Peacemaker

Pierre-Jean De Smet first saw the light of day in Dendermonde in Belgium on January 30, 1801.  His parents would have been astonished if they had been told that in his life their newborn would travel over 180,000 miles as a missionary, and most of it in the Wild West of the United States.

Emigrating to the US in 1821 as part of his desire to serve as a missionary, De Smet entered the Jesuit novitiate at Whitemarsh, Maryland.  In a move that today would have secularists screaming “Separation of Church and State!” and conspiracy buffs increasing the tin foil content of their hats, the US government subsidized a Jesuit mission being established in the new state of Missouri among the Indians.  At the time the US government often did this for missionaries of many Christian denominations among the Indians.  So it was that in 1823 De Smet and other members of the order trekked west and established a mission to the Indians at Florissant, Missouri, near Saint Louis.  Studying at the new Saint Regis Seminary in Florissant, Father De Smet was ordained on September 23, 1827.  Now a prefect at the seminary, he studied Indian languages and customs.  In 1833 he returned to Belgium for health problems and was unable to return to Missouri until 1837.

In 1838 he founded the St. Joseph Mission in Council Bluffs for the Potawatomi Indians.   He also began his career as a peacemaker as he journeyed to the territory of the Sioux to work out a peace between them and the Potawatomi.  It should be emphasized that Father De Smet was making these journeys at a time when he was often the only white man for hundreds of miles other than for a few mountain men and scattered traders.  He quickly earned a reputation among the Indians as utterly fearless and a white man whose word they could trust.

In 1840 he journeyed to the Pacific Northwest to establish a mission among the Flathead and Nez Perces tribes, who had been begging for a decade for “Black Robes” to be sent to them and teach them about Christ.  After visiting them, Father De Smet promised that he would go back to Saint Louis and return with another “Black Robe” to establish a permanent mission.  On his way back he visited the Crow, the Gros Ventres and other tribes.  In 1841 he returned to the Flatheads along with Father Nicholas Point and established St. Mary’s Mission  on the Bitterroot River, thirty miles south of present day Missoula.  The mission was quite successful as indicated by this event.  One of the converted chiefs of the Flatheads was baptized and chose the baptismal name of Victor.  On one occasion Father De Smet was preaching to the Flatheads and mentioned how in Europe the Holy Father confronted many enemies of the Faith.  Victor became indignant and said, “Should our Great Father, the Great chief of the Black robes, be in danger–you speak on paper–invite him in our names to our mountains. We will raise his lodge in our midst; we will hunt for him and keep his lodge provided, and we will guard him against the approach of his enemies!” (more…)

Published in: on July 22, 2021 at 5:20 am  Comments (3)  
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Lee Harvey Oswald and the Jesuits

(I originally posted this at The American Catholic and I thought the history mavens of Almost Chosen People might like it.)

 

This should send conspiracy theorists shooting off towards the Andromeda Galaxy:

 

This sounds totally make-believe, but every single word of it is true: On July 27, 1963, less than four months before he assassinated President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald was invited to deliver a lecture to a group of Jesuits in Mobile, Alabama, at their House of Studies.

This, of course, didn’t just happen in a vacuum. Oswald’s cousin, Eugene Murret, was in formation to become a Jesuit. Since Eugene’s parents, Lillian and “Dutz” Murret, were among the only remaining family Oswald had — and they had shared with Br. Eugene his cousin’s trouble finding a job since his return from the Soviet Union, as well as the fact that he had a young wife and two small children — Eugene apparently took pity on his younger cousin. In a letter dated July 4, 1963, and forever marked as Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2648, Eugene wrote to his uneducated and poverty-ridden relative, Lee Harvey, saying:

Here at the [Jesuit] House of Studies during the summer months we have a series of lectures on various subjects given by different persons from the neighboring areas. These subjects usually deal with art, literature, economics, religion, politics, etc.

Oswald, who had never finished high school and was dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps, knew next to nothing — indeed, nothing at all — of art, literature, economics, or religion.

However, since he had defected to and lived (briefly) in the Soviet Union from 1959-1961, Oswald “knew” a bit about life under a Communist regime. His cousi, Eugene continued in his missive, that:

We were hoping that you might come over to talk to us about contemporary Russia and the practice of Communism there.

Concerned perhaps that this might amount to a public de-lousing, Eugene double-clutches and becomes a bit more gregarious and expansive:

Go here to read the rest at The National Catholic Register.  Oswald was a lone nutcase assassin, but his contacts in the last year of his life are expansive and peculiar enough to help establish the cottage industry of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories that is happily chugging along more than a half century later.

 

Published in: on September 6, 2018 at 4:25 am  Comments Off on Lee Harvey Oswald and the Jesuits  
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The Real Sermon on the Docks

Probably the most powerful sermon ever placed on film, Father Barry speaks of Christ and his crucifixion on the docks.  The best performance Karl Malden ever gave.  Elia Kazan’s masterpiece, On the Waterfront  (1954) was also his response to the criticism he received for naming names before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952.

 

 

The character of Father Barry was based on the actual work on the docks of a hardbitten Irish-Catholic Jesuit Priest, Father John Corridan.  From 1946-1957 he waged a one man crusade in New York against the gangsters who controlled the International Longshoreman’s Association.  One of the bosses who controlled the union was “Tough” Tony Anastasia,  a brother of Albert “The Madhatter” Anastasia, one of the former bosses of Murder, Inc.

