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The Story of the Seventeen American Cardinals 




The Story of the Seventeen 
American Cardinals 


G. P. Putnam's Sons New York 


All rights reserved. This book, or pmt& thcicof, must not he npw< 
duced in any form without pwmiuion. Published siinvltaimmlv in 
the Dominion of Canada by Longmdm Canada Limited, Toronto, 

Libiary of Congress Catalog 
Card Number: 63-9674 


Walter H, Pctcis, Ph.D., 
Censor libwrwn 


ffiLco Bin?, 

Archbishop of St, Paul 
Maich 26, 1963 



Ray and Terry Hyer, and the Children 
with Affection 


Many kindly people (clergy and laity) have helped me 
in the long labor of completing the seventeen profiles 
of Our Ameruan Princes, i am deeply grateful to the 
following; The Most Revd. Leo Bin/, D.I),; The Most 
Revel, John A, Donovan, D.D.; The Most Revd. Henry 
E. Donnelly, D.D.; The Most Revd, Alexander M. Za- 
leski, S.S.L.; The Rt. Revd, Msgr. Francis J. Lally; The 
Rt. Revd Msgr. Franklyn Kennedy; The Rt, Revd. 
Msgr. Daniel Moore; The Rt. Revd. Msgr. Anthony L 
Osteeimer, Ph.D.; The Rt. Revd. Msgr. Patrick Roche; 
The Rt. Revd. Msgr. William M. Drumm, J.C.D.; The 
Very Revel Msgr. John M, Kelly; The Very Revd. Msgr. 
Joseph E. Michalski, J.C.L; The Revci. Walter 11. Peters; 
The Revd. Peter M. Shannon; The Revd. Bartholomew 
F. Fair, J.C.D., S.T.L; The Revel Nelson J. Quran; 
Mother Buck, R.S.C.J.; Mother 0' Byrne, R.S.CJ,; Mother 
O'Connor, R.S.CJ.; Edward T. Foley, Esq.; Julie Kernan; 
Margaret Lavin; Margaret Judge; Joe Senger; Victor 
Ridder, Esq.; Ralph L. Woods, the distinguished an- 
thologist, whose work was invaluable in researching the 
profile of Cardinal Mclntyre, and Timothy Murphy 

"It is not the cardinal that ennobles a man; 
it is the man that ennobles the cardinal." 


Photographs of the Cardinals will 
be found following page 160. 


Introduction n 

j. John Cardinal McCloskey jp 

2. James Cardinal Gibbons 44 

3. John Cardinal Farley 6y 

4. William Cardinal O'Connell 84 

5. Dennis Cardinal Dougherty 100 

6. George Cardinal Mundelein up 

7. Patrick Cardinal Hayes 137 

8. John Cardinal Glennon 152 
p. Edward Cardinal Mooney 167 

jo. Samuel Cardinal Stritch 286 

n. Francis Cardinal Spellman 201 

12. James Cardinal Mdntyre 218 

13. Richard Cardinal Gushing 234 

14. John Cardinal O'Hara 250 

15. Aloisius Cardinal Muench 267 

16. Albert Cardinal Meyer 282 

17. Joseph Cardinal Ritter 296 

Index 3/5 


MERICAN CATHOLICISM owes little or nothing to French and 
Spanish Influences, although the first missionaries in the 
New World were French and Spanish Catholics. It was not until 
the English colonized the Atlantic seaboard that the Church, 
as we know it, began to assume its distinctive character in the 
United States. 

The burning desire for religious freedom of the Puritans of 
Massachusetts was symptomatic of the feeling of other groups 
in England and Ireland, particularly the Catholics who lived 
under what has been described as "inhuman persecution/' Like 
the other nonconformists, they too looked toward greater free- 
dom in the new land. The Calverts established their colony 
in Maryland with an enlightened constitution that promised 
religious freedom for all groups that believed in God. 

The situation seemed promising, but in the end the hoped- 
for gains were nullified by events in the mother country. First 
the struggle between the Puritans and Cavaliers led the Puri- 
tans in the colonies to take repressive measures against all other 
religious groups, particularly the Catholics. There was an easing 
of religious tensions under Charles II and his brother James II, 
but after the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, in which William 
and Mary seized the English throne, persecution of Catholics 
was pursued with a new force and fury. 

It is interesting to note that when New Amsterdam became 
New York, the Catholic governor, Thomas Dongan, initiated 


a period of toleration for all religions. Of course the "Glorious 
Revolution" put an end to such toleration, just as the struggle 
between Cavaliers and Roundheads had put an end to religious 
freedom in Maryland, 

It is both creditable and noteworthy that in the two colonies 
where Catholics were for a time in control there was no re- 
ligious repression of any sort Catholics were not alone in this 
liberal attitude: Roger Williams founded Rhode Island to 
secure religious freedom for all, and William Penn established 
Pennsylvania in a true spirit of brotherly love for men of all 
faiths. American Catholics owe a great debt to the Quakers, 
because it was in Pennsylvania that persecuted Catholics took 
refuge and were able to begin the consolidation of their faith. 
From centers in Philadelphia and Concwago, the Jesuits minis- 
tered to their scattered flock in other states, they were also 
active in Maryland where they even made some noted converts. 

The onset of the Revolution led to heightened toleration and 
bigotry. There was public outcry against the Quebec Act, which 
granted religious freedom to the French Canadians. Yet, at the 
same time, while the Continental Congress was passing resolu- 
tions condemning the Act, it was organizing a committee of 
which Charles Carroll and his priest-cousin John Carroll were 
members for the purpose of persuading the French Canadians 
to fight with them against the exactions of the Crown. It is, as 
John Tracy Ellis points out in his fine monograph, American 
Catholicism, 1 a sad but diverting example of human hypocrisy. 

Catholics were but a small minority in the colonies on the 
eve of the Revolution, but there were among them men of 
substance and talent whose assistance was worth enlisting. This 
led the Virginians to pass an act of religious toleration in June, 
1776. Before the year was out, Pennsylvania and Maryland did 
the same. 

Prominent Catholics were quick to take advantage of the 
changing climate. Charles Carroll, Thomas FitzSimons and 
Daniel Carroll participated in the First Continental Congress. 

1 American Catholicism, John Tracy Ellis. Chicago; University of Chicago 
Press, 1956* 

Introduction : 13 

John Barry assisted in founding the American Navy, and Steven 
Moylan became Washington's mustermaster general Others, 
like Robert Morris, lent their talents and fortunes to financing 
the struggle. 

Washington himself was completely without bigotry, and his 
attitude played a large part in the growing spirit of toleration. 
More Important still was the alliance with France, which 
brought ships of the French Navy and their chaplains, 

The spirit of toleration became a settled pattern after the 
triumph of Yorktown. Both the Constitution and the Bill of 
Rights guaranteed the equality of all religions in the eyes of 
the law. Some of the thirteen original states did little more than 
pay lip service to these enlightened sentiments, but all eventu- 
ally accepted the equality of all religions before the law. Catho- 
lic emigrants played a considerable part in building the new 
states on the frontier. As a result, prejudice and bigotry were 
not as forceful or prominent as they were in the older states. 

In 1790, John Carroll journeyed to Lulworth Castle in Eng- 
land where he was consecrated the first bishop of the United 
States of America. Bishop Carroll would have preferred to see 
the American Church grow by slow stages into a well-organized 
and cohesive organization. However, this was not to be; in the 
middle of the nineteenth century, hordes of immigrants poured 
into the United States in hopes of making a better living and 
escaping the repressive measures they had endured in their 

At first, the largest group came from Ireland. Its members 
were strong in faith but often intemperate and arrogant, fre- 
quently making trouble for bishops who were not of their own 
nationality. Other national groups were equally misbehaved 
and intemperate. In Philadelphia and Buffalo, a number of 
German and French Catholics completely defied their bishops 
and were in schism for some years. 

But It was the battle over trusteeism that really jeopardized 
the Church. The growth of trusteeism in the United States has 
never been explained adequately. Did it arise from the fact that 
laymen in Colonial days had to stand between the priests and 


the law, while the Church was still a pseudosecret organization 
with no standing before the law? Did it grow out of a desire 
to be like the other colonists, who looked after their churches 
and hired or fired their ministers at will? 

It would seem that the former was the case, because the 
appointment and removal o pastors and their assistants is 
strictly the prerogative of bishops. Since most of the work 
among the Catholics in the thirteen original states was clone by 
Jesuits, we can hardly presume that they did not know what 
rights belonged to the laity and what rights belonged to the 

The disgraceful quarrels between the Catholics of different 
nationalities and the struggle over trusteeism, especially in New 
York state, gave active fuel to the Nativists and Know-Nothings, 
who were determined to harry the Catholics out of the land. 
They argued that the struggle between Catholics and their 
bishops proved the bishops to be tyrants who oppressed their 
people and would oppress the rest of the country if they could 
once secure control. 

History, it is often said, repeats itself. Just as Catholicism 
in the colonies had achieved its first measure of freedom and 
importance at the onset of the Revolution, so, too, the begin- 
ning of the Civil War brought approximately the same results. 
Once again it was seen that all Catholics, especially those of 
talent and substance, would be needed in the forthcoming 
struggle. For example, in New York the legislature repealed 
the notorious Putnam Bill, passed in 1855, forbidding Catholic 
bishops to hold property in their own name. In fact the Union 
Government asked the great Archbishop Hughes of New York 
to go abroad and dissuade foreign governments from aiding or 
recognizing the Confederacy. 

Though bigots were especially active up to the time of the 
Civil War, we must remember that Catholics received "good- 
will and help" from many non-Catholics of prominence. The 
national government and the Supreme Court kept a consistent 
watch over the rights of Catholics and "the citizenship of the 
foreign born/' 

Introduction : 15 

The growth of the Church after the Revolution was truly 
phenomenal. By 1852 the 25,000 original Catholics had grown to 
almost 2,000,000. There were 1,421 priests in six archdioceses, 
25 dioceses and 4 vicariates apostolic. These numbers might 
have seemed as anonymous as all statistics, but they were drama- 
tized in May 1852, when the 32 bishops of the nation met in 
the first plenary council at Baltimore. 

Americans were not the only ones astonished by the first 
plenary council. The minutes of its sessions were forwarded to 
Rome and were carefully examined by Pope Pius IX in 1853. 
The information and maturity he found in the report seemed 
so fantastically impossible that the Pope decided to send a spe- 
cial envoy who would give him a personal report and a true 
account of conditions of the Church in America. 

For the mission he chose Cajetan Bedini, whose career as a 
papal diplomat had been long and distinguished. Bedini was 
accredited only to the American bishops, but he carried a letter 
to President Franklin Pierce. 

Archbishop Bedini was met by Archbishop Hughes and a 
group of distinguished clergy when he arrived in New York 
in June 1853. They proceeded to Washington, where they were 
received ceremoniously. Hughes and Bedini then set out to 
make a complete investigation of the Church and her institu- 
tions. They traveled as far west as Milwaukee, visiting bishops, 
churches and charitable institutions. 

Garibaldi's redshirts followed Archbishop Bedini to the 
United States, tried to murder him, and incited riots against 
him in Pittsburgh, Louisville and Cincinnati. Some Nativists 
aided them in these demonstrations, but the great mass of Amer- 
ican Protestants viewed the archbishop's visit with complacency. 

After a farewell audience with President Pierce, Bedini de- 
parted for Rome, His report to the Pope was most enthusiastic, 
and some of his comments are particularly worthy of note. He 
recommended the establishment of a nunciature at Washington, 
he praised the Irish and the zeal of the American bishops, and 
strongly recommended the appointment of native-born bishops 
in the future. 


Equally important was his insistence that an American col- 
lege should be established in Rome for the purpose of aug- 
menting the number of American priests and training teachers 
for the American seminaries. The Pope donated the original 
building and founded an institution that was to have an in- 
calculable effect on the American Church. 

President Lincoln thought the American Church was im- 
portant enough to have a cardinal, and he sent an envoy to 
Rome to make this point. In 1875, Pius IX elevated Arch- 
bishop McCloskey to the Sacred College. 

From this time forward, the history of the Church in the 
United States is largely the history of her cardinals. 

