Fishers of Men

\”Come, follow me,\” Jesus said, \”and I will make you fishers of men.\”

The Church in America

Source:  OUR FAITH & THE FACTS, compiled by Rev. C. F. Donovan, M.A., published by Patrick L. Baine of Chicago, 1927 – Chapter 2, pages 37-74. 

oconnell2.jpgAmong the great religious enterprises which call for place on the pages of history, the discovery of America must receive prominent position. The story of Christopher Columbus is well known. It is recalled, that after so many fruitless efforts, aid came to him, when he least expected it, from Father Juan Perez, the prior of La Rabida Monasery, to whom he had applied for shelter in his extremity. It was Father Perez who took up his cause, pleading it so effectively to Queen Isabella of Spain, that she sent for Columbus, and, after hearing his story, pledged her jewels to supply funds for the expedition.

The motive which prompted all the participants in the early stages of the discovery, Columbus the navigator, Father Perez, the Franciscan monk, and Isabella the Catholic, was the same, namely a sincere desire to carry to unknown lands and peoples the message of Christ crucified. Theirs was the inspiration which brought the light of faith to the new world.

The First Mass

On the island of Haiti, the first Mass was celebrated in all America, in 1493. The priest who said the Mass was Juan Perez, friend and counselor of Columbus. On the second journey the priest accompanied his now famous and powerful friend. They landed on the island of Hispaniola, or Haiti. At Point Conception we are told that Father Perez built the boughs and thatched with straw the first chapel in the new world, and “there on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, offered up the first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the name of Jesus Christ blessed the land in whose discovery he had taken so conspicuous a part.”

In 1520, Don Luis Diaz, a priest in the conquering armies of Cortez, said Mass among the Tlaxcallons in Mexico. Many converts were made from the conquered race. In the Church of the Sanctuary, Mexico, a stone still marks the spot where the Baptisms of Cortez’ chaplain priests took place. The first pulpit used in America is there.

One of the men who accompanied Columbus in his second voyage, had brought back with him to Spain, an Indian boy whom he left with his son, Bartolome de Las Casas. The plight of the Indian youth, practically a slave in a strange land, touched the heart of Las Casas, who afterwards became a priest, accepting as his life’s mission the work among the Indians in the new world.

Our First Priest

Bartolome de Las Casas, born 1474, died 1566, was the first priest to be ordained in America, about 1510.

Some of the early Spanish colonists tried to ignore the rights of the aborigines and to enslave them. Against this Las Casas protested. He had with him the Crown as well as the best and most influential people of Spain. He became an apostle in their behalf. His biographers tell us that he always maintained that the system of slavery was wrong.

The work of Las Casas to prevent the enslavement of the Indian, was a hard fight which was crowned with victory when in 1537 Pope Paul III issued his edict forbidding slavery.

Not only was he the most commandingly benevolent figure of the  Spanish Conquest; he is one of the most commanding figures in the history of this continent.

Early Priests

Missionaries were very soon to follow in the wake of the ships of Columbus. In a short time they traveled throughout the whole northern continent. The story of their fortitude and zeal is the story of all martyrs in the Church, presonified in the lives of earnest priest on American missions. Dangers, privations, discouragements had no place in the plans of these devoted men. The fearless soldiers of the Cross kept on continuing unceasingly in their work of conversion. American history pages are enlivened with the life-story of so many of these energetic men, lives of self-sacrifice and achievement.

To bring the message of the Faith was bout one of the results of the discovery. The red men, the recipients of the message, must first be raised to the height of proper understanding. Education and schools were therefore an early consideration. Then, too, the new world offered an asylum to all, who in other countries were suffering for their adherence to the Faith. Among the first to seek this relief from oppression in the new world were the English Catholic colonists who came under the leadership of Lord Baltimore.

This colony’s influence was noticeable for many years. The civil and religious liberty which they sought in thus departing from the land of their birth, they cheerfully accorded to others of different belief who came later. Perfect equality among all Christian denominations reigned, until the control of affairs was wrested from them in later years. Nevertheless they remained the most influential body of Catholics in the United States until the great tide of immigration set in many years later.

The first Mass in the United States is claimed for the Rev. Andrew White, S. J., celebrant, who on March 25th, 1634, offered the Holy Sacrifice on St. Clement’s Island in the Potomac, colony of Maryland.

Spanish Missionary Influence

The country which assisted Columbus in his great work naturally became prominent in the colonization of later years. For the most part this was confined to territory beyond the present limits of the United States, at least in the early period. Later, the sough and particularly the south-west, knew to its great advantage the zeal of Spaniards who were with Cortez’ conquering armies as early as 1520, not alone in colonization work, but also in the education of the Indians along practical lines of activity. Theirs were establishments modeled upon the monasteries of Europe, where instruction in trades was given. Around the walls of their missions grew up villages of natives who regularly received this instruction, which in time developed them into self-supporting people, who tilled the land, made pottery and utensils of various kind, and in general adapted to their betterment the practical work of the monks. Tourists of today marvel at the relics of institutions which still display the methods of the pioneers, and still prove the degree of civilization to which the Spanish missionaries had raised their people, before wars and international troubles interfered with and finally destroyed their labors.

First Bishops and Dioceses

In 1913 Porto Rico celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of its creation as a Diocese. Yet near the present city of San Domingo was established the Diocese of Yaguata in 1504. Two others were created about the same time but none of the last three were ever occupied by the Bishops in far off Europe named for them. Porto Rico combined them later, hence the historic celebration.

Apparently the first Bishop actually in America was Bishop Manso of San Juan. Bishop Deja of Conception arrived about the same date, however. The first archbishop was D’Alonso de Fuenmayer, who became Metropolitan of Cuba, Porto Rico and Santo Marta in 1548.

The first diocese on the mainland of America was that of Santa Marie de li Antigna near the present boundary between Panama and Columbia, erected 1513. The Bishop arrived in 1514. The diocese is now called Old Panama. Balboa, the famous explorer, attended Mass in the cathedral of this diocese. Bishop Garcese in 1527 took possession of the diocese in Tlascala, Mexico, created in 1519. The first bishop of Mexico, Fray Juan Zumarraga arrived a few months later. In 1546 all these Mexican dioceses were separated from Seville, Spain. Mexico became a Metropolitan See in 1547.

The year 1537 saw the first consecration of a bishop in America, in the person of D’Francisco Marroquin, bishop-elect of Guatamala, consecrated by Bishop Zumarraga. Lima, capital of Peru, was made an Archbishopric  in 1546.

Havana, Cuba, was made a Bishopric in 1787, although Santiago de Cuba had a Bishop in 1522. Baltimore became a Bishopric in 1789, antedated by Quebec, Canada founded in 1670 with Bishop Laval. New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Bardstown were founded in 1808. Louisiana came in 1815. Kingston, Montreal, New Brunswick and North-west Canada had Bishops around 1820. Richmond and Charleston, Va. In the same year, St. Louis in 1827, Detroit 1833, Vincennes 1834, Nashville 1838, Dubuque 1837, Chicago 1843.

A. H. Solis in Eccles, Review, April 1913. Memiors of Father Mazzchelli, O. P.

The Acadians

In 1775, an accession to the Church in the United States came through the expulsion by the Puritans of Massachusetts of a colony of French Catholics from Acadia, in Canada, on the Bay of Fundy. In spite of the solemn promise of the capitulation, that the Acadians should not be disturbed, about seven thousand were driven from their homes and scattered throughout British colonies.

These are the Acadians whose sad tale has been told by Longfellew in  his poem of “Evangeline.”

The storm of the French Revolution drove to the shores of the United States, between the years of 1791 and 1799, a body of apostolic clergymen whose labors reanimated the zeal of Catholics, caused conversions to the faith, organized new parishes, founded seminaries and colleges, and created bishoprics. Among them were a Marechal, a Cheverus, a Brute, a Flaget, and a Dubois. Twenty-three French priest came at that period to aid the young Church in the United States;  six were made bishops, and of these Marechal became the third Archbishop of Baltimore. Cheverus was the first bishop of Boston, later recalled to France and made Archbishop of Bordeaux and Cardinal.

To these are to be added several thousand Catholics, among whom were some hundred colored people, who came from San Domingo, and other West India islands in 1793 to escape the effects of the French Revolution and the negro insurrection. These French Catholics added faith, piety, wealth to the infant Church. The number was also increased by the territories acquired of admitted to the Union. Louisiana mostly French and Catholic, was acquired in 1803, and had at that time about thirty-two thousand inhabitants. Other settlements, peopled by descendants of French Canadians at St. Louis, Detroit and Vincennes had grown since into places of importance, while retaining the imprint of the French race.

Irishmen in America

The Catholics from Ireland will not be found in such numbers as those from England and France among the early settlers of North America. The Irish settlers, considerable as is their aggregate number, were not concentrated in any one locality, like the Spanish, French, or English. A number of Catholic Irishmen, however, or their descendants took an active part in the struggle for independence. The first Commodore, the father of the American navy, was John Barry, born in Ireland, a faithful Catholic, a true American and an able seaman. But before the great exodus, Ireland had given to America prelates distinguished for their faith, virtue, learning, eloquence, and apostolic zeal — prelates such as Bishop England and Archbishops Kenrick and Hughes. No man did more in his day than Bishop England to make the Catholic Church respected. The first bishop and archbishop of the Church in the United States, John Carroll, and the first in North America to be invested with the dignity of the cardinalate, the Archbishop of New York, John McCloskey, were Irishmen by descent. Then the famine of 1846-47 gave the impetus to a mighty stream of  immigration which did not cease in volume until it supplied millions of faithful children to the young Church in America and rapidly extended her borders. (See Catholics in Revolution)


There will not be found in the Catholic Church in the United States a people, as a class, more devoted, sincere, and better instructed in their religion, than the Germans. The number of their Churches, schools, seminaries, hospitals, orphan asylums will compare advantageously with those of any other portion of the Catholic population. None are better supplied with priests for their people and teachers for their children than the Germans. The religious orders flourish among them, and are represented by the Benedictines, with several abbots; the Capuchins, and other branches of the order of St. Francis; the Jesuits, Redemptorists, and other religious congregations both of men and women, especially such as are devoted to teaching.

Southern Europe and the Poles

But the great increase in Catholic population especially in the large cities in later days has been due to emigration from Poland and southern Europe. The Poles particularly deserve credit for their unusual display of devotion in the erection of churches, and schools. Magnificent buildings stand as a monument to their zeal in God’s service. No less zealous in proportion to their numbers are the Lithuanians, while the Italians are cared for by religious communities organized in Italy for the especial work of serving their countrymen abroad.

