July 16, 1769: Saint Junipero Serra Founds First Mission in California

 

By the 18th Century Spain’s glory days were in her past, and her time as a great power was rapidly coming to an end.  It is therefore somewhat unusual that at this period in her history, Spain added to her vast colonial empire.  It would never have occurred but for the drive of one Spanish governor and the burning desire of a saint to spread the Gospel of Christ.

Miquel Josep Serra i Ferrer was born on the island of Majorca, the largest of the Balearic islands, off the Mediterranean coast of Spain on November 24, 1713.  From his youth he had a desire to join the Franciscans and on September 14, 1730 he entered the Order of Friars Minor, and took the name of Junipero after Saint Junipero, one of the closest companions of Saint Francis.  He had a sharp mind, and before his ordination to the priesthood was appointed lector of philosophy.  He would go on to earn a doctorate in philosophy from Lullian University and went on to occupy the Duns Scotus chair of philosophy there.  A quiet life teaching philosophy was his for the asking.  Instead, he went off to be a missionary in the New World in 1749.

His first assignment was to teach in Mexico City, but that was not why he had left the Old World.  At his request he was assigned to the Sierra Gorda Indian missions in Central Mexico as a mission priest, a task which occupied him  for the next nine years.

In 1768 he was appointed the head of 15 Franciscans in Baja California who were taking over Jesuit missions to the Indians there, following the suppression of the Jesuit Order.  It was in Baja California that he met the Governor of that province, Gaspar de Portola. (more…)

Advertisements
Published in: on July 16, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on July 16, 1769: Saint Junipero Serra Founds First Mission in California  
Tags: , ,

Bishop Lawrence Scanlan

Bishop_Lawrence_Scanlan

Judging from his photograph, Lawrence Scanlan, first Catholic Bishop of Utah, was not a man to be trifled with, and perhaps that was a factor that helped him get along with Mormons so well as he established Catholicism in their Zion.  Not long after Father Scanlan arrived in Utah, he was invited by the Mormons in Saint George, Utah to use their tabernacle to say Mass.  They even supplied a chorus that could sing Latin High Mass!

Respect for Catholicism had been planted in Mormonism at the start.  The Mormon prophet Joseph Smith gave this speech when an Ursuline Convent was burned in Boston in 1834:  :”The early settlers of Boston . . . who had fled from their mother country to avoid persecution and death, soon became so lost to principles of justice and religious liberty as to whip and hang the Baptist and the Quaker, who, like themselves, had fled from tyranny to a land of freedom; and the Fathers of Salem, from 1691 to 1693, whipped, imprisoned, tortured, and hung many of their citizens for supposed witchcraft; and quite recently, while boasting of her light and knowledge, of her laws and religion, as surpassed by none on earth, has New England been guilty of burning a Catholic convent in the vicinity of Charlestown, and of scattering the inmates to the four winds; yes, in sight of the very spot where the fire of the American Independence was first kindled, where a monument is now erecting in memory of the battle of Bunker Hill, and the fate of the immortal Warren, who bled, who died on those sacred heights, to purchase religious liberty for his country; in sight of this very spot, have the religionists of the nineteenth century demolished a noble brick edifice, hurling its inhabitants forth upon a cold, unfeeling world for protection and subsistence.”

Knowing severe religious persecution in their early years, the Mormons felt a kinship to other persecuted religious groups, including Jews and Catholics.  Prior to Father Scanlan arriving in Utah, Brigham Young helped Father Mathew Kelly get the land to build the first Catholic Church in Salt Lake City. (more…)

Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Bishop Lawrence Scanlan  
Tags: , , ,

Sister Blandina on the Path to Sainthood

sister-blandina-segale

 

 

One of the pioneer nuns of the Old West is on the path to sainthood, Sister Blandina Segale:

 

 

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Wednesday it is exploring sainthood for an Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools.

Archbishop Michael Sheehan said he has received permission from the Vatican to open the “Sainthood Cause” for Sister Blandina Segale, an educator and social worker who worked in Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico.

It’s the first time in New Mexico’s 400-year history with the Roman Catholic Church that a decree opening the cause of beatification and canonization has been declared, church officials said.

Go here to read the rest at The Sacramento Bee.