The Story of the Seventeen American Cardinals 

John Cardinal McCloskey 

IT was the year 1810. James Madison was President of the 
United States, then a nation of some 7,250,000. O this 
number there were about 100,000 Catholics. France, under her 
triumphant emperor, Napoleon I, firmly controlled the conti* 
nent of Europe and continued the old struggle with England. 
The infant United States, caught between the two giant pow- 
ers, suffered the confiscation and search of its ships on the high 
seas. Public opinion was genuinely aroused, and the United 
States was on the brink of war. 

The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, and covering the first 
ten amendments of the Constitution, guaranteed freedom of 
worship to all religions. Catholics, long proscribed and con- 
strained, were now certain of general toleration and protection 
of the law. This added further luster to the appeal of the Amer- 
ican frontier for all the oppressed people of Europe. 

Not the least of the oppressed were the Irish. The Act of 
Union 1800 had completely dispelled all hopes of Irish 
freedom. Far more, it led to the harassment of an entire nation 
and reduced the living conditions of the people to subnormal 
standards. The result was a mass emigration to America such 
as the world has seldom seen. 

The hardship of the long sea voyage in crowded and 
unhealthy sailing ships of any and every kind is a much-told 
story. Scarcely less terrible was the condition of the Irish im- 
migrants after their arrival Too many of them crowded into 



primitive slums or shanty areas in Boston, New York and other 
Eastern cities. For those who were able to find it, menial work 
was usually the only work available. The Irish became carters, 
drovers, carpenters' helpers, hod carriers, road menders or 
just plain beasts of burden. Many of them, especially the 
women, went into domestic service. 

Despite their poverty, these immigrants clung to their an- 
cient religion, following it in their own peculiar fashion, with 
fierce pride. It was the same pride which on Independence Day 
and other holidays brought them out onto New York's Broad- 
way in their cheap finery to mingle with the well-dressed fes- 
tive crowds: the men in their skintight trousers and tail coats, 
ruffled shirts and square-topped beaver hats; the women grace- 
ful and elegant in their clinging Empire gowns topped with 
huge velvet poke bonnets gay with ostrich feathers, 

It was against this backdrop of mingled light and shadow 
that John McCloskey was bom in the little tree-bowerecl village 
of Brooklyn, on March 20, 1810. His parents, Patrick McClos- 
key and Elizabeth Harron, were both from County Derry, and 
belonged to the better class of Irish farmers. There was a tradi- 
tion of learning in both families which could boast priests and 
doctors among their ancestors. 

Patrick McCloskey was fortunate in being one of the rare 
immigrants whose education and background entitled him to 
a respectable place in this new land. He was a clerk in the firm 
of H. B. Pierrepont and had a position of some responsibility. 
Relations between the Pierreponts and McCloskeys were close 
and cordial. 

Most likely due to the inclement weather, John McCloskey 
was not baptized until May 6, at St. Peter's Church in Barclay 
Street. The baby was carried down to the strand of the East 
River by his father. There the party took a rowboat or the 
primitive ferry which at the time linked Manhattan and Brook- 

Old St. Peter's, which had been opened with pomp and cir- 
cumstance and many notables in attendance in 178(5, was the 
mother church of the diocese. Its first years were plagued by 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 21 

quarrels between trustees and pastors and more than a little 
financial difficulty. Mother Seton and other famous converts 
had been baptized there, and testified to its glory and mission- 
ary zeal, but trustee troubles persisted, and as late as 1808 a 
violent anti-Catholic riot had added further difficulties. 

In 1808, Dr. Luke Concannon was appointed the first bishop 
for the swiftly growing diocese of New York, but war between 
the French and English made it impossible for the new bishop 
to take possession of his see. Though he was forced to linger on 
in Naples, where he died in 1810, Bishop Concannon arranged 
for the appointment of Father Anthony Kohlmann, S.J., as ad- 
ministrator. Father Benedict Fenwick, S.J., was named assist- 

It is interesting to note that, beginning with his baptism by 
the future Bishop Fenwick, John McCloskey was intimately 
associated with many of the most important figures in the early 
American Church. It was largely through them and their appre- 
ciation of the boy's personality and talents that John's way was 
made easy in achieving the great responsibilities and honors 
that came to him later in life. 

Elizabeth taught her son his prayers and the first facts of his 
religion, along with reading and writing, but John's formal 
education began with his attendance at Mrs. Milmoth's Brook- 
lyn school in Red Hook Lane. Mrs. Milmoth was a retired 
English actress of considerable eminence. Her school attracted 
some of the best families in New York the Pierreponts, Cor- 
nells, Cuttings and Lugers. 

John's attendance there as a young child is clear demonstra- 
tion of his family's status in the community, and very probably 
it also shows the continuing interest of the Pierreponts in the 
boy's future. 

One can hardly doubt that Mrs. Milmoth's early training 
was of advantage to John to the very end of his life; he was 
widely known for the clear and precise beauty of his enuncia- 
tion, which he later attributed to Mrs. Milmoth, and was 
equally notable for his poise and coolness under every circum- 
stance, a quality in keeping with the actor's profession. 


When John was about seven years of age the MrGloskey* 
moved across the river to Manhattan, where they lived on Mur- 
ray Street in St. Peter's Parish. By that time the War of 1812 
with its flashing sea battles and Old Hickory's anti-climactic 
victory at New Orleans, was over. John was enrolled in the 
Latin school of Thomas Brady, whose own sons later became 
noted New York lawyers. 

In 1830, Patrick McCloskey died at the early age of forty- 
five after a short illness of six weeks. This must have been a 
severe blow to John, just beginning his teens. In later years he 
recalled with gratitude the daily presence of the Jesuit Fathei 
Malou as a consoling and strengthening influence in this time 
of sorrow. 

John was ready for college at the age of eleven. Many plans 
for the boy seem to have been discussed with his guardian, 
Cornelius Heeney, a former partner of John Jacob Astor. 
Should it be Columbia, Georgetown or Mount St. Mary's? Dur- 
ing this time John's mother bought a farm near Bedford, in 
Westchester County a fair indication that her husband's 
death had not left her in straitened circumstances. 

The choice of a college was finally settled in a casual fashion, 
totally in keeping with the family atmosphere that character- 
ized the Catholic community of those days. 

Father Dubois, President of Mount St. Mary's, Emmitsburg, 
Maryland, and later bishop of New York, was visiting at the 
Catholic Orphan Asylum in Prince Street At Hecney's sugges- 
tion, John McCloskey was called from Brady's Latin school. It 
must have been with some excitement that John hurried 
through the summer heat to an encounter that was so largely 
to influence his life. 

No time was wasted in I.Q. tests or psychological probing. 
Father Dubois opened his breviary, handed it to the boy, and 
asked him to translate the Latin. It would be in keeping with 
Horatio Alger to report that our young hero came through the 
ordeal with blaring trumpets. Instead, after he had become 
the first American cardinal, John McCloskey used to relate 
that his translation was "not satisfactory/' Whatever sting there 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 25 

was in the words was assuaged by the smiling assurance of 
Father Dubois that John's defects would easily be remedied at 
the "Mountain/' as St. Mary's was affectionately known. 

The following September, in 1821, John went to Baltimore 
by steamboat. Doubtless he visited the new Cathedral there 
consecrated the previous May by Bishop Marechal and mar- 
veled at its suave dome and lofty proportions, a source of justi- 
fiable pride to the infant Church in America. 

From Baltimore, a stagecoach carried the boy up into the 
smoke-blue hills of Maryland. Whatever sense of loneliness 
went with John faded away in the presence of his sister, al- 
ready in residence at Mother Seton's school in Emmitsburg. 

Education at the Mountain was more than a brisk challenge. 
The school day began at the early hour of five o'clock, with 
meditation and Mass, followed by a simple breakfast and 
a long, demanding series of classes. There was little creature 
comfort. Even in winter, so the picture comes down to us from 
various sources, the boys made their morning toilets at a long 
wooden trough in the schoolyard. In winter the ice had to be 
broken before ablutions could begin. The smaller boys at the 
end of the line found the footing precarious as they bent like 
anxious cats above the ice-bearded edge of the trough and 
splashed the stinging water over their faces and hair. 

There were high challenges for the mind in a thorough 
grounding in Latin and Greek, philosophy and mathematics. 
There was warmth for the heart in reading Walter Scott and 
Fenimore Cooper, and a special lift for Irish pride in the songs 
of Thomas More, more particularly in his exotic novel-poem, 
Lalla Rookh, which was still winning acclaim. Byron, too, had 
begun to cut his widest swath. 

By graduation, in 1828, John was able to demonstrate that 
the Mountain had "remedied his deficiences" in no uncertain 
manner. The evidence comes down to us in a speech the 
fifteen-year-old boy delivered before the student body; it had 
selected him as best qualified to deliver the oration on patriot- 
ism, a then favorite subject, probably because of Lafayette's 
long visit and triumphal tour of the United States (1824-1825). 


The seven closely written pages of the manuscript are a logi- 
cal, graceful commentary on Horace's statement: * 4 It Is sweet 
and honourable to die for one's country." In the introduction, 
John asks to be judged leniently for his lack of years and ma- 
ture judgment. Any comparison of his sentiments and their 
completely charming expression with the achievements of boys 
of like age today will Illustrate the vast change in our educa- 
tional system since 1825. 

During his four years of college John had been surrounded 
with men of force and distinction. Father Dubois later became 
Bishop of New York; Vice-Rector Brut, Bishop of Vincennes. 
One of his schoolmates, John Hughes, whose coadjutor John 
was to become twenty-three years later, was teaching Latin 
and mathematics in the college and was prefect of the study 
hall. Among his fellow students were John Purcell, eventually 
Archbishop of Cincinnati, and Father Constantine Pise, the 
writer and chaplain of the United States Senate. In John's grad- 
uating class were equally distinguished men, including three 
future bishops and a noted Jesuit. 

Despite this hierarchical chorus, John returned to Bedford 
for the summer with no firm idea of what his vocation might 
be. Brady had fancied him for the law; others spoke of politics. 
John's mother wanted to secure a good position for her son in 
one of the big countinghouses, ancestors of America's powerful 
banking system. 

John's mental uncertainty was resolved In a dramatic man- 
ner at his mother's farm during the winter of 1826-1827. The 
young man, then eighteen, attempted to drive a team of oxen 
drawing a heavy load of logs. The wagon overturned and the 
logs pinned him to the ground. He was found unconscious and 
carried to the house. For days he was completely blind and his 
situation critical. 

The accident left Its mark on his health for the rest of his 
life. During his convalescence, John decided that God wished 
him to be a priest He returned to the seminary at the Moun- 
tain and began his new studies in the fall of 1827. An ironic 
commentary, for John's mother at least, was her success in se- 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 25 

curing his appointment to one o the great countinghouses, an 
appointment that might have meant so much two years earlier. 

There can be slight doubt that the young man plunged into 
his new life with enthusiasm. In John's notebooks and papers 
for these years there is ample evidence of his high purpose and 
dedication. The notebooks record many things: unusual events, 
dramatic deaths of students or faculty members, seminary side- 
lights, notable occasions. Plans for meditation, aspirations, pas- 
sages from books, all declare the dedication of the young 

Among the entries is "a terse and full synopsis of the life of 
St. Francis de Sales," the only notation of its kind in any of the 
notebooks. It reems fairly obvious that the amiable Bishop of 
Geneva became John's model, both in sacred eloquence and 
the tranquil and good-natured manner in which he faced every 

Toward the end of his seminary days John put himself un- 
der the spiritual direction of Bishop Brut. He could hardly 
have done better. The bishop was deeply spiritual, but had a 
wide human wisdom and common sense. 

By the time John had reached the end of his seminary train- 
ing he was beginning to have a more precise view of his talents 
and how they could best be used in the service of the Church. 
It seemed to him that he was cut out to be a scholar or a teacher 
rather than a parish priest, and he tried to secure an exeat from 
the diocese of New York, which would have cleared the way for 
his new ambition. 