Faith and Popular Government

History testifies to the close relationship existing between popular governments and the Catholic faith. All republics since the Christian era have sprung into existence under the influence of the Church. They were all founded by Catholic people. The republic of San Marino has existed in an entirely Catholic population in the heart of Italy one thousand years or more; and that of Andorra, on the borders of Spain and France, has stood the same number of years. Both are properous and illustrate the principle that republicanism is congenial with the Catholic religion. The, again, we have the Italian republics in Catholic ages, those of Venice, Pisa, Genoa, Milan, Florence, Padua, Bologna. In fact, there were no less than two hundred republics spread over the fair land of Italy. Venice stood one thousand years and more. The Swiss republic was founded in mediaeval times, and counts among its heroes and martyrs of political liberty, Arnold Winkerlried and William Tell, faithful sons of the Catholic Church. From this point of view it is a matter of no surprise that Catholics were the first to proclaim religious freedom among the colonists of what is now the United States of America and were also among the first patriots in the war for independence. Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence there was Charles Carroll, a sincere and fervent Catholic layman. The priest who became the first bishop and the first archbishop in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States was the intimate friend of Benjamin Franklin, and, an associate with him. Washington, with his characteristic impartiality, publicly acknowledged at the close of the war the patriotic part which Catholics as a class had taken in the great struggle for liberty.

Exercise of Religion

The first amendment of the Constitution says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

We maintain that the common aim of all legitimate political government is the security of man’s natural rights; that the American republic is most distinctly founded on this common basis; that the Catholic interpretation of Christianity emphatically sanctions its declaration of these rights and as the natural and supernatural spring from one and the same divine source, “and God cannot deny himself, now one truth ever contradict another” (Vatican Council, De Fide et Ratione), it follows that the Republic and the Catholic Church can never clash in their normal action, but, by a necessary law of  their existence must aid each other. A Catholic citizen of the American Republic who understands his faith is all the more loyal to the Republic. The doctrines of his church furnish him with principles which enable him to become a good citizen.

Early Catholic Activities

The very first hospital in the New World was founded in 1580 in Mexico and dedicated to St. Martin the patron of hospitality to the afflicted and distressed. The first settlement in New England was made by a Catholic and the first religious services there were conducted by a Catholic. The first converts in New England were to the Catholic faith. The first governor of New York was a Catholic. The initial act of the first legislative assembly in New York was the “Charter of Liberty” granting freedom of worship to all the citizens. The first religious services in Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas and Missouri were conducted by Catholic priests. The first record we have of Mass being celebrated in the present limits of the United States is in 1526, in a chapel situated on a spot that seventy-five years later was destined to become the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown.

In 1828 Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, laid the cornerstone of the vast network of railways that today amount to 270,000 miles, and cement together  in the bonds of unity our enormous stretch of territory and our teeming populations. The laying of the Atlantic cable is due to the enterprising foresight and genius of Bishop Mullock, O. S. F. of St. John’s Newfoundland, who in the first half of the nineteenth century publicly urged the feasibility of uniting the old world and the new by cable. The father of American shorthand was a Catholic. He was George Washington’s private secretary, Thomas Lloyd. He was the first official reporter of Congress and published the very first number of the Congressional Record.

The capitol of the United Sates, one of the most majestic structures on the American continent, stands on the site of the farm of Daniel Carroll, eldest son of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. The great northwest, the pride of our country, the vaunted granary of the world, with its illimitable reaches of fair ripening grain, is due to a Catholic. Had not Father Gibault enlisted the Catholic Indians on the side of the American colonists during the Revolution, the northern  boundaries of this country might have been the Ohio river instead of the Great Lakes. Holland, the inventor of the submarine, which is at present revolutionizing naval warfare, was a Catholic. The invention of the airplane was due to a Catholic names James Montogmery and his aviator, David Moloney. They both made the first long recorded flight in history in California, remaining in the air for a distance of eight miles.

Pioneer Priests and Laymen

“Pioneer Priest of North America,” three volumes, and “Pioneer Laymen of North America,” two volumes, are five of the most satisfying books that have ever fallen under our observation.

In the “Pioneer Priests” series are told the life stories of Father Isaac Jogues, Joseph Bressini, Joseph Poncet, Simon Le Moyne, Claude Doblon, Joseph Chaumont, Paul Roguneau, Rene Minard, James Fremin, James Bruyas, John Pierron, John de lamberville, Peter Millet, Stephen de Carheil, Peter Roffeix, Francis Boniface, James de Lamberville and Julien Garnier, who labored among the Iroquois Indians.

Of Fathers Peter Briard, Enemond Masse, John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Ame de Noue, Anthony Daniel, Charles Lalemant, Jerome Lalemant, Charles Garnier, Noel Chobanel and Leonard Garreau, who labored among the Huron Indians, and Fathers Paul le Jeune, James Buteaux, Gabriel Druellettes, Charles Albanel, Claude Allouez, James Marquette, Francis de Crespieul, Anthony Suylvie, Anthony Dolmas, Gabriel Maret, Peter Larue, John Aulneau and Sebastian Rasle, missionaries to the Algonquin Indians.

In the “Pioneer Laymen” series, Father Campbell has given us an intimate account of the life and work of Jacques Cartier, Pedro Menendez, Samuel Champlain, Charles de la Tour Maissoneuve, Charles le Moyne, Pierre Esprit Radisson, Le Moyne de Longueuil, Nicholas Perrot, Le Moyne d’Iberville, Frontenac, La Salle, Le Moyne de Bienville, Piree Gautier de Verendrye and John McLoughlin.

A slight acquaintance with early history will enable anyone to recognize amongst these the names of priests and laymen who played most important roles in the development of our country, and all may rejoice that Father Campbell has undertaken and accomplished such an important task as the writing down of these momentous life records.

Catholics in the Revolution

Mr. P. H. Winston (a Protestant), in his book “American Catholics and the A. P. A.” pages 23-27, declares, “without Catholic aid the American colonies could never have achieved their independence. Catholic Ireland was the first to sympathize with and assist the struggling patriots, and this aid and sympathy were alleged by the British Court as reasons why petitions of Ireland for religious and political enfranchisements should be rejected. Of the soldiers of the Revolution, none were more illustrious than Gen. John Richard Montgomery, who captured the British general and his forces at the Cowpers; Commander Jere O’Brien, who fought in Machias Bay the first sea fight of the Revolution — the Lexington of the sea.

“Maj. Gen. Robinson, commissioned for the exchange of prisoners of the British forces, in answer to the question by Edmund Burke, of what nationality was Washington’s army composed?” testified before the same committee June 8, 1779, one half Irish, about one-fourth  natives, and the rest were Scotch, German and English.”

“Ireland was not the only Catholic friend of the colonies in their long struggles for independence. Catholic France sent a formidable fleet and furnished 10,000 men and $3,000,000 in aid of the Revolution, and the names of Lafayette, DeGrasse and Rochambeau are imperishably connected with it.

“The Catholics of Canada raised, armed and equipped two full regiments that rendered invaluable aid and performed heroic service, while Catholic Spain threw open her home ports and the port of Havana to the American marine, and contributed 3,000 barrels of gunpowder, blankets for ten regiments and 1,000,000 francs for the young republic. From Catholic Poland came Pulaski and Kosciusko, immortal names.

“All the foreign assistance that came to the struggling patriots came from Catholics and Catholic countries, while at home there was not a single Catholic Tory, not a single Catholic that faltered in his allegiance to the cause of American Independence. Even among the native Indian tribes, there were found Catholics to aid in the work of achieving American Independence. Orono, the Catholic chief of the Penobscots, was commissioned an officer by the Continental Congress and with his tribe rendered invaluable service along the Canadian frontier.

“The names of Lafayette, Rochambeau, Pulaski, Kosciusko, De Kalb and de Grasse should silence forever the tongue of slander which imputes to their religion motives utterly at variance with the cause which they so bravely and manfully upheld. No one at that time even whispered that Catholics entertained religious principles incompatible with the safety and freedom of the country. Both in war and peace American Catholics have been devoted and loyal citizens of the republic.”

Washington’s Tribute

General Washington in an order issued by him on Nov. 5, 1775, prohibiting the non-Catholics of Boston from burning the Pope in effigy, says; “As the commander in chief has been apprised of a design formed for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the effigy of the Pope, he cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be officers and men in his army so devoid of common sense as not to see the impropriety of such a step. It is so monstrous as not to be suffered or excused; indeed, instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to our Catholic brethren, as to them we are indebted for very late success over the common enemy in Canada.”

Washington’s high tribute to the unselfish patriotism and fidelity of his aides (Sparks’ Writings, Vol. III pp. 368-70), evidences his supreme confidence in those Catholics at a perilous time when many friends proved false.

Converts in Defence

Among other important but little known services are those of the Catholic Indians of the Northwest, who, pledged fidelity to Washington and remained faithful through every vicissitude, the sole reward they asked being a priest, “that he may pray for us.” “Had they been against us,” says Williamson’s History of Maine, “and set on by the British to plunder our towns and settlements, the whole population would have been destroyed.” Instead, “their rigid adherence to our cause” left the patriots free to co-operate with the army and navy of Rochambeau and de Grasse, manned by French and Irish Catholics, in the crowning triumph.

Father Gibault

Catholics carried the Flag from the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, and were controlling factors in the winning of the West. It was Father Gibault and the influence he exerted on his French parishioners that delivered to Clark Kaskaskia and Vincennes. When half of Clark’s little band of Virginians deserted him and the British recovered Vincennes, the French Creoles, captained by Richard McCarthy, more than made good the deficit.

Clark and Patrick Henry handsomely acknowledged the invaluable aid of Father Gilbault and his Catholic people.

In 1790, Washington’s own State of Virginia acknowledged Father Gibault’s services by a public resolution of its Legislature. The first chaplain’s commission issued by the Continental Congress was given to a Catholic priest.”

The Virginia Assembly eulogized Father Gibault and his Catholic people, but never repaid the large moneys and stores they supplied to Clark when that body itself failed to finance him. Neither have Father Gibault and his Catholics been repaid by history, which was mainly of New England make and little disposed to blazen Catholic services.

Civil War Heroes

The Civil War brought to the front an enlistment in which Catholics more than held their own in point of numbers. Those who distinguished themselves and were honored with special mention on the records of history are in great proportion Catholics. Names like Sheridan, Rosecrans, Shields, Meagher, Mulligan, Longstreet, Newton, Ewing, Kilpatrick, recall easily the memories of men who found it easy to combine good citizenship with faithful attention to Church duties. At Gettysburg, special mention is made of Carr, Mallon, Byrnes, Guiney, Kelly, Burns, Mullholland, Smyth, O’Rourke, O’Hara and others who distinguished themselves.

And Catholic priests ministered regularly to these thousands of army heroes. Not every regiment had its chaplain, but those in the service were always where there was greatest need. General absolution was given just before going into battle by several chaplains. Father Corby, C. S. C., did this at Gettysburg. Other priests in active service at this period were Father Ouellet S. J., Father Tissot, S. J., Father Sorin C. S. C., Father Egan, O. P., Father McGinnis, who had charge of the Church in Gettysburg, and other priests who were either regularly appointed to the service or who served in their own particular districts.