 

I heartily support this cause!  Here is a post on Sister Blandina that I wrote back in 2012:

Rose Marie Segale was born on January 23, 1850 in the small village of Cicagna in Italy.  When she was four she and her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, part of the initial wave of immigration from Italy to America.  From her earliest childhood she was determined to be a sister and frequently told her father that she wanted to join the  Sisters of Charity as soon as she was old enough.  She began her novitiate at the age of 16.  When she professed her vows she took the name of Blandina Segale.  She taught at Steubenville and Dayton, and in 1872 she was ordered to Trinidad for missionary work.  Initially she thought that she was being sent to the island and was thrilled.  Instead, she was sent to Trinidad, Colorado in the western part of that state.

What she found when she got there, was a town that was frequently visited by outlaws and where lynchings were common.  A fairly rugged environment for a 22-year-old sister!

Nothing daunted, she began to teach.  Soon after she got there she stopped a lynching by convincing a dying man to forgive his assailant, the father of one of her pupils.  Sister Blandina and the sheriff brought the accused killer from the jail where he was being held to the bed of the dying man, through the midst of an angry lynch mob.  The dying man, very generously I think, forgave the man, the lynch mob dispersed, and the man’s fate was determined by the court and not the mob.

One of the many outlaws who terrorized the area was Arthur Pond aka William LeRoy, sometimes known as Billy the Kid, and who was celebrated as the King of American Highwaymen by the “penny dreadful” novelist  Richard K. Fox who released a heavily fictionalized biography of him immediately after his death, conflating his exploits with those of the more famous Billy the Kid.  (Sister Blandina in later life confused LeRoy with William H. Bonney, the more famous Billy the Kid, who operated in New Mexico a few years later.  Sister Blandina had known the outlaw only by his nickname and didn’t realize that there were two Billy the Kids, who died within months of each other in 1881.)  A member of his gang had been accidentally  shot by another member of his gang and left to die in an adobe hut in Trinidad.  Learning this from one of her students, Sister Blandina went to the outlaw and nursed him back to health, answering his questions about God and religion.   When Billy the Kid showed up in Trinidad one day, intent on scalping the four doctors who refused to treat the man Sister Blandina had been caring for, he thanked Sister Blandina and at her request reluctantly spared the physicians. (more…)

Published in: on July 8, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Sister Blandina on the Path to Sainthood  
Tags: , ,

Pastoral Letter on Abraham Lincoln

These communities, by their representatives in old  Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We  hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are  created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with  certain unalienable rights; that among these are life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic  interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their  lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of  the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to  all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their  enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and  likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded,  and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole  race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized  upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide  their children and their children’s children, and the countless  myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise  statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity  to breed tyrants, and so they established these great  self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man,  some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that  none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look  up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to  renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth,  and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues  might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would  hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles  on which the temple of liberty was being built.

Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858

The things you find while wandering the Internet!  Here is a pastoral letter on Abraham Lincoln written in 2009 on the bicentennial of his birth by Bishop W. Francis Malooly, Wilmington Diocese:

MYSTIC CHORDS OF MEMORY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: REMEMBERING PRESIDENT LINCOLN ON THE BICENTENNIAL OF HIS BIRTH 1

A Pastoral Letter to the People of the Diocese of Wilmington by Bishop W. Francis Malooly

Abraham Lincoln was born 200 years ago today.  Lincoln was not a Catholic.  Nor was he a member of any organized denomination and his religious views are in many ways obscure.  Some aspects of his legacy are still controversial almost 150 years after his death.  Yet, by any measure Abraham Lincoln was one of America’s greatest statesmen and his speeches and writings contain some of the most profound thinking relating to religion that have been produced in this nation.  Moreover, in his life we can see many of the classic Christian virtues; virtues that are as relevant today as they ever were in the past; virtues that help explain why Lincoln’s legacy is so large.

Before turning to Lincoln, himself, though, it is useful to first consider another statesman whose life reflects those virtues.  In 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Saint Thomas More to be the patron of statesmen and politicians: “There are many reasons for proclaiming Thomas More Patron of statesmen and people in public life.  Among these is the need felt by the world of politics and public administration for credible role models able to indicate the path of truth at a time in history when difficult challenges and crucial responsibilities are increasing…His life teaches us that government is above all an exercise of virtue.”2 