Bishop Dubois' flock was growing at a fabulous rate, and 
there was an alarming need for priests. As a result, the bishop 
refused John's request to leave the diocese and become a 

On January 12, 1834, John was ordained to the priesthood 
in "Old St. Patrick's Cathedral" on Mulberry Street. A furious 
snowstorm was raging, making it impossible for his friends to 
be with him; the dusky reaches of the church were almost de- 
serted. While the wind rattled the windows, drowning the soft 
hiss of gas jets, John knelt in the luminous sanctuary for the 


long ceremony of ordination. The weather had also kept the 
usual throng of priests away. Except for the acolytes and the 
ministers at the altar, Bishop Dubois moved through the Mass 
unattended by his usual retinue. 

But the joyful dedication of the new priest was obvious to 
all who saw him, particuarly to his mother and sisters, who were 
watching his movements with tear-dimmed eyes. Tail, erect, 
and frail looking as he appeared, there was an aristocratic sure- 
ness about him the nobility of the thinking person who has 
mastered himself through reflection. 

The esteem in which the young priest was held soon showed 
in the duty assigned him. John was first attached to the old 
cathedral in Mulberry Street. Added to his priestly duties in 
the busy parish was the task of looking after Bellevue Hospital 
and the cemetery on Eleventh Street. 

With the opening of the small college and seminary at 
Nyack, New York, John got a speedy promotion by being 
named vice-president and professor of philosophy. Father John 
McGerry, who had been president of the Mountain, was called 
from Emmitsburg to assume the presidency of the new insti- 

Bishop Dubois had fought for his college and seminary; 
argued with the high-handed trustees, Dr. Power, the vicar- 
general and many others. For the moment, the bishop seemed 
triumphant, but his triumph was short lived. Fire destroyed 
the seminary shortly after its opening in August 1834. There 
was no insurance on the buildings. The loss to the diocese was 
a terrible financial blow. 

An interesting sidelight into the character and heart of 
Father McCloskey is to be found in his petition to the vicar- 
general in 1834, asking to be allowed to help in the work of 
caring for the sick and dying in the terrible epidemic of Asiatic 
cholera which was sweeping New York. The request was de- 
nied for obvious reasons, but the desire for such dangerous 
duty was typical of a man of sensibility and courage. 

Shortly after the failure of the Nyack college, Father McClos- 
key approached Bishop Dubois for permission to study in 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 27 

Rome. The bishop refused, but John was not daunted by the 
refusal. Mr. Heeney, his wealthy guardian, came forward with 
a hundred persuasions, of which, along with his charge's poor 
health, the strongest was the offer of John's mother to defray all 
his expenses abroad, 

In the face of the young priest's persistence, Bishop Dubois 
permitted John to go for advice to Bishop Kenrick of Philadel- 
phia. Kenrick had been a Roman student and could be ex- 
pected to know a great deal about the expense and wisdom of 
the excursion. When John assured Bishop Kenrick that he 
meant to spend two or three years in Rome, the bishop advised 
him to go. 

In giving his final reluctant consent to the excursion, Bishop 
Dubois acquiesced with outward good grace, but the following 
letter written to Dr. Butler, President of Mount St. Mary's, on 
October 7, 1834 a month before John's departure reveals 
the bishop's continuing doubts: 

I suppose, my dear Mr. Butler, that before this time you have 
received as answer from Mr. McCloskey, ordained February 7 
[sic], this year, informing you that he had made up his mind and 
applied to me for leave to go to Rome to complete his studies. 
I am far from approving this resolution, which is liable to more 
objections than he is aware of, and I earnestly urged him to go 
in preference to St. Mary's, but having promised him not to 
control him in his desire to improve himself, I could not oppose 
a resolution which he considers as the most suitable for his 
purpose, ... I was the less inclined to contradict him, as his 
weak constitution is not likely to render him very useful, and 
may be improved by spending some time in Italy. He appears 
more inclined to a sedentary, studious, than to an active life, 
and I am afraid that he may thereby give the last stroke to his 
broken constitution. , . . 

Your devoted father in Xt., 

John McCloskey's many friends came to the packet boat Erie 
on November 3 to wish him ban voyage. A large number of 
them offered their good wishes with sadness, for they thought 


from his pallor and fragile looks- that he had "consump- 
tion" and would never return alive. One wonders if John took 
with him the popular remedy of the day for consumption: 
"Into the yolks of 2 new laid eggs beat 3 tablespoons roscwater, 
then mix well in i/% pint of milk fresh from the cow, and 
sweeten with syrup of capillaire and a little nutmeg grated 

From John's travel diary we have many sharply etched pic- 
tures of the trip to Le Havre, which lasted thirty days. The 
company he traveled with was distinguished but somewhat 
coarse in speech. John was often seasick, yet he found time to 
record a picture of a storm in which the mountainous waves 
impressed him with their tremendous majesty, particularly at 
night. On entering the English Channel, there were hours of 
tension on board the Erie over a near collision with another 

The overall spirit of the diary is one of joy and good health; 
the young man felt more and more vigorous with the passing 
days, which were spent "agreeably and profitably" in reading 
"travel books, Corneille's best tragedies, The Life Of Mary 
Queen Of Scots,, part of Moore's Life Of Byron, and on Sunday, 
Masillon and the Meditations Of St. Augustine." 

The trip to Rome, across France by stagecoach to Marseilles 
and Nice, and thence by boat to Civit& Vecchia took over three 
months, during which John enthusiastically recorded his im- 
pressions of passing scenes and people. 

The first glimpse of Rome, from a distance of twenty miles, 
threw him. into a frenzy of delight. Great moments of its sacred 
history flashed through his mincl as he gazed across the faded 
green distance to the golden bubble of St. Peter's dome and the 
Castle of Saint Angelo, glazed with the February sun. 

The young student carried with him cordial letters of intro- 
duction to many influential people in Rome. Among these were 
Monsignor Angelo Mai, later Cardinal Mai, Secretary to the 
Congregation of the Propaganda, the aristocratic Cardinal 
Weld, and Dr. Cullen, Rector of the Irish College, 

Through the good offices of Abbot Count Reisach, John was 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 29 

eventually Installed "in large and commodious quarters" In the 
convent of the Theatine Fathers, at Sant Andrea della Valle. 

John's education was many-sided, and intellectually he made 
a long leap forward. Rising at six, he offered Mass at the Gesu, 
in the midst of its inspiring baroque beauty. After the usual 
Continental breakfast of rolls and coffee, John walked to the 
Roman College for the brilliant morning lectures of such Jes- 
uits as Perrone and Manera. There was time for study before 
dinner at noon, and a period of bright chatter with his compan- 
ion at the Theatine convent, Father Downes of Ireland. 

John attended further lectures in the afternoon and found 
ample time to visit the famous shrines and churches of Rome, 
in the approved manner of good pilgrims who end all such ex- 
cursions by visiting the Blessed Sacrament in one or several 

"Imagine that you see me [the busy student says in one of 
his letters] with a high-cocked hat, cassock, silk mantle or cloak 
according to the weather, and shoes with buckles, walking 
through the streets of this great city, minding nobody, and no- 
body minding me quite at home." 

The young priest's sightseeing excursions and close appli- 
cation to study, evidence of which remains in a great mass 
of manuscript notes, did not interfere with his sparkling social 
life. Friendships with many notables sprang up and flowered, 
in addition to those he had begun through letters of introduc- 
tion; Lacordaire, Wiseman, and Channing, among the most 
famous, were to remain lifelong friends. 

Not the least important of the new acquaintances was Cardi- 
nal Flesch, the uncle of Napoleon. John had been introduced 
to him by Bishop Brut. It was through this introduction that 
John became an intimate of the French cardinal's household 
and met Madame Laetitia, Napoleon's mother. John saw her 
"propped up in bed eating her breakfast from a little table 
used by her son on St. Helena, the only article of furniture be- 
longing to Napoleon she has." 

Study, exploration of Christian and pagan Rome, excursions 
to Frascati and the environs of Rome in the heat of the summer, 


polite discussions with great personalities it was scant wonder 
that. John savored them all with delight and could consider 
them well worthwhile, even if he had spent "every cent of his 

The more than two-year sojourn in the holy city was not 
without a large dash of sorrow. John's favorite sister Eliza- 
beth died in 1835; Father Anthony Kohlmann, his old friend 
and adviser, the following year. Though John grieved for both, 
he tried to accept the will of God and not repine, though he 
knew how much he would miss them in the years to come. 

A picture of Father McCloskey, painted in Rome in 1835, 
gives us a very good idea of the man as he was seen by his con- 
temporaries. The aristocratic head with its fine poise, wide 
forehead, classic nose, and shining eyes under well-defined 
brows, reflects the man of charm and self-possession. The pic- 
ture also tells us a great deal about the many changes in cleri- 
cal costume since 1835. The wide Byronic collar with its full 
black tie much like those sailors wear today sets off the 
wide-draped flowing lapels of the black coat framing the nar- 
row expanse of white shirt front. A voluminous cloak of brown 
tweedy material is artfully draped over slanting shoulders, with 
a fashionably romantic carelessness a far cry from the uni- 
versal conservatism of today's clerics. 

Father McCloskey seems to have been at home in the highest 
reaches of the Roman ton of his day: alert to catch the spar- 
kle of new ideas, wonderfully adept at expressing himself with 
grace and force, spontaneous in affectionate response to kind- 
ness, and a good listener. The impression he made was an 
enduring one. 

With regret, fully expressed in a letter written from Flor- 
ence, Father McCloskey left Rome for a year's leisurely travel 
in France, Belgium, Germany, England and Ireland. He had 
left Rome without sitting for the examination for his doctor's 
degree; another mark of his independent cast of mind and aris- 
tocratic contempt for mere documents as proof of learning. 

The land of his ancestors offered the traveler a warm wel- 
come. Fires glowed, candles were lit; there was endless feast- 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 31 

ing and witty conversation. John accepted all of it with ease and 
warm gratitude. What interested him was the mind and heart 
of Ireland, and his love for the heritage showed later in every- 
thing he did as a priest, bishop and cardinal. 

He was welcomed home by Bishop Dubois, who noted the 
deepened sense of poise and power in the young priest As a 
test of his mettle perhaps, Bishop Dubois appointed John pastor 
of St. Joseph's Parish on lower Sixth Avenue. 

This was the parish whose trustees scorned to receive the 
literary Dr. Pise, one of the most admired clergyman of his time. 
John's appointment to Dr. Pise's place, equally resented by the 
trustees, now brought the young priest into direct conflict with 

Trusteeism which very likely had gained a foothold in the 
American Church in the days when Catholicism was proscribed 
in the colonies and priests had to be cared for and protected 
since they had no status in the eyes of the law placed all the 
real power in a parish firmly in the hands of the lay trustees. 
After emerging from the shadows, the infant American Church 
tried to adapt itself to this condition, although it ran counter 
to the entire spirit of the hierarchical system. 

There was a further reason for enduring the nuisance: men 
of substance in the early church were not numerous; there was 
a necessity for dependence upon them. People being what they 
are, this dependence was often largely repaid by arrogance 
and self-importance. 

When Father McCloskey arrived at St. Joseph's with his 
books and baggage, he found a barren rectory equipped with 
a few sticks of broken-down furniture. He was smiling as he 
put up his crucifix in the dingy office and set about preparing 
his first sermon, which he preached to a practically empty 

Undaunted and serene, the pastor continued Sunday after 
Sunday with his beautifully balanced sermons on human re- 
spect, poverty and humility. There was no sharpness in them, 
but an objective sweetness of doctrine expressed in well-turned 


Father McCloskey ignored the insulting notices the trustees 
left in the pulpit for him to read; he seemed equally oblivious 
of the fact that no salary was paid him, no one railed to welcome 
him or consult him. Often enough he cheerfully walked the 
midnight streets on bogus sick calls planned to provoke and 
harass him. 

Those who cared to pry saw him reading his breviary before 
the Blessed Sacrament, or busy at a deal table with his books. 
Once a week he sallied forth to dine with his old friend Dr. 