Sisters on American Battlefields

The Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hiberians are erecting near the national capital, a monument to those bands of holy women who went forth as nurses during the American Civil war, and by their sublime heroism and devoted self sacrifice became indeed Angels of Mercy, the Nuns of the Battlefield. From their quiet convent homes they came. They enlisted in the cause of God and humanity. The great majority of these nurses of the religious orders were of Irish blood. Those devoted daughters of St. Vincent, the Sisters of Charity, were at Fredericksburg. Chancellorsville, Antietam and Winchester. They came from the mother house at Emmittsburg, Md. From New York came the Mother Seton sister of the same order, and large numbers of the white cornette sisters of Charity from Philadelphia. One of the most notable Sisters of Charity was Mother Gonzaga (Mary Edna Grace), who had charge of Satterlee hospital, Philadelphia, in which 50,000 sick and wounded soldiers were cared for during the Civil war. The Sisters of Mercy of New York, under the leadership of Mother Mary Augustine McKenna, went to southern battlefields.

From Chicago Mother Francis (Mary Mulholand of Armagh) led her noble band of  Sisters of Mercy to Missouri at the call of Colonel Mulligan of the Irish brigade. Mother Francis, a woman of unusual intellectual strength, and her Sisters of Mercy were in charge of the military hospital of Chicago. She had the confidence of President Lincoln and was universally beloved.

The Holy Cross Sisters from their mother house at Notre Dame contributed their share in ministering to the sick and wounded of that great struggle. Their superioress was Mother Angela, in the world known as Mary Gillespie, a cousin of James G. blaine, and a kinswoman of the Shermans and Ewings. Of the eighty Sisters who left St. Mary’s (Notre Dame), seventy-six were Irish. They went to hospitals in Cario and Mound city. The great military hospital under the management of Mother Angela at Mound City was declared to be the best in the United States. The Sisters of St. Joseph from Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia and from the mother-house at St. Louis, Mo., furnished their full quota.

The Sisters  of Charity of Nazareth, who numbered among their patrons the daughers and granddaughters of Henry Clay, whose alumnae included the Crittendens, the Breckenridges and Mary Anderson, went wherever duty called.

The Sisters of Charity of Mount St. Vincent, Cincinnati, became indeed angels of the battlefield at Shiloh, Corinth, Nashville and Vicsburg, led by Mother Anthony O’Connell of Limerick.

Catholic War Activities

Chaplains in Our Army and Navy

Appointments of priests and chaplains was placed some years ago in the hands of the Very Reverend A. P. Doyle, C. S. P., with authority from the Hierarchy to represent the Church. Father Doyle was enthusiastic in his work and soon aroused interest, even influencing President Roosevelt to the offer of new chaplains. The number (six) was not sufficient to cover the ground. Father O’Hern, C. S. P., kept up the work after the death of Father Doyle, and, in January, 1914, succeeded in having the Committee on Naval Affairs grant a hearing to the various churches. Secretary Daniels suggested a plan calling for “welfare secretaries” among the men in place of Chaplains. This was vigorously opposed, especially by Father O’Hern backed by a letter from His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons.

An army chaplain must be a regularly ordained  minister in good standing, mentally and physically tried and tested. The age limit is forty years. Always is the chaplain held as a non-combatant. He must be with his regiment, ready and willing to live under discipline altogether foreign to that which regulates the life of a priest in parish work. He is in charge of the education of enlisted men, not as teacher, but as director of studies, and he has care of the library. The hospital and the guard-house offer wide possibilities for effort in reclamation, and restraint against the temptations of camp life. He gives advice, writes letters and directs entertainment. Moving picture machines, stereopticons, pianos and phonographs are furnished by the government.

About one-third of the regular standing army consists of Catholics, and scattered as they are, fifteen or twenty priests have much work in taking care of perhaps twenty-five thousand Catholics scattered over so large an area as the United States and her possessions. Efforts to increase the number of chaplains are being made. It is safe to say that there is no figure more universally respected by both fellow officers (for the chaplain ranks as an officer) and men than the straight soldierly, vigorous, yet kindly and sympathetic Catholic Priest Chaplain to the regiment, or the battleship.

Chaplain Service During the War

With American participation in the great war, the forces of our country increased with such rapidity that the selection of chaplains hardly could keep pace. The requirements for a chaplain were such that only a limited number of priests could qualify. It took a little time to remedy some defects in the system, so as to permit a sufficient number of Chaplains to care for the spiritual needs of the Catholic boys in the service. However, the national Catholic War Council, an association of Bishops in which Bishop Muldoon of Rockford, Bishop Russell of Charleston, Bishop Schrembs of Toledo and Bishop Hayes, the Chaplain Bishop, late Archbishop of New York, were prominent, with the sanction of the Hierarchy, soon had the matter well in hand. Bishop Hayes was appointed Chaplain General of all the forces in the army and navy. He had as his Vicars-General, Right Rev. Monsignor Wm, Foley, St. Ambrose church, Chicago, and the Right Reverend L. J. Kavanaugh, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, New Orleans. Bishop Hayes was assisted by Monisgnor (Major) Waring, an Army Chaplain of many years experience, and Father (lieutenant) Dineen, as secretary. Father Feely, and Father Arnold, both Army Chaplains, acted as instructors at the Chaplains Training school, opened at Camp Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, by the government, to facilitate the work of developing and preparing all clergymen for the service. Here the priests went though a strict routine of military duties in the five weeks course outlined. At one time there were over one hundred priests in the Chaplain school.

In the spring of 1918 legislation changed the chaplains’ age limit to forty-five years. Also the number of appointments was increased. It was estimated early in this year that there were one hundred ninety-nine Catholic priests in the army, four hundred sixty-seven non-Catholic Chaplains. Bishop Hayes made special appeal at this time to the Bishops throughout the country for Chaplains to fill the new quota desired, with the result that the number of priests in the Army at the signing of the Armistice was unofficially estimated at about five hundred. Since August 1918, all priests in the service in camps in this country were regular regimental Chaplains, commissioned as First Lieutenants by the government. No other clergymen, other than Commissioned Chaplains, were permitted to hold services within the Camps. Previous to this time there had been much excellent work carried on by priests, known as Knights of Columbus Chaplains, who were supported by that Order, living in quarters provided for them in the K. of C. War work plans. To the end of the war these chaplains continued to be active and energetic in the work overseas, as may be estimated from the names of the priests mentioned in despatches and otherwise honored for gallantry and unselfish service, many of them K. of C. Chaplains.

Monsignor James J. Connolly was at the head of the overseas chaplain forces, with offices in Paris, the representative of Bishop Hayes. In August, 1918, there were fifty K. of C. chaplains engaged in active service in France, not including the French priests released from military duties by their government in chaplain work, and other priests serving with the Red Cross in hospital service, or as regimental chaplains. The full quota of chaplains allowed us during the war was eleven hundred and fifty and eight hundred priests were actually in the service here and abroad at the signing of the armistice.

The Chaplains Aid Society

An organization designed to aid the Priest-Chaplain in his work, which deserves much more than passing attention, was the Chaplains Aid Society, with offices in many of the large cities. The Mass Kit, containing all that a priest needs for the celebration of Mass and the administration of the Sacraments, was the triumph of this organization. A portable equipment, which otherwise would have cost every priest at least two hundred dollars, was arranged by this Society in beautifully compact form, ready for travel, and presented free to each priest in the service. the extent and scope of the Society’s work can best be learned from the report of one year’s work, the first year of the war, published in the Chaplains Aid Bulletin for June 1918.

Besides the 416 Mass outfits supplied to the chaplains, one year’s work included the publication of a special “Army and Navy Prayer Book” in English and Italian, of an army and nave edition of the Reims version of the New Testament of which 70,000 copies have been distributed, a War Missal, “Chaplain’s Catechism,” “Confession in English and French,” “The Honor Legion,” “Catholic Loyalty,” “The Armed Guard,” “A Soldier Saint of Italy,” “A Saint for Soldiers.” “The Buccaneer of Christ,” and a story called “The Cape Point Crew.”

Books and religious articles distributed were as follows: prayer books (including those in Polish, Slovak and Italian), 320,000; rosaries, 121,000; scapulars, 196,000; scapular medals, 67,000; catechisms (including Italian), 22,000; hymn books and cards, 17,000; Sacred Heart badges, 17,000; pamphlets and tracts, 176,000; crucifixes, 7,000; religious books, 4,000.

The number of linens supplied to chaplains, including many sets other than those in the kits, makes a total of 10,500. About 500 sets of vestments have been supplied; also ciboria, monstrances, copes, Missals and Missal-stands, chalices, and other odd supplies to chaplains, including altar wines, sanctuary oil, palms, incense and charcoal, portable organs, etc. A department of the Association is devoted to the furnishing of altar-breads weekly or bi-monthly, to chaplains in the army and navy. To date, 175,000 breads have been sent out.”

The National Catholic War Council

In August 1917, a convention of the United States was called by Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore, Cardinal Farley of New York, and Cardinal O’Connell of Boston. Its purpose was to create a National Catholic organization. The Convention met August 11-12, at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C., and there were present official delegates from sixty-eight dioceses and also representatives of twenty-seven National Catholic organizations, and the Catholic press. The Convention pledged the whole resources of the Catholic body to the Government.

It was decided to create a national organization to study, coordinate, unify, and put in operation all Catholic activities incidental to the war.

In November, 1917, the Archbishops of the United States constituted themselves the National Catholic War Council, appointing as their administrative committee four bishops. This committee met in January 1918, and the definite organization of the council was decided upon.

The National Catholic War Council was composed of the fourteen Archbishops of the United States. In view of their own archdiocesan obligations, and of the great distances and hinder frequent meeting, the archbishops appointed as their administrative committee, the Right Rev. Peter J. Muldoon of Rockford, chairman, the Right Rev. Joseph Schrembs of Toledo, the Right Rev. Patrick J. Hayes of New York and the Right Rev. William T. Russell of Charleston. Under the archbishops this committee had the responsibility of the supreme direction of the War Council’s works.

The more immediate direction of the Council’s war activities rested with two sub-committees, the Committee on Special War Activities, and the Knights of Columbus Committee on War Activities. The former Committee whose Chairman was the Reverend John J. Burke, C. S. P., had headquarters in Washington, D. C. The K. of C. Committee, whose Chairman was Mr. William J. Mulligan of New York City, and had offices in Washington, New Haven and New York. Later an office was opened in St. Louis, under Mr. Moriarty. The K. of C. activities are treated at length elsewhere in this volume.

Special War Activities

The Committee in charge of Special War activities operated seven national standing committees; Finance, Chairman John J. Agar; Men’s Activities, Chairman Chas. I Denechaud; Women’s Activities, Rev. Wm, J. Kerby, Ph. D.; National Chaplains Aid Association; Catholic Interests, Chairman Right Rev. Monsignor E. A. Kelly, LL. D.; Reconstruction and After War Activities, Chairman Rt. Rev. Monsignor M. J. Splaine, D. D; Historical Records, Chairman Rt. Rev. Monsignor H. T. Drumgoole, LL. D.