My predecessor, Bishop Michael Saltarelli, inspired by Pope John Paul II’s proclamation, issued in September 2004 his Litany of Saint Thomas More, Martyr and Patron of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers which concludes with the prayer: “Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life – the foundation of all other human rights.”3    With this Litany, Bishop Saltarelli emphasized that it is important for each of us to remember politicians and public servants daily in our prayers.  He also placed the Diocese of Wilmington at the forefront of efforts to foster and promote devotion to Saint Thomas More. As G.K. Chesterton so prophetically stated in 1929 “Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the great moment of his dying; but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years’ time.”4

I followed Bishop Saltarelli’s lead this fall when I reissued the Litany and asked every parish to pray it at the end of every Mass in the Diocese the weekend of October 25-26, 2008.5

Saint Thomas More and Abraham Lincoln were two very different men, living in different countries and separated by centuries.  Nevertheless, they shared the view that public service required them to pursue the public good rather than their own personal ends, even to the point that they put their lives at risk-and ultimately died-in that pursuit.  Indeed, Lincoln and St. Thomas shared many virtues-virtues that are key to effective public service.  In Lincoln’s life, Catholics and non-Catholics alike can see so many dimensions of the beatitudes, the theological virtues (faith, hope and charity) and the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance) lived vibrantly.   We can see through the lens of Abraham Lincoln so many of the lessons that were taught in the life of Saint Thomas More – that virtue in the life of the politician extends to both their public and their private lives, that magnanimity and charity lead to solid decisions in moments of crisis and confusion, and that governance is above all, an exercise in virtue.  (more…)

Published in: on October 3, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

John Wayne Catholics Throughout History

This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world – a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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

Paul has mentioned here the wonderful post by Pat Archbold in which he longs for John Wayne, a death bed Catholic convert, Catholicism as opposed to what he calls the Woody Allen Catholicism adopted by too many Catholics in the past half century:

Oh how I long for a religion with enough boldness to loudly, proudly, and  incessantly proclaim uncomfortable truths, even to its own supposed adherents,  until they all understand what it means to be Catholic.

How I long for a religion with that quiet and gentle resoluteness. A  religion that can acknowledge the mistakes of its members while loudly  proclaiming the Church One, Holy, Apostolic, and Infallible.

I desire John Wayne Catholicism in a Woody Allen world.

But the thing about John Wayne characters, without fanfare, gratitude,  understanding, or appreciation, they just did what needed doing for no other  reason than it was the right thing.

So I guess I will just try to do that.

I agree.  The Catholicism that Pat longs for is the Catholicism that has existed throughout almost all the history of the Church.  Some reminders:

 

 

 

1.  John Sobieski- After defeating the Turks at Vienna in 1683 he sent the green flag of Islam to the Pope with this message:  “Venimus, Vidimus, Deus vincit”!  (We came, we saw, God conquered!)

2.  The Martyrs of Otranto-Twelve years before Christopher Columbus discovered a New World, 800 men and boys of Otranto laid down their lives for Christ.  The city of Otranto, at the heel of the boot of Italy, was seized by the Turks under Gedik Ahmed Pasha, grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire.  Archbishop Stefano Argercolo de Pendinellis was murdered in his cathedral by the Turks and the garrison commander was sawn in half.  Following a massacre of most of the population the Turks offered some 800 men and boys the choice between conversion to Islam or death.  Led by an elderly tailor, Antonio Pezzulla, the men and boys chose death rather than apostacy, and were beheaded on the hill of Minvera outside the town on August 14, 1480, their families forced by the Turks to help in the executions.

The witness of the martyrs of Otranto was truly remarkable.  Not priests or soldiers, they were just plain, ordinary folk.  They had every earthly reason to attempt to save their lives, but with supernatural courage they went to their deaths for a love that passes understanding.  The old tailor spoke for them all when he addressed them after the Turks had given them their grim choice:

My brothers, until today we have fought in defense of our country, to save our lives, and for our lords; now it is time that we fight to save our souls for our Lord, so that having died on the cross for us, it is good that we should die for him, standing firm and constant in the faith, and with this earthly death we shall win eternal life and the glory of martyrs.

The martyrs in response cried out that they were willing to die a thousand times for Christ.

3.  Archbishop John Hughes-After the anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia in 1844 he called on the mayor of New York, an anti-Catholic bigot, and informed him that if a single Catholic church were touched in New York, New York would be a second Moscow.  (The reference was to the burning of Moscow in 1812 during Napoleon’s occupation of the city.) Not a Catholic church was touched.  On another occasion when a threat was made to burn Saint Patrick’s cathedral the Archbishop had it guarded within hours by 4,000 armed Catholics.  No wonder his enemies and friends nicknamed him “Dagger John”!