At the beginning of the struggle, one of those who knew him 
best said of John McCloskey: "He will not fight but he will con- 

So it proved to be. Within six months a group of parish 
women came forward to furnish the rectory; by the year's end 
the men had come around to make their peace with the gentle 
pastor who gave no sign that he had conquered. In his eyes the 
whole affair had been "a misunderstanding aggravated by 
human pride. The correctness of the diagnosis was proved by 
the fact that his greatest opponents became his staunchest 

There was little time in which John could enjoy the undis- 
turbed fruits of his triumph. A new force had come into the 
Diocese of New York with the consecration of John Hughes as 
coadjutor bishop in 1837, Hughes was a man of; ideas, vigor 
and genuine bravery. One of his first projects had been an at- 
tempt to found a permanent seminary for the training of future 
priests. After a false start in the northern part of the state, Rose- 
hill Manor was purchased at Fordham. The first building, 
staffed by the Vincentian Fathers, opened in 1840. It was called 
St. Joseph's Seminary. The second building, opened in June a 
year later, was known as the College of St. John. No one was 
surprised to read the news that the widely educated Father 
McCloskey had been nominated as its first president. 

The position proved to be damaging to John's health and 
led to his return to St. Joseph's Parish in 1842. Two years later, 
very probably to Father McGloskey's dismay, he was con- 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 33 

secrated Coadjutor Bishop of New York, a position to which 
he had been recommended by the fifth provincial council of 
Baltimore in 1843. The new coadjutor bishop of the largest 
diocese in the United States was only thirty-four. 

McCloskey's selection as a bishop indicated Rome's high 
respect for his prudence and mental maturity. That he was ap 
pointed coadjutor assistant had less meaning. Communications 
between Italy and the new continent were slow and uncertain 
In the event of war or some other disturbance, distant diocese^ 
might be left without direction for months or years, an eventu- 
ality provided for by the appointment of a coadjutor with the- 
right of succession. 

Whether by design or mere chance, the consecration of 
Bishop McCloskey took place in the old St. Patrick's Cathedral 
in Mott Street, with great splendor on March 10, 1844. It was 
John's thirty-fourth birthday. We can imagine the joy of his 
aging mother and his sister Mary as they watched the splendid 
ceremony in which two other bishops were consecrated along 
with their beloved John. 

There were seventy priests in the sanctuary of the cathedral; 
a crowd of almost 8,000 Catholics and Protestants jammed the 
church and spilled out into the surrounding area. The Ameri- 
can Church had come a long way since its humble beginnings in 

During the four years of his coadjutorship, Bishop McClos- 
key was busy with a visitation of the diocese. While the lionlike 
Hughes successfully fought the nativist politicians and the 
acrimonious battle with trusteeism, his coadjutor was busy 
strengthening the religious life of the people. 

Noted converts of the stamp of Isaac Hecker, founder of the 
Paulist Fathers inspired by Newman and the Oxford Move- 
men t came to Bishop McCloskey for advice and encourage- 
ment. All confessed that they found him a learned, deeply spir- 
itual man to whom they could completely open their hearts. 

In his journeys about the vast diocese, Bishop McCloskey 
made known the needs of the college and the seminary; the 
generous response to his appeals assured a steady growth in 


both Institutions. In the three important years between 1844 
and 1847, the aggressive Hughes leaned strongly on the ad- 
vice and unruffled encouragement of his youthful assistant. 

The death of his mother brought Bishop McCloskey great 
sorrow In 1845, but like all his other sorrows, he bore It with 
a resignation in keeping with his Master and a doctrine which 
looked forward to the triumphant resurrection of the just. 

At the sixth provincial council of Baltimore, Bishop Hughes 
asked that the northern part of the diocese be divided into the 
two dioceses of Albany and Buffalo. The building of the Erie 
Canal and a railroad had brought increasing numbers of Irish 
Immigrants into the territory. 

On April 23, 1847, the newly elected liberal Pope, Pius IX, 
who was to enjoy the longest reign of any pontiff in the history 
of the Church, erected Albany and Buffalo into separate dio- 
ceses. Bishop McCloskey was appointed the first Bishop of 
Albany, where he was solemnly Installed by Bishop Hughes on 
September 19, 1847. ^ n a written resolution passed by the board 
of Old St. Patrick's, the departing bishop was warmly com- 
mended for his services and given a gift of $800. 

The seventeen years of the Albany episcopate were filled 
with endless labors. The diocese was like a country parish when 
Bishop McCloskey arrived. When he left it to become the sec- 
ond Archbishop of New York in 1864, it had grown Into 
a splendidly organized diocese with a new cathedral, fine 
schools and many institutions which cared for all the social 
needs of the people. 

The tremendous changes were largely achieved with light 
discipline and fatherly gentleness; Bishop McCloskey was their 
shepherd, they were his children* Priests and people grieved 
to see him go. Their grief was expressed in resolutions and tear- 
ful personal calls and in the princely gift of $4,000 a modest 
fortune in those days. 

Proof of the bishop's spirituality and fatherliness are found 
In many documents. Less known but equally revealing of his 
alertness, self-possession and wit upon every occasion, are sev- 
eral stories that have come down to us from the Albany years* 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 35 

On one occasion the bishop was traveling in a smoky coach 
of one of the early trains. Suddenly the conductor appeared 
in the doorway, shouting that the train was about to collide 
with some object. With the agility of a professional sprinter, 
the bishop dashed to the end of the coach. He was just getting 
off the platform when the collision took place. Though Bishop 
McCloskey injured his ankle, he had escaped the fate of a man 
in a seat nearby, who was killed. 

More delightfully revealing was the occasion of the arrival 
at the bishop's office of a delegation from Utica, New York. 
This was a belligerent faction which disliked its pastor, Father 
McFarland, and wished to have him removed. Like most Irish, 
they were both vocal and explosive. Bishop McCloskey listened 
to the long-winded tirades in silence. His hands were relaxed 
In his lap, and had they been alert to more than their griev- 
ance, the accusers might have noted a twinkle in the bishop's 
blue eyes and a slight quirk coming and going at the corners 
of his mouth. 

Silence fell at last. Then the bishop spoke in his elegantly 
modulated voice: "Gentlemen, your petition shall be granted 
very shortly. I have just received from Rome the bull appoint- 
ing your pastor Bishop of Hartford." Then he left them to 
their consternation. 

By the time the delegation arrived back in Utica, its mem- 
bers had all become ardent supporters of the new bishop; 
doubly important and proud of their ability to be the first to 
spread the good news of his elevation. 

For Bishop McCloskey himself, the move back to New York 
at the height of the Civil War was distasteful. The Diocese 
of Albany had become very dear to him, and he was able to 
conduct its affairs with the gentle love of a true shepherd. 
When, after the death of Archbishop Hughes, on January 3, 
1864, rumors began to mention McCloskey's name for the va- 
cant post, the bishop took decided and vigorous action. 

In a letter to Cardinal Reisach, the powerful head of propa- 
ganda, John roundly declared his "anxiety and fear" at the 
rumors. He begged the help of his old friend of Roman days 


in preventing his removal from Albany. The reasons advanced 
were the greater fitness for the post of Bishop Timon of Buf- 
falo, or Dr. Spalding of Baltimore, and John's "misery" at the 
thought of being placed "in a position for the duties and 
responsibilities of which I feel myself both physically and mor- 
ally, wholly unfit and unequal/' 

In evaluating this letter, it is customary to interpret, it, solely 
as an indication of Bishop McOIoskey's humility and distaste 
for high office. There can be no doubt whatsoever that he 
shunned the limelight and had an intense personal distaste for 
positions in which he would be compelled to dictate to others. 
In this he was much like Pius X. 

In Albany he had managed to create a warm family atmos- 
phere in which affection and love were the touchstones. To 
move from this idyllic calm into the greatest city in the com- 
monwealthtorn by internecine strife and still licking its 
wounds from the terrible antidraft riots of the year before in 
which over a thousand had been killed and wounded seemed 
to demand a forceful genius for affairs that John could not find 
in himself. 

But once the matter was settled and the official bulls had 
arrived, Bishop McCloskey steeled himself to obey the Pope's 
command. Archbishop McCloskey took the night boat from 
Albany on August 6, 1864, and arrived in New York the follow- 
ing morning. Accompanied by his secretary and Father Conroy, 
the archbishop proceeded to his new residence at 218 Madison 
Avenue, where he celebrated Mass at 9:30. 

After Mass, he went down to the reception room; a woman 
was waiting to see him. To his enormous surprise, the agitated 
female, not knowing his identity, claimed to be his mother 
and assured him of her determination to live in his house, 

By the time the police arrived, the stranger had locked her- 
self and her trunk in the reception room. A policeman man- 
aged to enter by a balcony window, and the woman was carted 
off to the nearest police station. 

When the archbishop arrived at the station to make his offi- 
cial charge, the bland-faced police captain, either because of 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 57 

bias or the aplomb of the woman, maintained that: "She told 
a very straight story for a crazy woman/' 

The woman was brought up from her cell, the charge was 
made, and the archbishop turned to leave. At this moment the 
prisoner began to rave and cry, "Are you going to leave me here 
with these rascals? They attempted to ruin me . ." 

Turning to the indignant scarlet-faced official, the arch- 
bishop said sweetly, "Yes indeed, she tells a very straight 
story/ 1 With that he left the police station. 

Archbishop McCloskey's sermon at his installation outlined 
his goals clearly. He paid unstinting praise to the courage and 
achievements of the great Hughes and spoke modestly of his 
own competence. The primary emphasis of the oration was on 
peace, unity, respect for the hierarchical order of the Church, 
loyalty, and religious pride in the splendid things already 
achieved. In his conclusion, he spoke of the glory and influence 
of St. Patrick and prayed that his children in the new world 
"may never bring disgrace or dishonor on the name of their 
great saint/' 

For the remainder of the war and in the confused years of 
the reconstruction period that followed, Archbishop McClos- 
key gave a shining example in seeking to reconcile all the dissi- 
dent elements in his diocese and the United States, whether 
from the north or south. 

At home, with imperturbable good sense, he settled long- 
established misunderstandings with the Jesuits and other reli- 
gious. It was also through his efforts that St. Joseph's at Troy, 
New York, became a successful seminary for the entire district, 
including New England. 

Outside the diocese, the archbishop was a strong influence 
for reconciliation and order. The second plenary council of 
Baltimore was opened in October 1866 with 7 archbishops, 47 
bishops and several abbots in attendance, accompanied by their 
aides and secretaries. They met in complete concord and fra- 
ternal respect, re-emphasizing the ideas of peace and harmony 
which they had stressed during the recent conflict. 

The honor of preaching the opening sermon was given to 


Archbishop McCloskey. In It he paid tribute to ideas of prog- 
ress, the mystical body, the eternal youth of the Church and her 
infallibility. In his practical conclusion, the archbishop empha- 
sized the spiritual nature of their work and the necessity of 
promoting proper ecclesiastical discipline. 

The sermon was widely acclaimed by everyone, including 
Father Gibbons, the future Cardinal of Baltimore. Gibbons 
was the more astonished at the finished performance because 
he knew McCloskey had received a telegram announcing the 
burning of his cathedral just before he mounted the pulpit. 

Gibbons' curiosity prompted him to question the archbishop 
the next morning about his wonderful self-control and compo- 
sure under such trying circumstances. The reply was remark- 
able in its laconic simplicity: "The damage was done, and I 
could not undo it." 

In the actual work of the council, Archbishop McCloskey 
strongly urged the necessity for education on the parochial 
level in industrial schools, and finally in a future Catholic uni- 
versity to be founded for the use of the whole United States. 
He was equally positive about the need for providing good 
children's books, and he desired parents to be on their guard 
against immoral literature of every kind. 

Of all the archbishop's forward-looking and notable works, 
the erection of St. Patrick's Cathedral must be given first place. 
Bishop Hughes had laid the cornerstone of the building on the 
Feast of the Assumption in 1858. Seven bishops and 130 priests 
participated in the ceremony while 100,000 people watched. 
The Civil War put a stop to progress on the building. The 
project was dear to the archbishop's heart, and he spoke of It 
in and out of season* It was so vivid in his mind that he was 
able to make people see it as an accomplished and splendid 
reality that appealed to their pride and opened their purses. 
More and more of his own personal funds found their way into 
this building, so that at the end of his life he was almost a pau- 

Over and above his monetary gifts was the archbishop's con- 
tinuing zeal for the beauty of this House of God; his own innate 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 39 

good taste, familiarity with the best on the Continent, and hu- 
mility in consulting experts of every kind, played a large part 
in the final superb result. 

