858 as the...
December 14, 2018
Forgotten Catholic Poets: John Bannister Tabb (1845-1909)
It's hard to imagine just how profoundly different Catholics in 1800's America felt from their...
December 13, 2018
Who’s It Named For? Collins Hall, Fordham University, Bronx, New York
At so many Catholic colleges, we pass by buildings named for people associated with the...
December 12, 2018
Who’s Buried in Catholic Cemeteries: Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper wasn't raised Catholic, but his wife Veronica and daughter Maria were devout Catholics....
December 11, 2018
The Unwilling Catholic: General William Tecumseh Sherman
Not long before his death, General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) told an interviewer: "My family...
December 10, 2018
Scandal and Renewal at Gethsemani Abbey
In 1948, the book world's surprise hit was The Seven Storey Mountain, the autobiography of...
December 09, 2018
Catholics in the Movies: Raoul Walsh (1887-1980)
He was one of Golden Age Hollywood’s most prolific figures, its premier action director. Over...
December 08, 2018
Brooklyn College Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, 1915
Right Rev. George W. Mundelein, "New Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception," The Brooklyn Eagle, September 7,...
December 07, 2018
Before Alcoholics Anonymous: Father Mathew and the Pledge
When I was growing up in Queens, I had a number of friends whose Irish-born...
December 05, 2018
Brooklyn Catholic Architect Receives Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, 1884
Patrick C. Keely Receives Laetare Medal, March 30, 1884, The Catholic Review, April 5, 1884 The...
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