4.  Father Joe Lacy-On June 6, 1944 at 7:30 AM,  LCA 1377 landed the Rangers on Omaha Dog Green Beach, the first landing craft to land on that section of Omaha Beach.  Father Lacy was the last man out just before an artillery shell hit the fantail.  Everything was chaos with the beach being swept by German artillery and small arms fire.  Wounded men were everywhere, both on the beach and in the water feebly trying to get to the beach.  Father Lacy did not hesistate.  With no thought for his own safety he waded into the water to pull men out of the ocean and onto the beach.  He began treating the wounded on the beach and administering the Last Rites to those beyond human assistance.  On a day when courage was not in short supply men took notice of this small fat priest who was doing his best under fire to save as many lives as he could.  While his battalion led the way off Omaha Beach, Father Lacy continued to tend their  wounded and the wounded of other units.  For his actions that day Father Lacy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest decoration for valor, after the Medal of Honor, in the United States Army.

5.  Don John of Austria and his Men-Before the battle of Lepanto Don John of Austria went about the ships of his fleet and said this to his crews:  ‘My children, we are here to conquer or die. In death or in victory, you will win immortality.’  The chaplains of the fleet preached sermons on the theme:  “No Heaven For Cowards”.    Many of the men were clutching rosaries just before the battle.  Admiral Andrea Doria went into the fight with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe aboard his ship.  Back in Europe countless Catholics were praying rosaries at the request of Saint Pope Pius V for the success of the Christian fleet.

At the hour of the battle, and this fact is very well attested, the Pope was talking to some cardinals in Rome.  He abruptly ceased the conversation, opened a window and looked heavenward.  He then turned to the cardinals and said:   “It is not now a time to talk any more upon business; but to give thanks to God for the victory he has granted to the arms of the Christians.”  So that Catholics would never forget Lepanto and the intercession of Mary, he instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.  To aid in this remembrance G. K. Chesterton in 1911 wrote his epic poem Lepanto:  (more…)

Published in: on September 12, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on John Wayne Catholics Throughout History  
Tags: ,

First New England Nun

Sister Fanny Allen

 

 

When Ethan Allen seized Fort Ticonderoga from the British in 1775, he did so in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.  That Allen believed in God no one could doubt.  That he did not believe in the divinity of Christ Allen established beyond all doubt when in 1785 he published Reason:  The Only Oracle of Man, a long and turgid attack on Christianity and organized religion.  The book was a failure only selling 200 of its 1500 volumes.  Allen who paid for the publication out of his own pocket took a financial beating.  Timothy Dwight, future president of Yale, accurately described the book:  “the style was crude and vulgar, and the sentiments were coarser than the style. The arguments were flimsy and unmeaning, and the conclusions were fastened upon the premises by mere force.” Nonetheless Allen did still believe in God as his tombstone attested:

The Corporeal Part of Ethan Allen Rests Beneath this Stone, the 12th day of February 1789, Aged 50 Years. His spirit tried the Mercies of his God In Whom he firmly Trusted.

One can wonder what Allen thought in the world to come when he learned that his daughter would be the first New England nun.

Fanny Allen was born in 1784 and was four years of age when her famous father died.  Her mother remarried to a Doctor Jabez Penniman in 1793 who loved Fanny dearly and treated her as if she was his own daughter.

At the age of 12 Fanny had a mystical experience:

When I was twelve years old, I was walking one day on the banks of the river which flowed not very far from our house. The water, although very clear, rolled by in torrents. Suddenly I beheld emerging from the river an animal more resembling a monster than a fish, for it was of extraordinary size and horrid shape. It was coming directly toward me and sent a chill of terror through me. What aggravated my peril was that I could not turn away from this monster. I seemed paralyzed and rooted to the ground. While I was in this torturing situation, I saw advancing toward me a man with a venerable and striking countenance, wearing a brown cloak and carrying a staff in his hand. He took hold of my arm gently and gave me strength to move while he said most kindly to me: “My child, what are you doing here? Hasten away.” I then ran as fast as I could. When I was some distance off, I turned to look at this venerable man, but I could see him nowhere. (more…)

Published in: on September 9, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Dynamo From Ireland

Father John McElroy, S. J.