Though Archbishop McCloskey appeared successful in 
everything he undertook, it must be emphasized that he had 
many sorrows and rebuffs, but his native tranquillity and spir- 
itual orientation helped him to keep his private sorrows to 

In 1869, at the invitation of Pio Nono, Archbishop McClos- 
key, bearing expensive gifts from New York for the Pope, at- 
tended the Vatican Council with distinguished prelates from 
the entire world. Many of these were old friends, including 
Cardinal Reisach, one of the most important shapers of the 
council. Archbishop McCloskey was given an important post 
on the commission for church discipline. 

The council opened with great splendor in the right wing 
of St. Peter's. Its first sessions led to important definitions con- 
cerning the Church and its organization. This period of 
cooperation and good-fellowship ended when the question of 
papal infallibility was advanced on the agenda. Feeling ran 
high on the subject. The infallibility of the Pope had been tac- 
itly accepted from the earliest ages of the Church, but when it 
came to a question of being defined, many sharp divergencies 
of opinion began to be voiced with the utmost intemperate- 
ness. The liberals would have none of it; bishops of the right 
sought to overdo it. Between these extremes were many who 
believed that the time was not ripe for such a definition. There 
seems little doubt that Archbishop McCloskey was among the 
middle group. Yet after all the acrimonious debate, at the final 
vote, McCloskey voted for the much narrowed definition, along 
with the great majority of bishops. 

It was the last public triumph of Pius IX. Shortly after, in 
1870, the Franco-Prussian War began; the council was pro- 
rogued; Rome fell to the waiting troops of Victor Emmanuel; 
the Pope became the "Prisoner of the Vatican." 

In the midst of the sorrows that came to the Church in the 
Kulturkampf in Germany, and the vilification of the Holy 


Father in Italy, Archbishop Me Closkcy following the exam- 
ple of Plo Nonemade a much publicized spiritual gesture by 
publicly dedicating to the Sacred Heart all the dioceses of his 

The selection of the windows, altars and ornaments of his 
cathedral took up much of the archbishop's time in the fol- 
lowing years, necessitating several journeys to France. 

It had been rumored for almost a decade that an American 
would be named to the College of Cardinals. Dispatches in 
several papers as early as 1864 -had seemed to confirm the 

Strangely enough, President Lincoln himself had suggested, 
through a special envoy to the Holy See, that it was high time 
the United Stales had a cardinal. Secretary of State Cardinal 
Antonelli had ridiculed the idea, but when the envoy quietly 
stood his ground, the thought of appointing an American to the 
Sacred College began to make real progress. 

In a good-natured exchange of letters between Archbishops 
Spalding and McCloskey, each had tried to wish the honor on 
the other. One of Archbishop Spalding's letters about the ru- 
mor has a humorous cast which is quite in accord with the big- 
otry of the time, 

I presume [Spaulding wrote McCIoske)] that the correspond- 
ent of the Pall Mall Gazette blundered fully as much in the 
assertion that there was any idea of my receiving the red hat 
as he did in saying that I was an irishman! So far from receiving 
the red hat, it is not at all impossible though 1 deem it scarcely 
probable that I may have my black or purple one knocked oil. 

The persistent rumors were revived again in 1875, but this 
time they concerned Archbishop McCloskey alone. It was 
thought significant that Pius IX had signaled him out at the 
Vatican Council, and many considered this a clear indication 
of the coming honor. 

The truth of the revived rumor was finally borne out in a 
message from McCloskey 's agent in Rome, the Cavalieri 
Scalzi: "Congratulations on your elevation to the Cardinalate. 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 41 

I await instructions in regard to meeting the expenses of Con- 
sistory, Briefs and Bulls." 

The new cardinal received the astonishing news with tran- 
quil common sense, since he felt the honor came to the Ameri- 
can Church rather than to himself. Somewhat humorously, he 
exclaimed, "O, it was Cardinal Cullen got me into this box." 

If the cardinal was not overly excited, the United States was. 
Banner headlines proclaimed the news, thousands of congratu- 
latory letters poured in, committees formed; in saloons and 
salons it was the burning topic of the day. Both Protestants and 
Catholics welcomed the honor as a mark of growing American 

The original schedule for the conferring of the honor had 
to be changed because part of the cardinal's costume failed to 
arrive from France. 

Finally on April 27, 1875, the ceremony of the bestowal of the 
biretta took place at the cathedral in Mott Street, which was 
jammed to the doors with all the outstanding figures in the city. 
The sanctuary blazed with light refracted colorfully from the 
dazzling uniforms of the participants and the two purple- 
draped thrones that of the new cardinal on the right of the 
altar, and on the left the one for Archbishop James Roosevelt 
Bayley of Baltimore. 

The Pope's legate, Monsignor Roncetti, attended by Count 
Marefoschi and Dr. Ubaldi in brilliant court uniforms, handed 
the scarlet biretta to Archbishop Bayley, who imposed it on the 
head of the kneeling cardinal. 

It was a moment of personal joy for the two men. Father 
McCloskey had, years before, guided the confused Bayley into 
the haven of the Church and his present eminence; there had 
always been an affectionate bond between them. 

The grave pageantry of the investiture was outdone on June 
23 as Mount St. Mary's welcomed her most famous son. 
So great was the number of distinguished visitors that the stu- 
dents had to sleep in the barns, outbuildings or under the stars. 

It was strictly an intimate, rowdily cordial and thoroughly 
family affair. When the cardinal rose from "his great satin 


throne, on the back of which was suspended a laurel wreath, 
and the top of which was tipped by a big bouquet of cardinal 
roses specially sent by the New York Herald, there was tre- 
mendous cheering. 

When it had finally subsided, the cardinal, pointing his long 
finger at the clock, alluded to the shortness of time and then 
made a brief speech which concluded with the words: "What- 
ever I am, whatever I may be, under God's providence, I owe 
to this institution, more than any other here or elsewhere. Hur- 
rah for the old Mountain 1" He gaily waved his scarlet biretta 
as the cheers rattled the windows. 

Cardinal McCloskey took possession of his titular church, 
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, in a brilliant ceremony and had 
several intimate visits with Pius IX on August 30, 1875. Be- 
cause of the illness of Pius IX, who died February 8, 1878, the 
new cardinal did not actually receive his red hat until March 
20, 1878. Pope Leo XIII conferred the honor in a speech grace- 
fully complimentary to both the cardinal and his swiftly grow- 
ing nation. 

The last years of Cardinal McCloskey's life were years of 
illness and pain, starred with great moments of his old vigor 
and joy. A splendid fair, held in the shell of the new cathedral 
in 1878, raised almost $200,000, which made it possible to dedi- 
cate the edifice on May 25, 1879. 

The achievement was a real one. Who would have thought, 
in 1810, that in the span of eighty years, a weak and struggling 
community would have grown sufficiently in strength and sub- 
stance to be symbolized by the most beautifully opulent church 
in the United States? It had come into being largely through 
the small gifts of innumerable poor immigrants, and it be- 
speaks their love and honor for all time to come. 

The cardinal's last great burst of joy was on the occasion of 
the golden jubilee of his priesthood on January 12, 1884. Bish- 
ops, priests, and people paid him nation-wide tribute. Among 
the many beautiful gifts was a jewled chalice from Pope Leo 

All through 1885, the cardinal suffered bouts of fever, and 

John Cardinal McCloskey : 43 

intense pain. For extended periods his sight was affected and 
he was unable to read. Those about him saw no change in the 
tranquil exterior he had always shown the world. He seemed 
content to pray in the quiet he had long desired. Those who 
stood at his deathbed on October 10, 1885 watched his quiet 
departure with anguish and were touched to note his youthful 
appearance after death. The body lay in state for two days in 
the lovely cathedral he had built. Over 150,000 people passed 
the bier to look upon the tranquil countenance of their good 

The Solemn Requiem Mass in St. Patrick's brought prelates* 
notables and the thronging poor to pay their last tribute. 
The cardinal had truly "won the hearts of the people," as 
Cardinal Gibbons said with vibrant emotion in his fine pane- 

With the last absolution, the body was laid to rest under the 
high altar. Those with a sense of history knew in their hearts 
that never again in the history of the United States hierarchy 
would they see his like a life reaching from the childhood of 
the American Church to its vigorous and full maturity; a mo- 
mentous development in which John McCloskey had played a 
memorable and determining part. 

Janus Cardinal Gibbons 

ON a torrid clay, July 23, 1834, James Gibbons was born in 
Baltimore, Maryland. Thomas Gibbons, his father, and 
his mother Bridget Walsh, came from a line o small farmers 
in Ireland. They had emigrated for political reasons, first to 
Canada and then to Baltimore, in the 1820*5. Tom Gibbons 
was a man of enterprise and optimistic nature and soon became 
a citizen of his adopted country; in an equally short time he 
was the trusted employee of an import firma kind of peri- 
patetic cashier who carried to the office the money brought by 
incoming clipper ships and the outgoing expense money for 
those about to sail. 

A few days after James' birth, his godparents carried the new- 
born baby to the Cathedral of the Assumption nearby, where 
he was baptized. Andrew Jackson had been elected President 
in 1829, and the country assumed many of the rough home- 
spun qualities of the man in the White House. With this came 
the snobbery of nativism, which gave rise to a hatred of all 
things foreign, particularly the Catholic Church, The bogus 
disclosures of Maria Monk fanned the hatred into riots and 
bloodshed. Along with the loo-percent Americanism, came a 
loo-percent bank panic, loss of savings, and wide unemploy- 

For the Gibbons family, these trials were multiplied by the 
illness of their father, and on the orders of the family doctor, 


James Cardinal Gibbons : 45 

they stored their furniture with relatives and returned to Ire- 

The soft air of the green land did much to encourage the in- 
valid, and he bought a small farm in Ballinrobe, County Mayo, 
and in his spare time also ran a general store. 

When he was seven, James was sent to a small school in Abbey 
Street, in preparation for his entrance into a classical academy 
devoted to Latin, Greek and English literature. In keeping 
with the public-school spirit of the time, every boy was expected 
to take part in sports: wrestling, boxing, cricket, handball 
and swimming. James Gibbons was wiry and muscular; he en- 
joyed all sports with the kind of quiet, concentrated fury that 
characterizes the winner. In nearby Westport, James also came 
in touch with the Irish love of horses and racing for which he 
had an interest and fondness his whole life long. 

It is interesting that Gibbons first close friend was a Protes- 
tant, Charles Clark, "a neighbor and one of the few Protestant 
families in the county"; an early introduction perhaps to the 
tolerant spirit and completeness of understanding which in 
later years enabled Gibbons to open the first intelligent dialogue 
between Catholics and Protestants in the United States. 

James early learned to serve Mass in the parish church at 
Ballinrobe, made his First Communion at the usual age, and 
was confirmed while still very young. 

Things were going well in Ireland when the dread blight 
and the ensuing potato famine struck the land. Hundreds of 
thousands left their despairing country in wave after wave of 
emigration. In the midst of this terrible time, Thomas Gibbons, 
never strong, died of cholera. 

After his death, Bridget Gibbons kept the memories of Amer- 
ica vivid in the minds of her children by telling them entranc- 
ing tales of life in Baltimore as they sat around the blazing 
peat fire in the long winter evenings. 

She was determined to return to the United States, but the 
disturbed state of affairs forced her to delay for six years. Periods 
of bigotry and riot defaced the American scene; the revolu- 
tionary spirit swept governments in and out of power in Europe, 


Including Pius IX, who was forced to flee from Rome to Gaeta, 
in the disguise of a country doctor. 

Finally, in 1853, deeming the time ripe, Bridget split the 
family into two groups as a precautionary measure, and the voy- 
age was begun, fames, John and Bridget narrowly escaped 
death in the wreck of their ship off the Bahamas on March 17, 
but were finally united with their worried mother and her two 
other children in New Orleans. 