Men’s Activities

The Men’s Activities Committee organized to assist the K. of C. in every possible way. All men’s societies throughout the country were listed, and splendid was to co-operation received from them. Service clubs were established, where men in uniform could find housing and recreational facilities, at Alexandria and Richmond, Va., Philadelphia, Garden Lake, N. J., Greenville, S. C., Columbia, S. C., New York, Chicago, Jacksonville, Fla., Baltimore, Charleston, Syracuse, Portsmouth, Va., Norfolk, Va.

Through this Committee fifty-five Catholic Colleges became units of the Student’s Army Training Corps, with much addition of prestige and of incalculable good to thousands of students.

Women’s Activities

In listing Catholic Women’s societies throughout the country this committee came into touch with forty-two hundred such organizations. Practically all of these were sewing or knitting, or making surgical dressings, either independently or in close co-operation with the Red Cross or the Chaplains Aid, besides helping enthusiastically in the sale of Liberty Bonds, War Saving Stamps, Thrift Stamps. All of these societies were urged to co-ordinate and unify their activities and to keep in touch with the Committee for close co-operation with the more urgent needs.

The Committee erected various Visitors’ Houses, one at Camp Mill, L. I. Another at Camp Merritt, N. J. was especially active. Ten in all were in active operation; spacious buildings, erected usually on the edge of the camps, where the soldiers could receive their visiting mothers, sisters and friends. These Visitors’ Houses were beyond a doubt the most popular places in Camp.

Co-operation with various societies located near the camps brought Catholic women to interest themselves in recreational activities in the K. of C. Camp buildings. A notable feature was the establishment of Joan of Arc Clubs, organized to sew, knit and darn for the soldiers, visiting each K. C. Building regularly every week for the purpose.

The committee also arranged for the housing and the social needs of the great army of a million and a half women war  workers, attracted from home into congested industrial centers. Also protective social workers were stationed near cantonments to assist the females attracted there for various reasons.

Through this committee the American Catholic Colleges received as guests one hundred and fifteen French college girls brought over as guests of the nation. Training schools for women war workers were established.

Historical Record

This committee sent out fifteen thousand letters to all pastors throughout the U. S. for the purpose of securing particulars concerning Catholics in the service. All matter in any way illustrating Catholic war activities was carefully preserved. Contributions to special funds and War Drives were recorded. Everything possible was done to preserve original documents bearing on Catholic participation in the war and war activities.

The National Catholic Welfare Conference

An outgrowth of the efficient organization which so successfully directed Catholic energies during the war is the National Catholic Welfare Council. After-war problems and reconstruction necessities suggested the continuance of this national directive body. Accordingly the Hierarchy proceeded in the work of national organization.

The first conference convened at Washington, Sept. 24th, 1919. Five special branches were outlined to care for the Catholic Press, Education, Social Service, Home and Foreign Missions, Problems of Reconstruction.

Archbishop Hanna, San Francisco was selected as Chairman, with  Bishop Russell, Charleston, Bishop Muldoon, Rockford; Archbishop Dowling, St. Paul; Archbishop Dougherty, Philadelphia; Bishop Schrembs, Toledo and Bishop Canevin, Pittsburg, as members of the Administrative committee.

In 1922, the name, National Catholic Welfare Council, was changed to the National Catholic Welfare Conferrence.

An organization representative of twenty million Catholic men met in Chicago, May, 1920, at request of Bishop Schrembs. Twenty-five societies were represented.

Men and Women Unite

All subscribed to the plan of organization outlined, namely to form one national body, a national clearing house for Catholic societies, not to interfere with any society already existing, but to co-ordinate and unfiy all forces for progressive work. The board of directors elected consisted of Richard Dean, Chicago, chairman; F. P. Kenkel, St. Louis; Edward L. Hurley, San Francisco; Thomas P. Flynn, Chicago; Thomas D. O’Brien, St. Paul; Nic Gonner, Dubuque; Judge P. J. N. Hally, Detroit; James F. Herron, Philadelphia; John G. Agar, New York; Robert Biggs, Baltimore; Judge Ed. L. Smith, Hartford, Conn., and Charles I. Denechaud, New Orleans.

Concerted action by the Catholic Women of America was adopted at a convention held in Washington, in March 1920. At that time a committee was appointed, which meeting in Chicago later, decided upon the following program.

  1. The launching of a national program for the housing of working women and girls.

  2. Protection and care of immigrant girls and women.

  3. Maintenance of national school of social service to train social workers.

  4. Continuation of work in citizenship.

  5. Promoting a demand for better films and for the support of such films whenever and wherever produced.

  6. Systematized effort for proper and economic dress for women.

The scope of the organization at first will be nation-wide, and activities of 9,000 Catholic women’s organizations will be correlated in its program. One of its first pieces of work will be to affiliate with the International Council of Catholic Women, thus forming an international body of Catholic womanhood. Its aim is not to replace any present organization nor to form an altogether new body, but to unify or weld all existing Catholic women’s organizations. Membership in the National Council may be as organizations or as individuals.

Officers elected by the council were: President — Mrs. Michael Gavin, New York City.

Vice-presidents — Miss Agnes G. Regan, San Francisco; Mrs. Therese Molamphy, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Secretary — Mrs. Harry M. Benzinger, Baltimore, Md.

Treasurer — Miss Florence E. Loeber, New Orleans, La.

Knights of Columbus War Work

The experience of American soldiers at the Mexican border, a year or so before our entry into the world war, taught us many things, among them being the advantages and benefits of organized social work among the men in khaki. The Y. M. C. A. followed the men to the border. The Knights of Columbus took advantage of the fact that so many of their own order members were there under arms and followed suit. When the need was recognized, a chain of buildings was planned and the order undertook the expense or more than a score of those effective army social centers in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Needless to say, the cost of erection and maintenance, while our troops were in the south, made a large item of expenditure, entirely arranged for out of the funds of the Order, no appeal for help being made to others. And there was no distinction or creed. Everybody in uniform was made welcome. The buildings were immensely popular.

As a consequence, when America entered the world war, The Knights of Columbus were in a very favorable position to continue, on a much larger scale, the work they had shown themselves so capable of doing. The experiment at the border had shown the government that there was no question of religion raised, no stirring up of bigotry. In fact, it is doubtful if, were it not for the success of the Mexican experiment, that we would have been able to organize Catholic recreational and social activities.

The presence of these K. of C. buildings in training camps, and wherever the soldiers gathered in France, has done more than anything else that has happened in our generation to allay bigotry and to remove prejudices. Above all, it has proved an object lesson to ignorance of Catholic affairs. Boys of all denominations and beliefs mingled freely in the K. C. halls. Opportunities for interchange of thought, for explanation of religion were many and frequent. No secretary mentioned religion at any time. The boys themselves did that. Everyone was free to go and come as he would. There were  no irksome regulations of conduct. As a result the buildings were the most popular ones in camp.

In foreign countries the same experience is reported. Centers were to be found in every large city, especially in the ports of disembarkation. Nor was the French government slow to recognize the value of the K. of C. war work, proof being found in the fact that the one hundred and fifty priests were released from military duties with the French armies, in order to do Chaplain work with the K. of C. Secretaries in the field.

Nearly fifteen hundred men volunteered for service as K. C. Secretaries in France, all between forty and fifty years of age, five hundred being selected. Two hundred recreation centers were in operation, fifty overseas. The type of Secretary was that of a man who mixed with the boys, who could talk with them about interesting things, and by encouraging them in games, sports and entertainments, help keep up that indefinable thing known as “morale” of the service. Men of the type of John Evers, the famous baseball player, Bill Donovan, formerly withthe Detroit Tigers, Jack Hendricks, a well known minor league manager, and others, all of the sensible, level-headed sort, distinctly human in sympathies, especially active and energetic, led in popularity among the boys and did much to encourage the other Secretaries.

K. of C. Finances

The finances of the early border efforts were, as already mentioned, carried altogether by the Knights themselves. Even in the early stages of the great war, the Order endeavored to finance all the expense without calling upon the public, or upon their friends. An Assessment of two dollars a head was placed upon each member, and in this and other ways, one million dollars was raised and expended upon the War Activities.

The budget of the first year called for an expenditure of $7,000,000, one-third of which went for construction and equipment, nearly one-fourth for chaplains, secretaries and current supplies, one-fifth for operation and about one million for extension of the work. The administration cost only $100,000, or about one and one-half per cent. There is no better testimonial to the efficient services, of the K. C. War Activities Committee, of which Mr. Wm. J. Mulligan was chairman.

In the second year, the cost and maintenance of buildings overseas formed a big issue, and the general extension of the work into so many channels which could not be overlooked made a much larger budget necessary. The last year of war work then called for a total approximation of $50,000,000.

Those who have known the K. of C. work in camp and abroad are unanimous in their report of competent and efficient management of affairs. Unprejudiced observers claim that the results achieved by the Knights far exceeded those accomplished by any other welfare lodge, in places where an equal amount of money was placed at the disposal of both. A dollar in the hands of the K. of C. had full valuation. There are many reasons to account for this, aside from the excellent administrative ability of the Knights themselves, to which the editor of the Columbian refers: “By the prompt signing of contracts for materials and labor at the same prices accorded the government, the Knights saved many thousands of dollars to the fund, and the administrative organization of the Order, trained in the handling of large affairs, being placed at the disposal of the war work, was another great economical factor. It is no exaggeration to state that administrative preparedness, due chiefly to the Order’s experience at the border, resulted in large savings to the fund.”

How well and how cheerfully the response was made is now a matter of record. The excellent work of the Knights deserved it all, and a fitting tribute to them is only delayed, perhaps, because of the danger of invidious comparisons being made and the possibility of the conclusions which might appear unfriendly to other organizations. See “In Peace and in War,” published by the Knights of Columbus.

K. of C. Overseas Personnel

James J. McGraw, Supreme Director, and Dr. E. W. Buckley, Supreme Physician, were especially active in arrangements for headquarters in France and Italy. Lawrence O. Murray, former Controller of the Currency, now Commissioner, brought the weight of his experience in large affairs to the good of the Order. Joseph Scott, California, was another Commissioner in England and France. Commissioner Ryan was in charge of Italian activities. Mr. Wm. P. Larkin directed the Paris headquarters. Conde M. Pallen was Director of Operations.

History Prize Winner

One of the outstanding features of the Fortieth Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus was the report of the Knights of Columbus  American History Commission. The record of the work of the commission, as unfolded before the convention by Gaillard Hunt, Chief Archivist of the U. S. State Department and Chairman of the K. of C. Board of Judges, and by Professor George Hermann Derry of Union College, was informative and inspiring. To Samuel F. Bemis, Professor of History at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, was awarded the prize of Three Thousand Dollars in the national contest, for his monograph on “The Jay Treaty,” which Dr. Hunt described as “a masterpiece of American History writing.” The prize was later presented by State Deputy James J. Kane of Washington and a delegation of Western Knights.

