December 5, 2018

Patrick C. Keely Receives Laetare Medal, March 30, 1884, The Catholic Review, April 5, 1884 The Laetare Medal of the University of Notre Dame was conferred last Sunday on the great Catholic architect, Mr. Patrick Charles Keely of Brooklyn. No more honorable selection could have been made, nor one that would certainly reflect back on the University conferring it an honor fully corresponding to that which it gave. All public testimonies of honor, such as this, ought to have a mutual… Read more

December 4, 2018

In the summer of 1854, a young Irish priest named Hugh Gallagher traveled back to his homeland from a far-off city on the other side of the world known as San Francisco. Father Gallagher’s job was to recruit women religious for work in this growing city that needed the kind of help they were best qualified for: teaching children, tending to the poor and sick, nursing the dying. Soon after he arrived, Father Gallagher approached the Mother Superior of the… Read more

December 3, 2018

Friends, this morning marks the Feast of St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), the Jesuit missionary who helped bring Christianity to Japan and India. Born in Spain, he was studying at the University of Paris when he met St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556). Together with their five companions, they founded the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits. After working in Rome for a few years, Francis plunged into missionary work, first in India and then Japan, where he was highly successful…. Read more

December 2, 2018

Introduction Born in France and raised in England, Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) was one of the most prolific, not to mention fiery and controversial, Catholic authors in the first half of the twentieth century. He wrote in just about every genre: poetry, travel writing, essays, history, biography, and current events. Deeply committed to Europe’s Catholic heritage, one of his most famous quotes is “the faith is Europe and Europe is the faith.” His writing has inspired the likes of Pink Floyd… Read more

December 1, 2018

Church History can often surprise you. Just when you think the Church is on her last legs, she manages to regenerate herself through the saints she produces. For example, following the disasters of the French Revolution, a revived  Church produced saints like John Vianney,  Therese of Lisieux, and Blessed Frederic Ozanam, to name a few. Marian apparitions like Lourdes occurred with surprising frequency. New religious orders arose regularly, and French missionaries traveled worldwide. One of this revival’s major figures was… Read more

November 30, 2018

At the moment there are nearly forty American men and women who have begun the path toward official sainthood in the Catholic Church under the title “Servant of God.” Some of the more famous are Dorothy Day, Catholic Worker co-founder, and Father Isaac Hecker, founder of the Paulists. They include men and women, lay and religious, from all walks of life. (Two of them, Father Augustus Tolton and Julia Greeley, were former slaves.) There’s a good chance that Francis Joseph… Read more

November 29, 2018

Friends, today marks the 38th anniversary of Servant of God Dorothy Day’s passing. In 1933, she and Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker movement, probably the most radical program of evangelical poverty ever seen in American life. I hope you’ll enjoy this video I created to honor her life and work. Hopefully, on some future November 29th, we’ll be celebrating the Feast of St. Dorothy! Read more

November 28, 2018

Introduction: The Sacred Heart Review was published out of Massachusetts between 1888 and 1918, covering Catholic news both national and local. Many of its articles sought to defend Catholics against charges of being unpatriotic, so the paper highlighted Catholic contributions to the building up of the American nation. Born in Maryland, John Carroll (1735-1815) became the first Roman Catholic Bishop in the United States. (Baltimore was America’s first Catholic Diocese.) A former Jesuit (the order was suppressed from 1773 to 1814),… Read more

November 27, 2018

From the Pulpit: Bishop John Loughlin, St. James Pro-Cathedral, Brooklyn, New York, July 13, 1884. The first Bishop of Brooklyn, John Loughlin (1817-1891) served in that role for 38 years, from 1853 until his death in 1891. He was only 36 years old when he was appointed. He was responsible for erecting across Long Island a vast network of Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals and orphanages where there were none. Almost none of his papers have survived, but here we have… Read more

November 26, 2018

Between 1873 and 1879, nearly eight thousand people died during Memphis’s Yellow Fever epidemics. While ministering to the sick, some thirty-four physicians lost their lives, along with twenty-four police officers and twenty-four firefighters, two dozen Catholic priests, and fifty women religious. In Memphis’s Calvary Cemetery there stands a monument to the priests, but none to the Sisters. Although a monument in Washington, D.C., honors nuns who served in Civil War hospitals, more Sisters died in Memphis in those six years… Read more

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