Life was not easy in New Orleans. James found a job in a 
grocery store run by William Raymond. The salary was three 
dollars a week, but young Gibbons soon earned a small raise, 
due to his industry and ingratiating way with customers. In a 
short time his employer trusted him and looked upon him as a 

The affectionate interest was providential, for yellow fever 
struck the city in an epidemic wave that took one in ten. People 
walked about with muffled faces; at night they shivered with 
fear as they heard the carts rumbling through the city and the 
piercing cry: "Bring out your dead!" 

When James Gibbons became a victim, his sister Bridget de- 
voted herself to him, scarcely leaving his side until the fever was 
spent. Each evening Mr, Raymond came to inquire about the 
young patient, bringing food and delicacies for the sick man 
and his family; he probably also paid the medical expenses of 
the long illness and convalescence. 

The trial turned the young man's thoughts inward; he saw 
from his recent experience how short and fragile a thing life is. 
Prayer became a solace and an inspiration for him, and his 
thoughts began to center on the priesthood as he pondered 
whether or not God was calling him. The writings of Orestes 
Brownson spoke to the boy's heart of the greatness of the 
Church and the necessity for dedicated workers in the Lord's 

During the spring of 1854, his doubts disappeared. The city 
had been electrified by a Redemptorist mission given at St. 
Joseph's Church. The fiery preaching of Father Walworth, who 
was later, with Isaac Hecker, to found the Society of St. Paul 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 47 

the Apostle, revealed to Gibbons what he was and where his 
duty lay. 

Each night he walked across the city to his home, more and 
more excited with the glorious prospect he saw opening before 
him. He undoubtedly discussed the possibilities with his family. 
In such a discussion, his mother and three sisters were sure to 
be on the affirmative side. In their minds no profession could 
compare with the priesthood. His strong-willed mother must 
have pointed out that his younger brother John was old enough 
to take over the principal burden of supporting the family; 
she and the girls would take care of the rest. 

There were arrangements to be made with the Archbishop 
of Baltimore through the parish priest. There were undoubt- 
edly hectic days preparing his wardrobe and the necessary sup- 
plies for his long absence, and the inevitable joyously tearful 
farewells as he boarded the river boat. 

The journey to Baltimore took sixteen leisurely days up the 
Mississippi and Ohio to Wheeling, and thence by stagecoach 
to Baltimore and to St. Charles' College at nearby Ellicott City. 

Gibbons was a few years older than most of the boys in his 
class, but the thoroughness of his Irish training in the classics 
and literature put him far in advance of his fellow students. 
They might have resented the attainments of the smiling gray- 
eyed boy with the fair hair who seemed at once shy and so sure 
of himself, but once they saw him on the playing field and in the 
rough and tumble of college life, they discovered him worthy of 
respect and liking. Though he was only five feet, eight inches 
tall, Gibbons was like a coil of steel springs and played football 
with the ferocity of a mongoose. 

Due to his Irish training and fierce determination, James 
finished his college course in two years. Those years had their 
joys and difficulties. The rules were monastic and strictly en- 
forced. At first the friendly Gibbons had trouble with the rule 
of the great silence, from night prayers until after Mass next 
morning, and he sometimes set his will against the strongly in- 
dividual eccentricity of some of his teachers. There were a thou- 
sand rough jokes to offset the disappointments. 


On one occasion, a greenhorn Irish student was the reader for 
day. The book was The Genius Of Christianity. The nervous 
young lector announced the title of the work and alchemized 
the name of Chateaubriand into Kate O'Brien. The prefects 
had a hard time restoring order in the dining room that night. 

Gibbons came to love and admire his teachers for their devo- 
tion to the stern rule they enforced, since he could see how com- 
pletely they observed it themselves. The Sulpidans were to re- 
main his favorite order through all the long years as Archbishop 
of Baltimore. 

James graduated in the spring of 1857. Though not at the top 
of his class, his graceful manner of speaking and skill in rhetoric 
caused him to be chosen to deliver the commencement address. 

That same fall he returned to Baltimore and entered St. 
Mary's Seminary on Paca Street, which bigots referred to as the 
"priest factory." A severe bout with malaria soon after his ar- 
rival almost finished his seminary career. 

The four years that followed were brimful of mental activity 
in the intensive study of philosophy and theology. Prayer and 
meditation were largely the only recreations, except for a 
weekly walk into the country. These walks, taken by some forty 
young men in long black coats and silk hats, with a priest-pre- 
fect at the head and end of the long file, proved an incitement to 
the bigots. In addition to jeers and curses showered on them, 
there were frequent barrages of stones and an occasional gun- 
shot. Looking back, we can admire the courage that refused to 
be intimidated by lawlessness, but we can doubt the wisdom of 
the provocation. 

At the end of four years, Gibbons graduated with excellent 
marks and the highest tributes to his talent and industry. The 
Civil War broke out before he could receive the last of his major 
orders. Baltimore, like Gibbons himself southern in heart, 
northern in head went through a terrible time of riot and 
bloodshed. In May 1861, it was finally occupied by Union troops 
whose cannon dominated the city from Federal Hill Martial 
law was proclaimed. 

Early in June, Gibbons received the subdiaconate from 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 49 

Bishop Kenrick in St. Mary's Chapel, and on the igth he was 
ordained a priest. The learning, kindliness and love of children 
which the young priest saw in his bishop were the models he 
followed for the remainder of his life. 

Soon after ordination, Father Gibbons received his first as- 
signment, to Fells Point in Baltimore. The pastor, James Dolan, 
was a rugged individualist; the parish was a tough one, Dolan 
was highhanded and considered assistants a necessary and tem- 
porary evil. Gibbons lasted longer than most. At the end of six 
weeks, Father Dolan sent his assistant to St. Bridget's, a mis- 
sion church he had established a year before in nearby Canton. 
The rudimentary rectory was built against one wall of the 
church, which was in the most dangerous neighborhood in the 

On one occasion, Gibbons found a rum-fragrant soldier asleep 
in the church cemetery. Upon being awakened, the man 
grabbed a fence paling, and foaming and cursing, rushed to- 
ward the slight priest. Gibbons stepped neatly aside and felled 
his assailant with a single punch. The old boxing training in 
Ballyrobe had paid off . 

In addition to St. Bridget's, Father Gibbons was given the 
care of St. Lawrence, about a mile across the Patapsco River. 
On Sundays, his duties there and in St. Bridget's were so de- 
manding that he never had breakfast until one o'clock in the 
afternoon. In time, his naturally weak stomach sustained further 
damage, and for the rest of his life he picked at his food like a 

The plight of the soldiers and prisoners of war led Gibbons 
to volunteer as a chaplain at Fort McHenry and Fort Marshall. 
These duties brought him many difficulties because of his re- 
fusal to count loyalties where souls were concerned. 

By the time the war was over, Father Gibbons had thoroughly 
earned the goodwill of Canton and the entire district. Devotion 
to duty, a mild and optimistic outlook, excellent sermons and 
abundant common sense had brought him to the attention of 
the new Archbishop of Baltimore, Martin Spaulding. 

Spaulding, whose health was not good, needed an intelligent 


secretary and he offered the job to Father Gibbons. James hesi- 
tated for a little and then decided that the burden was one sent 
by his Lord and he could not refuse it. Some measure of Gib- 
bons' popularity and worth may be seen in the fact that a dele- 
gation from Canton waited on Archbishop Spanieling* and 
begged him not to take Father Gibbons away from them. 

In his new job, Father Gibbons made himself increasingly 
useful. Among other tasks, he helped with the priestly duties 
at the cathedral and gradually came to be known as the right 
hand of the bishop. 

In 1866, Spaulding, with papal approval, summoned the 
bishops of the country to a plenary council in Baltimore, Many 
of the details of the significant meeting were left in the capable 
hands of Gibbons, who came to know most of the bishops in- 
timately. After two weeks of discussion, the meeting closed with 
ecclesiastical splendor. All Baltimore watched the colorful 
procession going into the cathedral, and a murmur of surprise 
went through the crowd when the carriage of President John- 
son arrived. 

Among the acts of the council was the suggestion that a new 
Vicariate of North Carolina be created- Along with the recom- 
mendation to Rome, went the names of three candidates for 
bishop of the new office of vicar. Gibbons' name led the list. In 
forwarding the names, Spaulding described his secretary in 
warm terms. 

James was at once disturbed and excited; he was reluctant to 
leave Baltimore and the amiable atmosphere of the bishop's 
house, but he yearned for his own diocese and the great pos- 
sibilities of engrossing missionary work. 

While he waited through the winter of 1868 for the necessary 
confirmation from Rome, Gibbons serenely carried on his duties 
and even found time to attend a reading and lecture by 
Charles Dickens, who loved American dollars as much as he 
hated American ways. 

The consecration of Bishop Gibbons finally took place on 
August 16, 1868, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Con- 
ception, Seven bishops were in attendance; the papers were 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 51 

filled with fervid praise of the "y un 8 est bishop In the world." 
Bishop Gibbons was only thirty-three years old. 

Everyone saw that the tasks before the new bishop would re- 
quire heroism of the highest order. North Carolina was a Cath- 
olic zero; the new bishop had neither cathedral nor house; his 
few subjects were scattered in cities and pine barrens over a vast 
territory. It is significant that among the bishop's gifts was $100 
from the crusty Father Dolan, along with a promise of two 

Gibbons arrived in Wilmington to find things worse than he 
had expected. The state was overrun by northern carpetbag- 
gers and rascals of every stripe who were using the Negroes for 
gain and revenge upon the South. North Carolina was, as Gib- 
bons said, "a desert/' Of its 1,000,000 inhabitants, 700 were 
Catholic. Only three towns had churches, and there were but 
three priests beside the bishop to serve a territory of 50,000 
square miles. 

On a day of lashing rain, Spaulding installed his protg in 
the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, a poor brick-and-stucco 
church that was to be his cathedral. Bishop Spaulding con- 
cluded his hour-long sermon with a warm recommendation for 
Bishop Gibbons: "I know him well. He is beloved by all who 
knew him in Baltimore. I know you will like him. He improves 
with acquaintance. Though he will be found uncompromising 
in his principles, he will be charitable to all, assist all, irre- 
spective of sect or creed/' 

Bishop Gibbons, accompanied by his eccentrically charitable 
assistant Father Mark Gross, began an apostolic visitation of his 
diocese that lasted for almost a year. By wagon, water, train, or 
on horseback, he was forever moving about, between returns 
to the poverty-stricken lean-to that served as his home base. 
He met bigotry and ignorance everywhere, but his mildness 
and his clear-cut sermons, his charm of manner and quick 
humor, made innumerable friends and turned difficult situa- 
tions into triumphs for the Church. Many converts were made. 
Best of all, the bishop found that there was a reservoir of good- 
will that could be tapped for the advantage of religion. Protes- 


tant churches, courthouses, village halls, garrets and taverns, all 
proved to be excellent launching pads for his apostolic zeal. 

He found encouragement and humor in everything. Some of 
his stories are gems, such as the one about the North Carolina 
Irishman whose Baptist friends persuaded him to be immersed. 
After his immersion, he was requested to pray, and obligingly 
did so with a fervent recital of the Hail Holy Queen. Needless 
to say, he did not long remain a Baptist. 

In September 1869, Bishop Gibbons was summoned to Rome 
for the Vatican council. The change from primitive life to the 
magnificence that is papal Rome was heartening, though there 
was still a strong spur to humility and a rumor of home in the 
cold austere cells of the North American College where the 
American bishops were housed. St. Peter's impressed Gibbons 
as few churches had. Perhaps it is better to say that he was com- 
pletely enthralled with everything he saw in the Eternal City 
and so impressed with the council that he didn't miss a single 
session. It was a record few could match. His daily journals still 
remain one of the best accounts of what actually took place in 
the various sessions. 

Pius IX had been severely criticized for calling the council at 
a time when the Church was under fire in Europe and the gov- 
ernments of the Continent were largely in a state of revolution- 
ary turmoil. The criticism stemmed largely from a misreading 
of the character of this great pope and the meaning of his actions. 
It is so easy to say that he was a liberal pope until he was forced 
to flee from Rome, and a confirmed conservative ever after. Un- 
fortunately this interpretation does not explain his actions 
and achievements with any degree of logic. 