In the face of these murderers, Father Corridan, son of a New York cop who had died when Corridan was nine, was completely fearless.  Teaching longshoremen Christian principles in labor\management relations at the Saint Francis Xavier Labor School, Father Corridan faced down a union thug sent to disrupt his class:  “If anything happens to the men I’m trying to help here, I’ll know who’s responsible, and I’ll personally see to it that they are broken throughout this port. They’ll pay and I’ll see that they pay.”

Father Corridan compiled information which eventually filled sixteen filing cabinets on the mobsters who controlled the ports and who made life miserable for honest longshoremen.  He shared this information freely with reporters, including Malcolm Johnson of the New York Sun who won a Pulitzer for his series in 1948 on “Crime on the Waterfront”.  Father Corridan realized the pressure that could be exerted on the mob and the crooked politicians who protected the mob by such stories, and he used every opportunity to expose them in the press.  He wrote scorching articles himself for America and other publications.  Gradually the public began to become aware of the problem of mob domination of the docks.

A turning point came in 1951 when a faction of the longshoremen rejected a union negotiated contract and went on a wildcat strike.  Father Corridan supported them to the hilt.  The strike shut down ports in New York and New Jersey for twenty-five days.  To refute a claim by the mob dominated union that the strikers were communists, Father Corridan held a public prayer service with the strikers.  He also successfully pressured Governor Dewey of New York to address the issue of mob control of the docks.

Father Barry in the movie had his sermon on the docks.  Father Corridan preached many of them and one of them had this memorable statement:  “I suppose some people would smirk at the thought of Christ in the shape-up. It is about as absurd as the fact that He carried carpenter’s tools in His hands and earned His bread by the sweat of His brow. As absurd as the fact that Christ redeemed all men irrespective of their race, color, or station in life. It can be absurd only to those of whom Christ has said, ‘Having eyes, they see not; and having ears, they hear not.’ Because they don’t want to see or hear. Christ also said, ‘If you do it to the least of mine, you do it to me.’ So Christ is in the shape-up.”

The shape up was the system by which the mob completely controlled which longshoremen would work and which would not.  Father Corridan succeeded in having the shape up banned by the time that he left the docks in 1957, and a New York\New Jersey commission was in place to regulate the harbors.

Father Corridan went on to teach economics at LeMoyne College in Syracuse , theology at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City and was a hospital chaplain in Brooklyn until his death at 73 in 1984.  It is said of Father Corridan that he could swear like a longshoreman himself at the sight of injustice.  If true, then I imagine his language is pure in his final abode.

Published in: on May 15, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Real Sermon on the Docks  
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Jesuitical 18: Saint Louis University and Father De Smet

 Father De Smet statue

(I originally posted this at The American Catholic and I thought that the history mavens of Almost Chosen People might find it interesting.)

 

Part 18 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.  This story symbolizes the childish Leftism that is at the heart of much of modern Jesuitism:

Saint Louis University has removed a statue on its campus depicting a famous Jesuit missionary priest praying over American Indians after a cohort of students and faculty continued to complain the sculpture symbolized white supremacy, racism and colonialism.

Formerly placed outside the university’s Fusz Hall in the center of the private Catholic university, the statue will go to the university’s art museum, a building just north of the bustling urban campus.

The statue features famous Jesuit Missionary Pierre-Jean De Smet S.J. praying over two American Indians dressed in traditional clothing. Last Monday, just two days after graduation, it was removed from the location it has called home on campus for decades.

A university spokesperson told St. Louis Magazine the statue will be placed within the “historical context of a collection that’s on permanent display in our SLU Museum of Art.” The statue is set for the museum’s “Collection of the Western Jesuit Missions.”

“In more recent years, there have been some faculty and staff who have raised questions about whether the sculpture is culturally sensitive,” SLU spokesman Clayton Berry said.

Berry did not respond to The College Fix’s request for comment.

The De Smet statue has long drawn the ire of progressive students and scholars at the Jesuit university who argue the statue was a symbol of racism and white supremacy, among other oppressions.

In a recent op-ed published in SLU’s University News, senior Ryan McKinley stated the sculpture sent a clear, unwelcoming message to American Indians at Saint Louis University.

Go here to read the rest.  Obsessed with race?  Check.  White male bashing?  Check.  Ignorant of history?  Check.  Falling down before Leftist sacred cows?  Check. (more…)

Published in: on June 3, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Jesuitical 18: Saint Louis University and Father De Smet  
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Lily of the Mohawks

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon near present day Auriesville, New York .  Her father was a Mohawk Chieftain and her mother was an Algonquin Catholic convert, initially a captive of the Mohawks, who eventually married Kateri’s father.  During a smallpox epidemic between 1661-1663 tragedy struck her family, with smallpox killing her parents and her brother.  Her face was scarred as a result of smallpox and her sight diminished.  She was adopted by an uncle.

Converted by Jesuit missionaries, she joined the Church, despite opposition from her family, on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1676.  Fleeing persecution among her people she moved to Kahnawake, a village established south of Montreal by Jesuits for native converts.  There Kateri embarked upon a life of asceticism, although cautioned against going to extremes by her Jesuit friends.  She impressed them by her piety and the goodness that seemed to shine forth from her.  She died young on Wednesday in Holy Week on April 17, 1680.  Her last words were “Jesus I love you”. (more…)

Published in: on October 22, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments (9)  
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