Professor Bemis is a non-Catholic, and his college is Presbyterian.

First to Fall

The first American to meet death on our entry into the world war was Lieutenant William Fitzsimmons, Kansas City Council, K. of C.

Order for Juniors

At the K. of C. Convention in 1922 a new form of service for the Order was suggested. It was a Junior Order. The Convention thought so well of it that a special committee was appointed to examine the question of activities for juniors. An eloquent plea for the boys, made by Rt. Rev. T. J. Walsh, D. D., Trenton, N. J., inspired the action.

Faked K. of C. Oath

No matter how many times the lie about the alleged terrible oath of the Knights of Columbus is nailed, says Truth, Sept., 1922, issue, it is continually being resurrected. Those who want to believe it will believe it. Secular papers have certainly contributed to the exposure of this calumny against the Knights. The New York World said “Nearly identical in wording, the oath circulated by the Ku Klux Klan and alleged to be that of the Fourth Degree, K. of C., is taken from the oath first used by the Paris Illuminati, as they were called in 1768 — the name being changed to Adepts in 1772, and Free Masons in 1778. It was delivered in a cellar, back of a home in Rue Vangirard, in Paris, first in 1772, in a lodge attended by Jean Jacques Rousseau (the philosopher of Geneva); Prince Louis Phillipe (known in the French Revolutions as “Egalite”); Jean Paul Marat, the most rabid of the revolutionists; John Paul Jones, Emanuel Swedenbourg and other conspirators, and was dictated by the celebrated charlatan, Cagliostro, before he was driven out of France and took refuge in London. The irony of the matter is that the Ku Klux Klan assumes the oath to be of Roman Catholic origin and against the Masons, whereas it really is of Masonic origin against the Roman hierarchy and the French monarchy.”

Religions in the Army and Navy

In 1916 the question of determining the religions of the enlisted men in our army and navy occupied the attention of Congress for a time. Questioned on the subject, Father L. J. O’Hern, C. S. P., who has care of the Chaplains in both branches of the service said: “While I do not claim in all cases that the Catholics number fifty per cent of the Army and Navy, I maintain that nowhere will the percentage of enlisted men of the Catholic Faith in both arms of the service fall below thirty-three and one-third per cent.”

Father Rochford, Chaplain at Fort Slocum, N. Y., reports that out of forty-eight enlistments made in a given period, twenty-four were Catholics.

Father Duff, Chaplain at Port Royal, N. C., found fifty-five per cent of the navy recruits at his station to be Catholic.

These were estimates formed concerning the men in the regular branches of the service. When the selective service men reached camp, the question was raised again and while Catholic Chaplains made no attempt at systematic census work, yet the following facts have been gleaned:

Chaplain T. P. McGinn, at Camp Devens, Ayer, Mass., reported the 301st Infantry as 91% Catholic and the 304th Regiment as 90%, while the lowest percentage in the camp was found in the 301st Engineers, which showed about one-half Catholic, the camp average was 60%. (Report at K. of C. Washington headquarters). Camp Kearney, Cal., reports 27%; Camp Sherman, Ohio, 29%; Camp Grant, Rockford, Ill., showed 31% Catholic; Camp Logan, Texas, where the Chicago National Guard Regiments were stationed, produced 35%; Camp McArthur, Tex., had 40%; Camp Dix claimed nearly one-half of the camp population; Camp Funston, Kansas, had 17% coming from states where the Catholic population was only 13%; Camp Lewis, Wash., had 24%; Camp Dodge, Iowa, 22%; and Camp Custer, Mich., 34%. The Secretary of War, Mr. Baker, estimated the Catholics in the service at about 35%. Paul R. Martin, Director of Publicity for the Knights of Columbus War Activities, said that such reports as he had received justified the claim to be about 40% Catholics in the Army.

In the Navy, Mr. Martin concludes that there must be at least 60% Catholics. Father Regan, Chaplain on U. S. S. Minnesota, reports 800 Catholics out of a total 1300, over 60 per cent. From another vessel comes the report of 900 Catholics out of 1200, 75 per cent. The Chaplain of the Kearsage reports 50 percent Catholics, while K. of C. Chaplains at the Great Lakes the enormous Training Station near Chicago, report from forty to forty-five per cent Catholics.

“In the Marine Corps, which is known as the most efficient body of fighting men in the world,” says Father O’Hern, “there is supposed to be the highest average rate of Catholics in any branch of the service, namely 50 per cent. I have no definite figures at my disposal, but I believe this estimate to be correct.”

There are eighteen Catholics in this country out of every hundred citizens, yet we find thirty-five Catholics out of every hundred in the Army, forty in the Navy, and fifty in the Marines.

Catholics Active at Home

It is especially gratifying to know that while Catholics have done their share in the Army and Navy, there has been no lack of representative men to take the places assigned by the President for the conduct of the large affairs which the administration found necessary. The Shipping Board, the Railway Administration, and Food Commission, and other features of government work which accomplished so much, and, which assisted those who were not wearing uniforms or providing ways to “help win the war,” found Catholics in high places, not only capable, but really distinguished by their excellent performance of duty. In all cases, they served without remuneration, leaving behind the enormous incomes called for by their business prominence, and in many cases actually paralysing their own interests by this desertion in favor of government activities.

Among men of this type we find Charles M. Schwab, a Catholic Captain of Industry, so well known as to need no introduction to the American people. Mr. Schwab was placed in charge of the Government’s Ship Building Program, at a time when the situation seemed hopeless, as far as ocean transport was concerned. How well he succeeded is a mater of history, actually fulfilling the goal suggested by him in the early stages, providing a virtual “bridge of ships” from America to France.

James A. Farrell, President of the U. S. Steel Corporation, and exemplary Catholic, became Director of Operations of the Shipping Board. Mr. Farrell worked in his way up the laboring work in a wire mill. He is one of the Trustees of the Catholic University.

Edward Nash Hurley, Chicago, was Director of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, a Catholic of the plain, old-fashioned type, and also a self-made man.

Edward F. Carry, another Catholic, was in charge of the Division of Operations. It was his duty to see that all ships were properly manned and efficiently operated.

John D. Ryan, Second Assistant Secretary of War, was in charge of the Air Service, an executive par excellence, who did much to bring about efficiency in this  baby industry of our country.

Edward R. Settinius, Munitions Director for the United States, was a genius of high order, under whose skillful management, factories were speeded up and new one erected to meet the emergency. Mr. Stettinius is a gratuate of St. Louis University.

Charles P. Neil was chairman of the Railway Board of Adjustment, who did much to bring order out of the difficulties which at first beset the idea of government control.

Walter George Smith, president of the American Bar Association for 1918, one of the most prominent Catholic laymen in the Country, is a Commissioner to Turkey on the American Committee for Relief to the Far East.

The Rev. Francis T. Morgan, D. D., Cleveland was appointed Chairman of the Ohio State Labor Board by the National Government.

The Rev. Edward Walsh, S. J., Georgetown University, was selected as New England Regional Inspector for the Government of Student Army Training Corps, with the Commission of Major.

The Church in South America

Mr. Hilliard Atteridge has written a series of highly interesting and useful articles on the Church in the South American Republics, in which he exposes the lying character of the attacks upon her by outlining the actual position of the Church in that continent and the good work she is doing there. The condition of the Church all over the ten republics is, he says, a highly satisfactory one,” the last sixty years having witnessed a great change. To begin with, “every republic except Brazil proclaims in its constitution that the Catholic faith is the religion of the nation,” and even in Brazil there is a Papal Nuncio accredited to the government, and the new president has just “given most satisfactory assurances to the Catholic leaders.” Moreover, even there the Church “is perfectly free, religious orders are allowed and are prosperous, and all but 100,000 of the population are Catholics (Stateman’s Year Book 1914). On the list of the founders of the Blessed Sacrament chapel in Westminister cathedral, London — the gift mainly of South American Catholics, appear the names of the presidents of six of the republics.

Throughout the continent of South America there has come a great “revival and deepening of Catholic life among the people. Seminaries, Colleges and schools have been multiplied.” In this connection the Salesian Fathers deserve special mention. The people are earnest and active in the practice of their religious duties; for example, in several republics thousands of men of every class make retreats of eight days under more regorous conditions than in England; and there are “active charitable brotherhoods of laymen in every great city and in many of the smaller towns.” Only a few years ago Columbia made the Eucharistic Congress at its capital, Bogota, a national celebration, and commemorated it by a  monument with an inscription to “Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, in the August mystery of the Eucharist.” Peru has lately reintroduced religious instruction into all the national schools. In Chile the Church is in a most flourishing condition, and exercises an ever growing influence.” There is no lack of vocations, and the highly efficient seminaries sent out a body of priests “with a high reputation for learning, zeal and discipline.” There are many houses or religious orders too; the churches are “crowded at Mass every Sunday by congregations in which men often outnumber the women,” and the retreat movement has assumed remarkable proportions, 300,000 men having made retreats in ten years. Economic progress and the social betterment of the workers has also been most marked. Nuns serve the hospitals. In Argentia a few years ago a petition of the Free Masons was rejected because it was hostile to the Catholic Church, which the republic was bound to defend. The women of Argentina are magnificent Catholics, and have purified the stage. “A number of Catholic politicians have placed themselves in the front rank of the social reform movement,” and secured some excellent measures. Divorce in those republics where it is permitted is merely a legal separation, and no remarriage is possible during the life of either party.

These are merely scraps of the evidence given by Mr. Atteridge to show that “in the ten republics Catholicity is a living power with a hold on the people that is ever becoming more and more widely effective.

The Church in Mexico

A gentleman who spent some years in Mexico under conditions that gave him exceptional opportunities of informing himself of the religious conditions of that unhappy country, describes his experiences in a lengthy article contributed to the Catholic press.

There are what might be called two classes in Mexico. The better class of Mexicans are highly educated, not only in the best schools of the country, but often in American and English universities, while many spend years in Germany or France. So that the really educated Mexicans need not fear comparison with the best educated in any part of the world. From this class the episcopate is mainly recruited. Of the Mexican bishops, the writer speaks in the highest terms of sincere respect. Like-wise he finds the standard of the religious orders also unusually high, and the Spanish secular clergy, as a rule, faithful to their calling. The main body of the secular clergy is composed of native Mexicans, and here lies a possible element of weakness. He does not wish this to be understood as a sweeping condemnation of the native clergy, but the condition indicated was one that the bishops themselves lamented and strove, with all the means in their power and with much success to remedy.

Extremes of Wealth and Position

The chief difficulty is the absence in Mexico  of a large middle class in the population. The climate, the native Indian characteristics, and above all the country torn with civil strife and revolution, all have militated against the creation of a middle class amongst people with centuries of apathy permeating their blood. But whether things might or might not be otherwise the fact remains that considering the size of the nation the middle class among native Mexicans is a neglible quantity. Neither from the very rich nor the very poor but from the virile manhood of the middle class the Church everywhere recruits the ranks of her clergy.