The flight to Gaeta proved to Pius IX that only supernatural 
and spiritual means were of value in combating the sickness 
and heresy of the times. He turned to the strengthening of dog- 
matic truth, a revivification of missionary zeal and activity the 
world over especially in the Americas and the creating 
of institutes and congregations fit for the spiritual work of the 
Church in our times. The political maneuvers he largely left to 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 53 

The Vatican council was the climax of his massive effort to 
centralize and spiritualize the Church. The creation of the 
modern papacy is his greatest achievement. What seemed to be 
a defeat was in reality a conquest. 

Gibbons saw and acknowledged how much good was done at 
the council. In regard to the doctrine of infallibility which, be- 
cause of the intemperateness with which it was debated, came 
to overshadow other great accomplishments, Gibbons is objec- 
tive and fair. He himself believed it, and so did a majority of 
the fathers. But most of the minority party some of the bright- 
est luminaries in the Church felt the time was not ripe for such 
a definition. They were also convinced that the definition would 
prove to be a stumbling block to the well-disposed Christians in 
the Protestant world and in Eastern orthodoxy. The minority 
finally gave in with poor grace by absenting themselves before 
the final voting. In the midst of a furious storm of lightning and 
thunder that lashed the great church, infallibility became a de- 
fined dogma. 

Bishop Gibbons, because of the needs of his diocese and its 
poverty, had considered asking permission to go home. With 
the onset of the Franco-Prussian War, his problem answered 
itself. The council recessed, the Piedmontese prepared to take 
over Rome, and the fathers of the council scattered to the four 
corners of the globe. 

After a short tour of the British Isles and Germany, Gibbons 
made a special pilgrimage to Annecy to honor St. Francis de 
Sales, the saint of his heart and imitation. 

The City Of Brussels bore him back to the United States on 
a furious autumn ocean of mountainous waves. He was happy 
to be home. His travels abroad had taught him many lessons, 
chief of which was a renewed love of the freedom and liberty 
found in his own country. 

Sometimes it seemed to Gibbons that he was forever on the 
road visiting, begging, persuading, preaching, confirming, bap- 
tizing. Yet he was finding rewards in his work. A school system 
began to emerge, converts multiplied, churches sprang up as if 
by a miracle. There was a feeling of at-homeness in his cour- 


teous reception almost everywhere by Protestants and Cath- 
olics, and he dared hope he was loved and admired a climate 
in which he always worked best. Hard work was good, but it 
was much better and took on added gloss when it was appre- 

In his absence, his people had built him a house. It wasn't 
much of a mansion, but it was comfortable and snug. No more 
would he wake on cold mornings to find that sprinkles of snow 
or sleet had sifted in onto the floor and bedclothes. 

One day he said to the unworldly Father Gross, "You know, it 
would be a good thing if you were to write a book summing up 
the truths and mysteries of our faith in a calm objective fash- 
ion. It would do incalculable good." 

Father Gross looked at the bishop with the innocence of a 
child. "Why don't you write it, Bishop?" he queried. "Every- 
one seems to like the way you explain things/ 1 

Gibbons chuckled. "I will write it," he said. Once the idea 
had taken hold of him, he attacked it with his usual fury. He 
finished the first chapter in a day, and a few months later the 
entire work was done except for a few corrections made later 
out of charity toward "our separated brethren." 

The title, "Faith of Our Fathers," taken from Faber's cele- 
brated hymn, summed up the work admirably. The antiquity 
of history and scripture was there, and the perennial newness 
that is the miracle of the Faith. 

For over fifty years, the book dominated the field, and mil- 
lions of copies were sold. Through its uncompromising but gen- 
tle persuasion, hundreds of noted converts came into the 

The death of Bishop Gill of Richmond brought Gibbons 
new responsibility. He was appointed administrator of the dio- 
cese in 1872, in addition to his already heavy responsibility in 
North Carolina, His smile was a little grim when he realized 
how amply he bore out the old saw, "The willing horse gets the 
load." On June 30 of the same year he became Bishop of Rich- 
mond. It was a move up the ladder of ecclesiastical preferment, 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 55 

but the diocese was poor and plagued with the same difficulties 
and poverty he had known so well in North Carolina. 

The death of Archbishop Martin J. Spaulding on February 
7, 1872, after a long illness, had brought to the See o Baltimore 
the aristocratic Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, a noted con- 
vert from the Episcopal Church. Bayley was a chronic in- 
valid. The climate of Baltimore did not please him, and his 
heart was still back in Newark where he had first been bishop. 

Because of frequent bouts of illness, he had to call in Bishop 
Gibbons to assist him. As time went on, Bayley came to rely 
more and more on this willing and well-balanced helper. Ap- 
preciation warmed into affection, and Bayley finally requested 
the appointment of Gibbons as Coadjutor Bishop of Baltimore, 
with the right of succession. The papers came to Bishop Bayley 
in Paris during the beginning of his last illness, and were hur- 
riedly signed and sent back to Rome. Bayley returned to New- 
ark, and within a short time he was dead; Gibbons began his 
reign as Archbishop of Baltimore on October 3, 1877, at t ' ie a e 
of forty-three. 

He felt that he was much more than the Bishop of Baltimore. 
Washington was in his diocese, and the actions of the President 
and the Congress very much concerned him. Early in his reign, 
he began to accept Washington invitations to dinners and re- 
ceptions. In this fashion he met the President and many cabinet 
members socially. His lack of pretense, easy manners, width of 
understanding and patriotic convictions, endeared him to many 
of his new acquaintances. Most of them had never seen a Cath- 
olic bishop at such close range. What they discovered in Gib- 
bons was pleasing and memorable. 

Thus the way was paved for his intervention with President 
Hayes in behalf of the Catholic Indians in 1878. The President 
went out of his way to compliment the work of the Catholic 
missionaries among the Indians, and the friendly conversation 
pleased Gibbons. 

In the fall of the same year, he commended the observance of 
Thanksgiving to his priests and people. The pastoral letter 


caused a lifting of eyebrows; up to this time, the feast had 
seemed to be largely Protestant, and Gibbons' enthusiastic ire- 
oinmenclation gave it a new slant and wider implication. 

With the election of Leo XII! to the papal throne in 1878, 
new currents of thought and action began to appear. Word from 
the new Holy Father suggested that a plenary council oi Amer- 
ican bishops be held in Baltimore, Gibbons hesitated. Bigotry 
had abated somewhat, and he feared that such a council might 
be considered a provocation. Yet, on the Pope's wise insistence, 
he began the careful prepaiation for the significant meeting. 

A thoughtfully prepared agenda was mulled over in Rome 
with Leo XIII and the bishops of the Curia Romana. It had 
been expected that Cardinal McCIoskey would preside, but he 
was ill when the convocation day drew near, and the Pope ap- 
pointed Archbishop Gibbons to be his legate. All Baltimore 
buzzed with expectation. On the opening day, the streets and 
rooftops were crowded with people watching the pageantry. 

The work of the council, skillfully maneuvered by Gibbons, 
was important. The number of holy days to be observed by 
American Catholics, the strengthening of Church discipline and 
administration, and the settling of many points of protocol and 
procedure were crowned by first moves toward the establish- 
ment of the Catholic University. 

The deliberations were carried forward in a spirit of notable 
amiability. Much of this was owing to the adroit Gibbons, who 
handled his firebrands among the bishops with a finesse that 
Rome thoroughly admired. 

The guiding hand of Baltimore's archbishop was also seen in 
the pastoral letter issued by the council, praising Catholic 
patriotism and the American system in which the Church found 
the complete freedom so necessary for unhampered develop- 

Leo XIII was pleased with Gibbons, and his outspoken ap- 
proval quite naturally led to rumors that Gibbons would be 
made a cardinal These were renewed after Cardinal McClos- 
key ? s death in October, 1885. 

After several false hopes one of them sparked by no less a 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 57 

personage than Archbishop Corrigan of New York the news 
of Gibbons' elevation to the cardinalate on June 7 came from 
Denis O'Connell in Rome. Archbishop Gibbons received the 
red biretta from the hands of Bishop Peter Kenrick on June 30, 
1886, and prepared to go abroad for the public consistory early 
in 1887, when he would receive the red hat. 

The cardinal-elect was excited by the honor. There was a 
streak of vanity in him, but in this case his pride and pleasure 
came from his love of Baltimore and all the city meant in the 
life of the Church. Now the primatial see of the American 
Church had a distinction worthy of its role and place. 

Aside from this honorable pride, Gibbons sailed with an 
anxious heart. A crisis had arisen in the Church's relationship 
with labor; the Knights of Labor, a pseudosecret organization, 
was fighting to raise wages and improve the frightful conditions 
of the working class. 

The bishops of the United States formed into two groups: the 
conservative bishops, led by Archbishop Corrigan of New York, 
feared that the movement was the opening wedge of Commu- 
nism; the liberal bishops Ireland of St. Paul, Keane of Rich- 
mond, and Gibbons himself heartily favored improvement of 
the workingman's lot and saw that a condemnation of the 
Knights of Labor would alienate their staunchest supporters. 

The atmosphere was further embittered by the condemna- 
tion of the Knights by Cardinal-Elect Taschereau of Quebec, 
and the undignified public quarrel between Bishop Corrigan 
and one of his priests, Father McGlynn, over Henry George's 
book, Progress and Poverty. 

Gibbons, who had long been urged to take a positive stand in 
Rome, was reluctant to do so. Ever the optimist and behind- 
the-scenes persuader, he had hoped for some change or some 
way of reconciling the two groups. 

The moment had arrived when it was no longer possible to 
procrastinate. Once he went into action in Rome, Gibbons dis- 
played his magnificent poise and plain speaking to the Pope 
and the Holy Office. So powerful was his intervention, in which 
Cardinal Manning supported him, that the Holy Office changed 


its decision on the Knights of Labor sonic eighteen months later, 
with the brief announcement that the Knights might be toler- 

Gibbons received the red hat on March 17, and when, on 
March 25, he took possession of his ancient titular church, Santa 
Maria in Trastevere, he astonished the brilliant audience by 
giving a panegyric on the American system in which the Church 
is enabled to "blossom like a rose." 

Gibbons' stature in the United States was immeasurably in- 
creased. People in his own town saw how worthy he was of love; 
that sentiment now spread through the great mass of workers 
who were the mainstay of the Church in the United States. 

He soon had need of every inch of stature he could command. 
Hardly had the shouts of his triumphant welcome in Baltimore 
died away when a new and still more acrimonious battle took 

Peter Paul Cahensly, Secretary General of the St. Raphael 
Society, was convinced that German immigrants should retain 
their own language and customs and be ruled by bishops of their 
own race. Gibbons and the liberal group were equally con- 
vinced that such a movement would lead to division and a series 
of warring national churches. They were thoroughly convinced 
that everyone must learn the language of their country, and they 
deplored the divided mentality of those who refused. 

The struggle was a fierce one, fanned into further fury by the 
inflammatory rhetoric of Archbishop Ireland of St. Paul. It 
was his tragedy to be a hundred years ahead of his time in his 
liberal views, but completely and ferociously intransigeant 
where his convictions were concerned. Gibbons fought the trans- 
planted nationalism with his usual common-sense approach and 
clearly stated his position to the Pope and the papal court. 

Cahensly carried the battle to Switzerland. At the interna- 
tional meeting of the St. Raphael Society, he drew up an over- 
balanced and prejudiced memorial on the subject, which was 
sent to Leo XIII. The shrewd pope was not in favor of the argu- 
ments, and that news was diplomatically conveyed to Gibbons, 

Gibbons' chance meeting with President Harrison at Cape 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 59 

May, New Jersey, revealed that the President and cardinal were 
in complete agreement on the subject. Gibbons was permitted 
to forward the President's views to Rome, and in doing so gave 
the final coup de grace to the "national" movement. 