 

A year before the colonies won their fight for independence, John McElroy first saw the light of day in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, Ireland on May 11,1782.  At this time English imposed penal laws meant that Irish Catholics were treated like helots in their own land.  The great Edmund Burke described the penal laws well:

“For I must do it justice;  it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts.   It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

As a result of these laws McElroy could receive little education in Ireland.  Ambition and a thirst for knowledge caused him, like many Irish Catholics before and since, to emigrate to the US, landing on our shores in 1803.  He became a bookkeeper at Georgetown College, studying Latin in his off hours.  In 1806 he joined the Jesuits as a lay brother, but his intelligence and his industry quickly marked him down to his Jesuit superiors as a candidate for the priesthood.  Ordained in 1817 , for several years he served at Trinity Church in Georgetown, until being transferred to Frederick, Maryland, where, during the next twenty-three years, with the boundless energy which was his hallmark,  he built Saint John’s Church, a college, an orphan’s asylum, and the first free schools in Frederick.  He was then transferred back to Trinity in Georgetown where he remained for a year until the Mexican War began.

I have detailed in a post here how Father McElroy and Father Anthony Rey, both Jesuits, were chosen to be the first Catholic priests to be appointed as chaplains in the United States Army.  In 1886 after his death the reminiscences of Father McElroy were published of what occurred:

“In a few days, the two Fathers called on the Secretary of War for instructions how to proceed. He (Mr. Marcy) received us very affably, expressed his desire that we should visit the President, and ordered his chief clerk to prepare letters for the Commanders of different posts to facilitate our journey; besides he requested me to give him my views of what he should expect while with the Army, which I sent him a little later in writing and which he embodied, almost transcribed, in his despatch to General Taylor. The Secretary introduced us to the President, who received us with great kindness and regard; he expressed a hope that our mission would be one of peace; that we carried not the sword, but the olive branch, that our mission would be a refutation of the erroneous opinions held in Mexico, that the United States warred against their religion, etc. He continued to state very frankly the great desire he had to bring their matters of dispute to an amicable conclusion.

“As neither of us could speak Spanish I proposed to the President the propriety of associating with us a third clergyman who was familiar with the language. He very promptly adopted my suggestion and told the Secretary to embody that in his despatch to the General-in-Chief, where it will be found. (more…)

Published in: on August 7, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Cardinal Carberry and the First Conclave of 1978

 

 

 

John Cardinal Carberry was one of the men who had the unique experience of attending two Papal Conclaves within little more than a month of each other in 1978.  He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1904, the youngest of ten children.  He enrolled at Cathedral College in 1915, where he displayed a love for the priesthood, playing the violin and baseball.  Like many men who become Cardinals in the Church in America, he studied at the North American Pontifical College and was ordained in 1929.

He served as a curate at Saint Peter’s in Glen Cove, New York.  Obtaining a doctorate of canon law from Catholic University of America in 1934.  From 1935-1940 he served as secretary to the Bishop and Assistant Chancellor of the diocese of Trenton, New Jersey.  (One of the hallmarks of Carberry’s career was a broad range of experience around the country rather than remaining in one diocese his entire life.)

From 1941-1945 he served as professor of canon law at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York.  From 1945-1956 he was Chief Judge of the diocese of Brooklyn.  In 1956 he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Lafayette, Indiana.  He succeeded as second Bishop of Lafayette in 1957.

He attended all the sessions of Vatican II and was an active participant.  In 1965 he was named seventh Bishop of Columbus, Ohio.  At Columbus he gave active support both to the civil rights movement and ecumenicalism.

In 1968 he was appointed the fifth Archbishop of Saint Louis.  By this time the chaos within the Church that followed in the aftermath of Vatican II was well underway and Carberry did his best to oppose it.  He celebrated Humanae Vitae and established the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Commission, giving an early impetus to the pro-life movement in Saint Louis.  He opposed Communion in the hand until 1977, fearing that it was irreverent and would lead to hosts being stolen for use in Black Masses.  He spoke out loudly against the sitcom Maude, one of Norman Lear’s television vehicles to preach liberalism to what he perceived as the great unwashed, which celebrated contraception and abortion.  He was one of the American prelates in the vanguard against the activities of the liberal Archbishop Jean Jadot, Apostolic Delegate to the United States from 1974-1980, whose influence on the Church in America was almost entirely pernicious.

Reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, he retired in 1979 and passed away in 1998. (more…)

Published in: on March 21, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Cardinal Carberry and the First Conclave of 1978  
Tags: , , , ,

James Cardinal McIntyre and the Conclave of 1963

James Cardinal McIntyre was very unhappy with Vatican II and spoke about it, one of the few Cardinals who did.  However, McIntyre was a man who never minded swimming against the stream.  Born on June 25, 1886 in New York City,  his father a member of the mounted police and his mother an immigrant from Ireland.  His father was rendered an invalid after a fall from a horse in Central Park, and his mother supported the family as a dressmaker.  When she died in 1896 his father and James went to live as a relative.  To support himself and his father, James became a runner on the New York Stock Exchange.  He was offered a junior partnership in 1914, but declined to pursue his dream of becoming a priest.  He was ordained in 1921 and served as associate pastor at Saint Gabriel’s on the lower East Side until he was made Assistant Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York in 1923, rising to Chancellor in 1934.  In 1939 he formed the Columbiettes, the woman’s auxilary of the Knights of Columbus.  In 1940 he was named Coadjutor Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York.  In 1946 he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of New York, and in 1948 second Archbishop of Los Angeles.

Ever a fighter, McIntyre led the successful campaign to overturn a California state law which taxed Catholic schools.  He was made a Cardinal in 1953 by Pius XII.  Under his leadership the Archdiocese went through a period of immense growth, McIntyre showing exceptional foresight in purchasing land cheap as the sites of future churches and schools.  Endlessly hardworking, he made sure the Archdiocese ran efficiently and effectively.

McIntyre was Orthdox in his religion and hard right in his politics, which put him at odds with most other of the high clergy in the Church of his day.  He sent his priests to classes conducted by the John Birch Society about the threat of Communist infiltration.  He railed against moral laxity in the film industry, normally a sacred cow in California.

He never let politics stand in the way of friendships.  He was a friend of Dorothy Day although their political views were light years apart.  Go here to read what Day wrote about the Archbishop.

Vatican II met with his disfavor.  In a speech to the Council Fathers on October 23, 1962 he uttered words which proved prophetic in regard to proposed changes in the liturgy:  “The schema on the Liturgy proposes confusion and complication. If it is adopted, it would be an immediate scandal for our people. The continuity of the Mass must be kept.”

He voted in the Conclave of 1963.  He was no happier with Vatican II after the Conclave than before.  When the Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters went crazy following Vatican II, a process described in excruciating detail here, McIntyre told them that they had to follow Vatican II guidelines for religious.  They refused to do so, the Vatican backed McIntyre up, and almost all of the IHM sisters left the Church.  Until he retired in 1970 McIntyre continually butted heads with radical priests and nuns.  He was totally opposed to the zeitgeist of the time, and could clearly not have cared less.  After his retirement he served as parish priest at Saint Basil’s in Los Angeles, and would say the Tridentine Mass on the side altars.  He died at 93 in 1979. (more…)

Published in: on March 15, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on James Cardinal McIntyre and the Conclave of 1963  
Tags: , , , ,

Cardinal O’Connell and the Conclave of 1922

William Cardinal O’Connell was a man to be reckoned with.  His nickname in the archdiocese of Boston that he ruled for 36 years was “Number One”.   Born in 1859 to Irish immigrants, the youngest of eleven children, his father, a textile worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, died when William was four.   A gifted student, he earned gold medals in philosophy, chemistry and physics at Boston College.  Studying for the priesthood at the North American Pontifical College he was ordained in 1884.  After serving as pastor in parishes in Medford and Boston, he was made rector of the North American Pontifical College in 1895.

He was made Bishop of Portland Maine in 1901.  In 1905 he received the assignment of papal envoy to Japan.  In 1906 he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Boston, raising some eyebrows from the perception that he had actively campaigned for the job.  In 1907 he became the second Archbishop of Boston and in 1911 was made a Cardinal, the first Archbishop of Boston to receive that distinction.

He made strenuous efforts to get to the Conclave of 1914 and 1922, although arriving late on each occasion.  In 1922 he became the first Cardinal to fly, traveling by air from Boston to New York after having an ocean liner held for his boarding.  When he arrived late he made representations to the newly elected Pius XI that more time needed to be given between the death of a pope and the conclave to give time for cardinals outside of Europe to get to Rome.  The Pope agreed and the time was lengthened.  Cardinal O’Connell participated in the Conclave in 1939. (more…)