Amongst the wealthier classes the women are, for the most part, sincere Catholics, pious and devoted to home life. Amongst the men the influence of French ideas, of German rationalism, of American indifference, is more strongly noted. However, there is a large proportion of sincere and practical Catholics.

Of the common peons who from five-sixths of the population the religion is nominally Catholic, but leaves a great deal to be desired.

Penal Laws

The reason why an able and learned episcopate is comparatively powerless is found in the iniquitous laws that sequestrated all Church property, suppressed religious orders and hampered with official red tape what semblance of liberty that was left. Colleges were seized and converted into government schools in which infidelity is openly taught. New parishes may not be opened without government permission. Building can not be undertaken without funds, and these will not be forth-coming when it is known that the government will take possession of the buildings when erected. For a priest or sister to appear until recently on the street in a religious garb would subject them to a fine. Even now it is dangerous. The writer tells of the burial of one of the Jesuit Fathers at which he assisted some years ago. “We had to consign the body to its last resting place with a hurried prayer and a few drops of holy water, and even this furtive act rendered us liable to fine or imprisonment.”

The hampering laws of a hostile government leaves the Church in Mexico in a great measure helpless before the great work which confronts it, and are an eloquent contradiction of the stupid and misleading charge so often made by ill-informed Protestants that the Catholic Church is all-powerful in Mexico.

Religious Freedom

In the Catholic World for July, (1914) there is a strong letter from a correspondent “intimately acquainted with the present conditions in Mexico.” The following excerpt explains the situation of that time and of later years.

Church Opposition

The Church is doing the best she can with the scanty resources at her disposal to keep schools open, but she is handicapped by the government, which insists upon the attendance at the public schools of all children whom they can reach, and in the latter schools God and religion are absolutely tabooed. The little ones are taught that their worst enemies are the priests, that there is no future life, and that they need only worship the fatherland. Of such individuals brought up in the national schools or in no schools whatever, was composed the army of the Constitutionalists, who did so much mischief and committed such atrocities in poor Mexico. The atrocities were beyond a doubt inspired by a senseless, diabolical hatred of the Catholic Church, a hatred fomented sometimes by the calumnies of sectarian missionaries, male and female, by foreign agitators who have invaded the country, and by the Masonic lodges. The proof of this assertion is that at times prisons were full of priests, churches closed and desecrated, the sacred vessels profaned and stolen, and houses ransacked and looted. The schools conducted by the Marist Brothers, the Brothers of the Christian Doctrine, the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, and other Religious were condemned intolerantly as being inferior to the national schools, and not up to the requirements of modern pedagogy! and in most cases the establishments were closed after undergoing a general and generous looting of the premises. When the followers of Carranza took the small town of Salinas Victoria, to use only one instance, one of their first acts was to enter the church, break open the tabernacle, throw the Blessed Sacrament to the dogs, appropriate the ciborium, monstrance and chalice and then shoot to pieces the statues of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and other saints in that beautiful little church.

Mexican Persecution

In the November (1914) issue of the Extension, the Reverend Father, now Monsignor Kelley prints, as the leading article, a review of the Mexican situation, in which he, as head of the Church Extension Society, has been actively interested.

“Six hundred priests are at present in Vera Cruz, priests and sisters who have fled to that place from all parts of Mexico. The cruelties perpetrated by the Constitutionalists  against inoffensive priests and sisters, and the unspeakable outrages against nuns have been smothered a little too long. A desire for peace will never justify murder, robbery, and wanton outrage. There is such a thing as dishonorable peace and there is such a thing as a peace that may be more horrible than the worst horrors of war. No one would believe that men could be so blinded by hatred, so abased in strife, as to become veritable beasts, as have the Constitutionalists, officers and soldiers.

Catholic Education in Mexico

It has been in the interest of the enemies of the Church to spread the popular calumny against her that she has neglected the education of the people and has battened upon their ignorance. An excellent historic answer to this falsehood is contained in the two-penny leaflet of the Central Verein, “Catholic Review and written by the editor of La Revista Catolica. The first school, that of San Francisco el Grande, in Mexico city, was established shortly after 1523 by Brother pedro de Gante. About 1,000 children were taught there, some receiving instruction in Latin and other higher branches of learning. In 1534 the Franciscan College of Tlaltelolco was founded, and with the coming of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus there was soon no city of importance that did  not have its higher institution of learning for lay students, creoles or mestizos. The education of girls was begun in 1525 by the Teresian  Sisters and continued, we are told, by the Franciscan Sisters in most of the eighty-five other convents founded in Mexico. Learning continued to progress, until with the explusion of the Jesuits and the war waged against the Church by the Liberal party, education almost vanished from the land. When at a later date Porfirio Diaz freely accepted the help of Catholics and Religious Orders, “the number of public primary schools was raised from about 4,000 to 42,000.” The Government also established colleges and schools, but the elimination of religion from education soon proved sadly detrimental to the general welfare. Religious education itself was still hampered in the most serious way, though we are informed that there were probably from 4,000 to  6,000 Catholic colleges in existence in Mexico. “All these establishments of virtue and learning have been demolished by the vandalism of the past four years.”

The Church in Canada

In 1497 John Cabot and his son Sebastian, in the service of  England discovered Labrador and Newfoundland. In 1500, Gaspard Cortereal, a Portugese, discovered the river St. Laurence. In 1523, Verrazani, in the service of the French king, visited the eastern shore of America, and named the northern part of it, New France. In 1534 Jacques Cartier landed on Gaspe peninsula, and took possession in the name of the French king. He sailed up the St. Laurence as far as Montreal. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec, and in 1611 selected the site for the city of Montreal. Through his efforts, missionaries were brought out to New France arriving in 1615. The Sulpician Fathers arrived in 1663, settling on the island of Montreal, in the St. Laurence river.

France and Church Influence

In 1658, the  Right Reverend Francois de Laval was appointed Vicar Apostolic and first bishop of Quebec. The story of the colony for many years was a repetition of attacks by the Indians, missionary work among them and efforts to reclaim the land in the midst of the hardships of the Quebec winters. The settlements at this period were confined to the district covered by Quebec, Three rivers and Montreal. In 1722 the diocese of Quebec was divided into eighty-two parishes. The Hospitallers, of Montreal were active in missionary schools. The Grey Nuns came from France in 1753. Meanwhile the differences between France and England, breaking out into warfare at home, were taken up by the settlers in the new world and the armies of the English were successful at Quebec under General Wolf. Canada was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris, 1763.

English Acquisition

With the acquisition of the country by the English trouble began through the abolition of the old French laws, and with the Indians, who, at first did not take kindly to their new masters. In this period the Church suffered, recognition being refused by the new government. Many of the missionaries went back to France. For some years, the settlers were almost without service. Catholics were bound to submit to the Test Oath, by which they were required to abjure transubstantiation in the Mass and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. However, fearing that the colonists would join with the American colonies, which at this time threatened an uprising, the British government, in 1774, passed the Quebec Act, which confirmed the rights guaranteed Catholics in the surrender of 1763, exempted them from the Test Oath and provided for a system of maintenance of the clergy. The liberties obtained under this act conciliated the Canadians, and secure in the freedom they enjoyed, they refused the appeal to join in the rebellion of the colonies, and even resisted the attempt to conquer Canada.


New settlers came with the close of the American Revolution. A large number of colonists who preferred to live under the British flag, dissatisfied with the conduct of affairs under congress, emigrated to Canada, settling in what is now called Ontario. These were the United Empire Loyalists. Among them were large numbers of Catholic people, attracted by the liberties enjoyed by Canadian Catholics. Settlers poured in rapidly and flourishing towns sprang up. A large emigration from Ireland brought priests with them. Scotch Highlanders settled in Glengarry and the impetus received by this emigration brought others. Attempts by the government to interfere in Catholic affairs were again evident in 1776, when Jesuit property was confiscated at Quebec. Catholic parishes were to be given to Protestants, and the Bishop of Quebec was refused acknowledgment. But the firm stand of Bishop Plessis of Quebec showed the government the imprudence of further tampering with the affairs of the Church. During Bishop Plessis’ career Catholic education flourished. Bishops were appointed to Kingston, Montreal, New Brunswick, and the North-West.

During the years that followed the French settlers in Quebec retained their language and customs, while the tide of emigration to Ontario and the west was almost exclusively English speaking. This brought differences, especially since the English speaking people were for the most part non-Catholic. The lack of responsible government and other political grievances brought about the rebellion of 1837-8. This culminated in the Act of Union by which the provinces were united with legislatives and assemblies. It was not altogether successful. Various other makeshifts were tried until the British North America Act of 1867 united the four provinces under the present name of the Dominion of Canada. Since then other provinces from the western country have entered the Federation. Transcontinental railways have opened up the country to settlers as far as the western coast. From the United States, from Europe and from the eastern provinces, they have come in great numbers making a phenomonal development of a great country.

Work of the Missionaries

The first  missionaries to land at Quebec were three of the Recollet (Franciscan) fathers. One of these, Father LeCaron celebrated the first Mass in Ontario on June 24th, 1615, Chaplain assisting. The Jesuits arrived in 1625. With the surrender of New France to the English 1629 all the missionaries retired to France, the Jesuits returning in 1632 and the Recollets in 1670. They soon spread themselves over the country for the conversion of the Indians. They displayed unbounded zeal and opened up a way for settlers through trackless territories hitherto unknown. Many suffered the most cruel martyrdom with heroic constancy, chief among them being Father Jean de Brebeouf, martyred by the Hurons in the Georgian Bay country 1649. Others who met death in this way were Fathers Jogues (1646), Lallemant, Daniel and Garnier (1649), and Father Buteaux (1652.) Father Rasle (1724) was martyred by the Abenaquis. The Recollet fathers had missions in Quebec and Ontario, the Sulpicians in Ontario and Quebec, the Jesuits in Ontario and the far west, and the Oblate Fathers almost exclusively in the west.

Prominent Missionaries

Father LeCaron discovered Lake Nipissing (1615), and Lake Huron; Father Jogues discovered Lake Superior, 1646; Father DuQuen discovered Lake St. John in the same year. In 1668 Father D’Albeau went among the Esquimaux; Father Albanel discovered Hudson Bay, 1671; Father Allouez was the first to locate copper in the Lake Superior region; Father Hennepin discovered Niagara Falls, 1678; The first church in Canada was started by Father LeCaron at Tadoussac 1616; Father Bocquet was the first priest at Detroit and Father Lafran at Mackinac. A mission opposite Detroit was started by Father Potier in 1748; Father McKenna, an Irish priest was with the Scotch loyalists who settled in Canada from the United States in 1788; Niagara had a church in 1720, Kingston, 1808, Ogdensburgh, N. Y., settled from Kingston in 1749.

A prominent missionary in the far eastern part of Canada was Father Burke (1827) who labored near Halifax. Mgr. Seghers, who was stationed at Vancouver Island, with charge of Alaska, was far up the Yukon in July 1877. Under Bishops Provencher and Tache of St. Boniface, 1850, Father LaCombe began a sixty year service in missionary work in the north-west with his fellow laborers, the Oblate fathers. Other prominent in this region were Fathers Bourassa, Grollier, Dumoulin (1818), tibault, Remas and Caer. From Canada came all the Missionaries who gave their lives to the development of the middle and western states of the Union. Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, many other states bear testimony to their work in the  names of places, French and Catholic, which, just as much as the Spanish names of the south and west, bear witness to the character, nationality and religion of the discoverers, first settlers and explorers. Hennepin, LaFrance, Bocquet, Marquette, D’Ilbrville, LaSalle, Picquet, hundreds of others, priest and layman, all worked from Canada into the territory occupied by the United States, preparing the way for settlers, selecting desirable places for settlements which later became large cities, today giving silent testimony to the sagacity of their founders.

Growth of the Church

From the parent diocese, Quebec, other dioceses were established at Kingston 1826, Montreal 1836, Toronto 1842, Ottawa 1842, St. Boniface (Manitoba) 1842, Three Rivers (Quebec) 1852, Hailfax (Nova Scotia) 1843. St. John (New Brunswick) 1842. Dioceses which qualify the growth and development of the country were formed later at Edmonton (Alberta) 1912, Vancouver (B. C.) 1890, Alexandria (Ont. ) 1890, Antigonish (N. S. ) 1886, Calgary (Alberta) 1912, Charlottetown (P. E. I. ) 1829, Chatham (N. B. ) 1860, Chicoutimi (Quebee) 1878, Hamilton (Ont. ) 1856, Joliette (Quebec) 1904, London (Ontario) 1869, Peterboro (Ontario) 1881, Prince Albert (Sask) 1907, regina (Sask) 1910, Sault Ste Marie (Ont. ) 1904, Victoria (B. C. ) 1908, Winnipeg (Man. ) 1916. There are several Vicariate-Apostolates, and one Ruthenian Bishop with headquarters at Winnipeg. An Apostolic Delegate has been in residence at Ottawa since August 1899. In all there are ten Archdioceses, twenty-three dioceses, five Victariate-Apostolic, and one Perfecture-Apostolic. Newfoundland with direct  communication with the Holy See, has one Archdiocese and two suffragan Bishoprics. Cardinal Begin has residence at Quebec with an auxiliary archbishop.


The total population of Canada according to the census of 1911 was 7,206, 643. Of this number the principal  religious bodies were the Presbyterians 1, 115, 324; Methodists, 1, 076, 892; Anglicans 1,043,892; Baptist, 382, 666; Lutherans, 229,864 and Catholics 2, 732, 041.

Catholics thus form about forty per cent of the total population. Perhaps about three fifths of the Catholic population live in the province of Quebec. The Catholic population gains chiefly by the birth rate. There are between three thousand five hundred and four thousand priests in active service. In Quebec the parish priest has a right to tithes, described elsewhere. In other places the clergy are supported as in the United States. There are about twenty communities of priests, ten of brothers and about seventy of sisters. Laval University at Quebec and Montreal is the oldest. The Jesuits are affiliated with Laval in Montreal College, the Oblates have a college at Ottawa, the Basilians at Toronto, the Resurrectionists at Berlin, the Jesuits St. Boniface and Victoria. Seminaries are at Quebec, Montreal, Toronto and London.

Rights Enjoyed by Catholics

The Constitution of Canada is contained in the British North America Act of 1867. The legislature is composed of an Elective assembly similar to Congress in the United States, a Senate, with members appointed by the government, not elected, and a Governor-General appointed by the government of England. The salary of the governor is practically the only tribute paid by Canada to the mother country. Each province has its own government similar to that of the individual states, with representatives in the Canadian houses. The Catholic religion has exactly the same rights and privileges as are enjoyed in the United States, with the addition of direct application of taxation for school purposes to institutions under Catholic guidance.

In Canada each province has the right to settle the question of education. In Ontario and Quebec there is a system of direct taxation by means of which Catholics pay to their own schools by preference. There is no double support, of Catholic schools as well as of the Public Schools. The taxes thus contributed are turned over to local school-boards, elective, which, under direction of the bishop in each diocese, handle all school matters. All teachers are qualified according to government standards, sisters and brothers taking the examinations with others. There are standard text books, general examinations for entrance to high school work. Catholics are free to select the system, Separate or Public, to which their taxes are devoted. It is a system which works well, that balance being held between the two provinces in the right proportion to assist the Catholic people in retaining the rights granted them, in spite of the attempts made in recent years to deprive them, and to do away with Separate schools and the teachings of religion to Catholic children.

Catholic Laymen Prominent in Canada

Catholic Laymen have from the first been prominent in Canada, in the development of the country and in the conduct of the affairs of the Nation. Speaking only of later history Catholics have  twice been honored as the foremost Canadian in political affairs. The Premier, leader of the particular party in power at Ottawa, both for the Conservatives and for the Liberals has been a Catholic, Sir John Thompson and Sir Wilfred Laurier, respectively. Catholics have been prominent in the Cabinet of every party in power, as becomes their numbers. In commercial life, in the professions, everywhere, instances of successful men are found, men no less successful because they persevere and live good practical Catholic lives.

Present Day Statistics in America

There are 28,558,048 Catholics in the United States and its possessions, according to the “Official Catholic Directory” for 1922, published by P. J. Kennedy & Sons, New York. 18,104,804 are in the United States.

Other statisticians quoting Catholic figures usually deduct fifteen per cent for children and infants, claiming that only adult communicants should be counted. The impression is created, therefore, that Catholic statistics are exaggerated. The former editor, Joseph H. Meier, who compiled many issues of the Directory, claims that instead of being overestimated, Catholics statistics are underestimated. The figure 18,194,804 is very conservative. According to Mr. Meier, regularly at least ten per cent ought to be added for “floating” Catholic population of which no record can be kept.

Number of Priests

The official Catholic Directory bristles with interesting facts and figures. Among them its 1922 issue shows that there are 22,049 Catholic clergymen in the United States, an increase of 406 over the previous year. Of these about 16,000 are Secular clergymen. The others are priests of Religious Orders.

Two Cardinals, seventeen archbishops, ninety-three bishops, two arch-abbots and sixteen abbots are the figures of the General Summary for the United States. The diocesan and religious priests now number 22,049 an increase of 406. During 1921, 204 new parishes were established. The number of seminaries remains the same, but there is an encouraging gain in the number of seminaries. During the past year there were 8,698 young men enrolled in the 213 seminaries, while in 1920 only 8, 291 seminaries were registered.


Parish  Schools

Another interesting feature of the Directory is that part relating to the parochial schools. The 1922 volume shows that there are 6,258 parishes with parochial schools, caring for 1,852,498 children.

State  Population

The Directory editor in a previous issue prepared a list of those states having a large number of Catholics. United States, with the addition of The thirty banner states are as follows:

1.   New York 2,885,824;  2. Pennsylvania, 1,756,763;  3. Illinois, 1,473,379;  4. Massachusetts 1,392,000;  5. Ohio 793,179;  6. Louisiana 586,200;  7. New Jersey 585,000;  8. Michigan 581,000;  9. Wisconsin 576,400;  10. Missouri 490,000;  11. California 469,480;  12. Minnesota, 465,900;  13. Connecticut 441,193;  14. Texas 318,576;  15. Iowa 279,060;  16. Rhode Island 275,000;  17. Maryland 261,000;  18. Indiana 245,141;  19. Kentucky 170,609;  20. New Mexico 140,573;  21. Kansas 132,701;  22. Maine 131,638;  23. New Hampshire 130,081;  24. Nebraska 123,403;  25. Colorado 108,331;  26. North Dakota 103,371;  27. Washington 93,760;  28. Vermont 82,878;  29. Montana 70,000;  30. Oregon 66,450.

The Catholic Directories of Canada for 1920 in English and French report that the ecclesiastical divisions are eleven archdioceses, twenty-four dioceses, five vicariates, and one prefecture. A prefecture is the first form of organization in a missionary territory destined to become a diocese. It is placed in charge of a priest with episcopal jurisdiction. When it reaches a certain stage of development it becomes a vicariat under a Bishop without episcopal see in his territory. Finally, when sufficiently organized it becomes a diocese. The number of priests in Canada is 4,500 and the number of Catholics over three and a quarter million, namely, 3,268,837.

The  Catholic  Church  Extension  Society

The Catholic Church Extension of the United States of America, an organization which collects in, and confines its benefits to, the United States of America and territory under the American flag, was founded “to foster and extend the Catholic Faith; to develop the missionary spirit in the clergy and people; to assist in the erection of parish buildings for needy places; to contribute to the support of priests living in out-or-the-way localities and poverty-stricken districts; to extend the comforts of religion to pioneers; to supply altar plate and vestments for poor missions; to circulate Catholic literature; to educate or assist in the education of students who intend becoming missionary priests; to direct Catholic colonists to suitable localities.”

The Society was inaugurated in Chicago on October 18, 1905, under the aegis of the late Archbishop Quigley. Four members of the Hierarchy, nine priests and six laymen were present at the meeting, at which the Archbishop was appointed Chancellor, and the Rev. Francis Clement Kelley, president. No money was available for the purposes of establishment, and the rectory at Lapeer, Michigan, where Father Kelley was pastor, became the first headquarters of the Society.

The late Bishop Hennessy, of Wichita, was the first member of the Hierarchy to give his encouragement to the plan which subsequently developed. The Rev. F. C. Kelley was the originator of the scheme, or perhaps, more correctly the adaptor of an existing model to Catholic purposes. His mission at Lapeer was handicapped by poverty, and to support his work there he undertook a lecture tour which brought him into touch with priests in the west and south who were struggling against even more adverse conditions. There was no one to plead their cause, and their constant anxiety concerning the necessaries of existence was minimizing the effectiveness of their labors. Father Kelley wrote an article on the situation in the “Ecclesiastical Review.” It evoked Bishop Hennessy’s encouragement, which in turn brought about the inaugural meeting.

The Society met with an immediate and generous response, and at the second meeting of officers it was determined to move the headquarters to Chicago, where they would be more readily available, and where the Society could claim serious attention as a national organization.

Papal Approval

The Holy See gave recognition to the Society when it was less than two years old, in the form of a letter (June 7th, 1907) addressed to its Chancellor, and in which Pope Pius X spoke of the work as “most opportune in a country where, owing to the multitudes of immigrants of various nationalities a great and extending field lies open for the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God. And the more so as the endeavors of associations hostile to the Catholic name are so active and so widespread. This hostile influence, unless coped with unceasingly and prudently, will do no little harm, especially among the simple folk of rural districts, to the happy growth of the Church of America.” The Pope approved and ratified the Society and granted perpetually many privileges and indulgences.

In a letter (April 12, 1919) signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pope Benedict XV, “desiring to give to your society a new mark of his particular consideration and esteem,” granted the privilege of the use by the Society in its official emblem of the Papal Insignia.

By an Apostolic Brief (June 9th, 1910) Pius X erected the Society into a canonical institution, appointed a Cardinal Protector, fixed the headquarters in Chicago, appointed the Archbishop of Chicago the Society’s Chancellor ex officio, and reserved to the Holy Father the appointment, every five years, of the Society’s president.

Special  Features

Membership of the Society and participation in the spiritual privileges extended to it are secured by contributing to the Society’s funds directly, or indirectly by subscribing to its Journal “Extension Magazine.” The Magazine was established a year after the foundation of the Society, “to foster the missionary spirit,” and through it the needs of the missions and the missionaries in America have been made known and, to some extent supplied. In addition to “Subscribing membership,” the Society has annual membership ($10.00 a year); life memberships ($1,000,00 in cash or in ten equal annual payments; founderships ($5,000.00 in cash or ten equal annual payments). Founderships  and life memberships may be established through wills. Founderships bestow upon male founders privilege of membership of the board of governors. The Society has one thousand Masses offered annually for its members, living and dead. “Extension Magazine” began as a quarterly publication, and developed into a monthly. Its circulation and influence increased steadily. In 1919 it had reached a certified circulation of 287,000 and employed nearly 300 circulation agents.

Auxiliaries were formed in The Order of Martha and the Child Apostle, to encourage personal service on behalf of the House Missions. The Order of Martha is organized in “households,” and its members have been responsible for building many chapels and schools, besides supplying vestments and linens of home workmanship for the missions. The pennies of the children had built ten chapels (1922).

The Church Goods department was created for the collection of used vestments and other church furnishings, and for their distribution after suitable repair. In one year (1921) goods estimated at the value of $25,000.00 were thus salvaged for use in poor missions.

A Mass Intention department was opened when it was seen that  no existing machinery coped with the matter of passing surplus intentions from the city priests to the poor missions where they were needed and where they are, very often, the only means of subsistence afforded the missionaries. The Mass Intentions which passed through the Society in 1921 totaled $147,044.14. In 1919, a period of national anxiety, they reached $240,164.10. Mass Intentions are distributed through diocesan ordinaries and through provincials of communities, and no deduction is made for administration.

Extension press was created to meet the demand for an efficient Catholic mail order house for the supply of books and articles of devotion. Of the goods despatched 95 per cent are shipped to points at which there are no Catholic bookstores. Extension Press has published several books, and issues illustrated calendars for which the annual sale is about 200,000. The profits of this department and of “Extension Magazine” benefits the Society’s general work.

Work  Accomplished

To the end of the fiscal year of 1921, the Society had assisted in the building of 2,074 church structures, of which 1,932 were churches, ninety-eight schools and convents for the accommodation of teaching sisters, and 44 priests’ houses. The Society’s policy is to assist the local Catholics to help themselves, and to foster in them a spirit of responsibility. Thus a portion of the cost of erection is guaranteed by the Society when the need of a structure has been demonstrated, and the money is paid when the roof is on the building. Buildings assisted in this way have been erected in forty-three states of the Union, Texas standing with 313, and South Dakota, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oregon, Minnesota and Montana each having over a hundred. About half of all Catholic churches erected in the country in recent years have been assisted by the Society, in 1919 the percentage aided being as high as 88.04.

The reports of the missionaries, submitted with applications for assistance, show that nearly half a million Catholics have benefited by this constructed work.

Mission schools have been helped to some extent. Missionary grants have been made to bishops for the development of poor dioceses. Students for the priesthood are being assisted, the method found most practical being that of working through the bishops of missionary dioceses.

Chapel cars have been used with considerable success in the West and South, the plan being to send the cars to churchless places where a halt is made and a mission given. Where experience shows the need of a chapel efforts have been bent toward that end. The Society has three chapel cars, named “St. Anthony,” “St. Peter” and “St. Paul.” At first they were transported free by the railroad companies, but the privilege was withdrawn at the  time of the great war. Motor chapels were also used experimentally. Though successful in their mission is was found that automobiles were unsuited to the rough usage to which they were subjected by the necessity of journeying long distances.

The headquarters officials of the Society are (1922): President, the Right Rev. Francis C. Kelley, D. D., LL. D.; vice presidents: the Rev. William D. O’Brien (General Secretary); the Rev. E. J. McGuinness (Director Order of Martha and Child Apostles).

The  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Faith

The veteran international association for the furtherance of missionary efforts in pagan and non-Catholic lands is the renowned Society for the Propagation of the Faith. It does not select or send out the missionaries, but it supports by the prayers and alms of its members the missionaries chosen, trained and sent forth by the authorities of the Church. Since its foundation in Lyons, France, in 1822, it has been the abiding stay of the missionary the world over.

Up to 1910 the society has distributed nearly $79,000,000.00, of which vast sum nearly $11,000,000.00 had been sent to the missions in  America. Indeed, of the $4,000 collected in the first year of the society’s existence, two-thirds were sent to Kentucky and Louisiana.

Well might the fathers of the Third Plenary Council, of Baltimore, send to the directors of the society the expression of their deep gratitude, as well as their conviction that if the grain of mustard seed planted in the virgin soil of America had grown into a mighty tree, it was due in a large measure to the generous and sustained help of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

In May, 1922, the Society on its centennial celebration was accorded a remarkable testimonial of progress.

Results  in  Pagan  Lands

What was done for the Church in the United States by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith is the story of its rich harvest of souls in every missionary field. Less than fifty years after the foundation of the society, eighty missionary Bishops went from the ends of the earth to sit in the Vatican Council, and every one of the dioceses they presided over was the outgrowth of aid that had come from the society.

If, in marked contrast to the gloomy outlook one hundred years ago, the opening years of the twentieth century are aglow with radiant hope for the conversion of pagan nations, the glorious advance is due very largely to the unfailing assistance of the society.

The  Catholic  Colonization  Society

Director-General, Most Rev. John j. Glennon, Archbishop of St. Louis; Chairman Executive Committee, Most Rev. S. G. Messmer, Archbishop of Milwaukee; President, Rev. Julius E. DeVos, Chicago.

The society was established in 1910. It is a bureau of information and protection for homeseekers and a clearing house for Catholic settlers throughout the United States. It objects are to open colonies in every part of the union for the different races; to multiply and to systematize the efforts now being made in behalf of colonization, and to impress upon Catholics the necessity of looking for Church and School in the selection of a home.

The society now has colonies in operation from Washington to Florida and from Minnesota to Arizona, besides a number of others in formation throughout the United States.

This system of colonization has been tested, and it has proven to be safe and successful. It has learned what it required; it has contracts, to be signed by the land companies, which protect the settlers. It has experts in all matters pertaining to the question, as well as official documents of states and railways. It is fully equipped to investigate every worthy proposition that is offered.

Investigations are thorough, and so no mistakes are made in colony sites. And Churches and  Schools are arranged for, with resident priests, and school teachers.

The most promising settlements are at Riviera and Perico, Texas, Nat, Miss.; Horse Heaven, Wash.; and Sarto, Arizona.

Indian  and  Negro  Missions

In thirty-two dioceses, one hundred sixty-four priests (61 secular, 103 religious orders) are at work among an Indian Catholic population of about half a million. There are two hundred forty-nine churches and chapels devoted exclusively to their use. Ten communities of Sisters (373 teachers, with 104 lay teachers) are engaged in the work of teaching, in fifty-five free boarding schools, where there are also twenty-six day schools directly under their supervision. In all there are 5,000 pupils, 72 teaching Brothers are also engaged. The Franciscan Sisters, the Benedictines, Notre Dame, Divine Providence, Gray Nuns, Mercy, Loretto, Blessed Sacrament under Mother Katherine Drexel, are all prominent in this work. Recently, the Sisters who teach in the government shcools were recognized and praised very highly for effective work.

Mission work among the colored people is conducted by a special board, under direction of the hierarchy in thirty-five dioceses. One hundred fifty-four priests, two of them colored, are actively engaged, having seventy-two churches and chapels. There are one hundred twenty-six schools, conducted by Sisters, having over sixteen thousand pupils. Twenty-seven charitable institutions care for nearly three thousand children. The Josephite Fathers are prominent in this work, conducting also Epiphany College and St. Joseph Seminary in Baltimore for the higher education of Negroes. Nine other communities of Priests are interested in the work.

There are about twelve million colored people in the United States of whom about 200,000 are Catholics. One thousand priests and bishops are members of a league to support negro missions.

Mission  Field  Summary

            It is an indisputable fact that the number of workers in the mission field is out of all proportion to the task to be performed. A glance at the statistics of those countries which are still pagan or where Christianity is the religion of an insignificant minority will demonstrate our assertion more eloquently than any words. Although approximate, these statistics will give a fair idea of the state of affairs.

Japan and Korea

Total Population – 162,000.000

Number of Catholics – 162,000

Number of priests – 282

Which means that there is one priest ministering to 575 Catholics and working for the conversion of 220,000 infidels.


Total population – 420,000,000

Number of Catholics – 1,820,000

Number of priests – 2,380

Or, one priest for 768 Catholics and 179,193 pagans.


Total population – 42,000,000

Number of Catholics – 1,035,000

Number of priests – 1,081

Or, one priest for 957 Catholics and 40,000 pagans.


Total population – 294,000,000

Number of Catholics – 2,400,000

Number of priests in mission districts – 2,800

Or, one priest for 858 Catholics and 105,000 pagans.


Population of mission districts – 157,000,000

Number of Catholics 750,000

Number of priests – 1,903

Or, one priest for 400 Catholics and 82,000 infidels.


Population of mission districts – 4,000,000

Number of Catholics – 130,000

Number of priests – 360

Article by Mons. Freni, Miss. Ap. New York in Eccles. Rev. Aug. 1917.


  • Very Rev. A. P. Doyle, C. S. P.

  • Father O’Hern, C. S. P.

  • Rev. J. E. DeVos

  • Rt. Rev. William H. Ketchan

  • Rev. George Waring Chaplain USA

  • Rev. M. Kenny, S. J. in America

  • Rev. J. W. Reardon, S. J.

  • Rt. Rev. F. C. Kelley, D. D., in Extension Magazine

  • Hilliard Atteridge

  • Books, Memoirs of Chaplain Life, Fr. Corby, C. S. C.

  • Catholics and Patriotism, W. G. Smith

  • American Catholic and the A. P. A., P. H. Winston

  • John Gilmary Shea

  • Catholic Aid and the America Revolution, Martin Griffin

  • Spark’s Writings

  • Williamson’s History of Maine

  • Memoirs of Various Religious Orders

  • Catholic Page of American History, J. L. MacDonald

  • Knights of Columbus in Peace and War

  • American Catholics in the War, Williams


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