The victory was almost entirely of Gibbons' making, and can 
be summed up in his own words, delivered with dramatic in- 
tensity on the occasion of conferring the pallium on Archbishop 
Katzer of Milwaukee in August, 1891 : 

Woe to him, my brethern, who would destroy or impair this 
blessed harmony that reigns among us! Woe to him who would 
sow tares of discord among the fair fields of the Church in 
America! Woe to him who would breed dissension among the 
leaders of Israel by introducing a spirit of nationalism into the 
camps of the Lord! Brothers we are, whatever may be our na- 
tionality, and brothers we shall remain. Loyalty to God's 
Church and to our country this is our religious and political 
faith. Next to love for God should be love for our country. The 
Author of our being has stamped in the human breast a love 
for one's country and therefore patriotism is a sentiment com- 
mended by Almighty God Himself. Let us glory in the title 
of American citizen. We owe our allegiance to one country and 
that country is America. We must be in harmony with our 
political institutions. It matters not whether this is the land of 
our birth or our adoption. It is the land of our destiny. 

The two intemperate struggles made Gibbons yearn for 
peace, but there was no peace in sight. In fact a violent struggle 
was shaping up on the question of public schools. The liberal 
and conservative bishops were again sharply divided, and the 
enemies Ireland had made in fighting Cahenslyism swung their 
influence to the side of Corrigan and the conservatives. In time, 
it was to tell. 

Though the third plenary council of Baltimore had insisted 
on the building of parochial schools with dispatch, the fathers 
saw that many Catholics would have to attend the public schools. 
The burden of supporting a dual school system was seen to be 
both unjust and financially burdensome. 

Ireland admired the public schools and was ahead of his time 


In realizing how diflicult it was going to be to support the paro- 
chial school system as the years went on, and he tried to work 
out a compromise. Taking as his model the Poughkeepsie Flan, 
which was fairly widely followed elsewhere in (he country, he 
made an arrangement in Fairbault by which the city authorities 
rented the Catholic schools for a dollar a year. During school 
hours the nuns, in their religious garb, taught the regular sub- 
jects; after school hours they taught religion. The city was re- 
sponsible for paying their salaries. 

The Fairbault plan and Ireland's hot defense of it occasioned 
a great outcry among many of the conservatives, particularly the 
bishops of German descent, who had no love for the Archbishop 
of St. Paul. 

Ireland was denounced in Rome, and Gibbons was quick to 
defend his friend. He first wrote to Denis O'Connell, the rector 
o the North American College, extolling Ireland's virtues as 
a bishop and an American. Later he wrote a ten-page letter to 
the Holy See, explaining the complexities of the question. It 
was at once a clear explanation of the realities involved and a 
defense of the American system which Ireland was attempting 
to use in a fashion that would break clown prejudice and benefit 
the Catholic community, 

Ireland went to Rome in defense of his plan. After a long de- 
lay, he received the equivocal response, <f tolerari potest** which 
is equivalent to "it may be permitted/' 

The dispute continued with malice and name calling, even 
after the Pope had given his decision. Leo XIII now saw his 
chance for imposing peace and establishing his apostolic dele- 
gate in Washington. Most bishops were against a delegate, fancy- 
ing his presence meant a curtailment of their power. 

The United States had asked the Pope for some priceless 
fifteenth-century maps for the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. 
In the fall of 189$, the Pope graciously sent the maps in the care 
of Archbishop Francesco Satolli, the noted Thomist scholar. 

After arriving in Baltimore, Stolli attended the archbishop's 
annual meeting in New York, at which he presented a fourteen- 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 61 

point program. He reiterated the Pope's "toleration" of Ire- 
land's school plan, refused to condemn the American school sys- 
tem, and though calling for an expansion of the parochial school 
system, explicitly forbade American bishops to punish parents 
who sent their children to public schools. 

In January of the following year, Archbishop Satolli was ap- 
pointed apostolic delegate to the United States on a temporary 
basis. The cardinal and bishops accepted the unwanted delegate 
with what grace they could muster. Gibbons, though among the 
reluctant, was grateful for the promised end to the important 
but disgraceful controversy on the school question. 

The liberal bishops seemed to be triumphant. Satolli at first 
appeared to be firmly on their side. Dr. McGlynn was rehabili- 
tated and freed of censures. Ireland, whose French was fluent, 
became the darling of the French Republicans to whom he 
preached the superiority of the American separation of Church 
and State. The Catholic intellectuals of the continent, bolstered 
by conservative opinion everywhere, despised American op- 
timism and smugness and bided their time. 

The first blow came in 1893, with the papal condemnation 
of the Knights of Pythias, Oddfellows and the Sons of Tem- 
perance. Cardinal Gibbons fought against the decree, but his 
opposition was in vain. 

The liberals opened new doors for criticism by participating, 
with papal approval, in a ten-day Chicago meeting of the World 
Parliament of Religions. Cardinal Gibbons gave the opening 
and closing prayers; Ireland and Keane read papers on Catholic 

This first attempt at the now widely accepted necessity for 
dialogue was far in advance of its time. Prejudiced critics on 
both sides of the Atlantic interpreted the participation as in- 
difference or excessive toleration. 

Signs of the temporary eclipse of the liberal bishops began to 
appear. The first was an encyclical letter to the American bish- 
ops, praising the 'Vigor and devotion of the American Church/' 
to which Leo XIII appended the warning that "it was erroneous 


to presume that the separation of Church and State in the 
United States was the most desirable status of the Church or that 
it would be universally lawful or expedient for Church and 
State to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced" 

Soon after, in the same year, Archbishop Satolli reported 
Gibbons to Rome for "insubordination," because he had not 
published the decree against the condemned secret societies, 

Gibbons, still hoping to reverse the decision of the Holy Of- 
fice, went to Rome. There he found that Monsignor Denis 
O'Connell, his loved and valued protegt\ had been asked to re- 
sign as Rector of the North American College. The conservative 
bishops were no longer willing to support a rector who con- 
sistently planned the Roman strategy of the liberals, and also 
did much to inoculate the students with his width of outlook 
< quite often at variance with the views of their own bishops. 

During the next year, Bishop Keane was asked to resign as 
Rector of the Catholic University of America, for much the 
same reasons. The climate of malice and gossip intensified, and 
the time was now ripe for one of the strangest battles in the 
history of the American Church, 

In 1891, Father Walter Elliot had written a life of Father 
Isaac Hecker, the founder of the Pan list Fathers. At first the 
somewhat ponderous book caused little stir, either at home or 
abroad; it had an imprimatur, and a glowing introduction by 
Archbishop Ireland* 

A French translation of Hecker's life, by the Abb6 Felix 
Klein, was published in 1897* It had a long and often inaccurate 
introduction and caused a sensation in France, going through 
seven editions in a short space of time. The ultraconservatives 
began to find in the book more than a taint of: heresy. Hecker 
was falsely accused of placing too much reliance on the private 
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of exalting the doer over the 
thinker, the active over the contemplative life, and of the 
watering down of Church doctrine for the sake of making con- 

European hatred of everything American received fresh im- 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 6} 

petus during the lightning-swift war with Spain in 1898, which 
Gibbons had tried to avert. 

At this juncture a new volume, Is Father Hecker A Saint? 
appeared in France, with a Roman imprimatur granted by Al- 
berto Lepidi, O.P., Master of the Pope's Palace. The book was 
written by the unscrupulous and abusive Abbe Charles Mag- 
nien, under the pseudonym Charles Martel. It was a jumble of 
accusations and distortions which caused a great outcry to the 
Holy Office for the condemnation of this heresy of Americanism. 

Gibbons indignantly saw the complete injustice and malice 
of the attack which he denounced with scorn in a formal letter 
to Cardinal Rampolla, the Secretary of State. 

Gibbons pointed out that the enemies of the United States 
were using the word "Americanism*' in a perverse sense in order 
to make it seem ". . . erroneous and even heretical . . . All 
this is false, unfair, slanderous ... I have no hesitation in af- 
firming that you have not in the whole world an episcopate, a 
clergy, and believers more fundamentally Catholic, firmer in 
their faith and more wholly devoted to the Holy See. The im- 
primatur given to this libel gives it the meaning of a serious 
work and one worthy of confidence." 

The Pope, who had been alarmed by the controversy, was 
shaken by Gibbons' letter, and reserving the matter to himself, 
silenced all further controversy. An Apostolic letter, Testem 
Benevolentiae (Proof of Our Love), was sent to Cardinal Gib- 
bons on January 22, 1898. 

At the time, the encyclical was considered a strange letter. In 
it the Pontiff referred to the erroneous opinions described as 
Americanism in the French life of Father Hecker. These opin- 
ions, if they did exist, should be condemned, but the Pope was 
careful not to state that they did exist and he made no reference 
to the specific political and social characteristics of the American 
people which were the good marks of the term "Americanism." 

Looking back from a distance, the encyclical letter is not as 
strange as it must have seemed at the time to those liberal bish- 
ops, who loved both church and country with flaming intensity. 


It was characteristic of Leo's subtle mind, and so ambiguously 
phrased that it condemned what was heretical if it existed, while 
nowhere stating It did exist. 

On March 17, 1899, the twelfth anniversary of his elevation 
to the Sacred College, Gibbons sent his formal reply to the en- 
cyclical. After respectfully thanking the Pope for his concern 
and for having cast light on these questions, (ribbons made it 
amply clear that the "Americanism" ascribed to the American 
Church by her critics and enemies was both "extravagant and 
absurd" and had never existed. 

Gibbons' prudent but firm protest had its desired effect. 
Bishop Keane became Bishop of Dubuque in 1900, and two 
years later Denis O'Connell was named rector of the Catholic 
University of America and later Bishop of Richmond. Both ap- 
pointments brought tremendous joy to the cardinal. 

The struggle over phantom "Americanism" was the last great 
battle o Gibbons' life. The peace he had so desired had at last 
arrived. The dawn of the new century found him the first citi- 
zen of Baltimore and one of the outstanding men of the nation, 
admired and loved by presidents and people. 

In 1903, Cardinal Gibbons made ready to go to Rome as the 
aged Leo hovered between life and death. Accompanied by Fa- 
ther Patrick C. Gavin, Gibbons arrived in time to participate 
in the election of Giuseppe Sarto as Pius X, 

It was a dramatic conclave and the first in which an American 
cardinal had participated. Cardinal Rampolla, the favorite, was 
vetoed by Austria, to the outrage of the Sacred College. The 
votes of the electors gradually shifted to Cardinal Sarto, but he 
seemed adamant in refusing the honor. As this juncture, Gib- 
bons personally intervened by reassuring the weeping candidate 
of the warm and vigorous support of the American Church in 
all the problems of his reign. Cardinal Sarto still refused. Then 
Gibbons persuaded Cardinal Satolli that the Patriarch of Venice 
must be made to accept the will of the Sacred College. 

For the intervention, Satolli took with him Cardinal Ferrari, 
Sarto's oldest friend among the cardinals, and Cardinal Agli- 
ardi. By the use of a shrewd combination of spiritual argument 

James Cardinal Gibbons : 65 

and a veiled threat of the divine wrath should he refuse, Car- 
dinal Sarto was convinced that he must accept his greatest cross, 
Next morning he was elevated and chose the name Pius X. 

The twilight of the cardinal's life was as radiant as the first 
hint of dusk falling on his beloved Baltimore. Now that his place 
was secure and his battles were over, he found time for writing, 
advising the many who called upon him for assistance, strolling 
about the city, jesting with the altar boys, visiting with his old- 
est friends the Shrivers, at Chapel Hill. His was the common 
touch, informed with homespun wisdom. 

Above all, there was time to spend in securing and forward- 
ing the Catholic University of America. It was the very apple ol 
his eye, and no one in its long history ever worked so unremit- 
tingly that it might become the important institution that it is 

The celebration of the cardinal's golden jubilee in 1911 gives 
us some clue to his popularity and eminence. President Taft 
and his Cabinet, the Justices of the Supreme Court, and many 
other government officials joined with the bishops of the church 
in paying tribute to Baltimore's cardinal. 

With the onset of the First World War in 1917, the eighty- 
two-year-old cardinal moved the bishops of the country to pledge 
the loyalty of their people in the struggle. Up to the time of his 
death on March 24, 1921, he remained vigorous and in full pos- 
session of his remarkable faculties. 

After his death, the flood of tributes from world leaders and 
the common people were as moving as the tearful throngs that 
passed his coffin as he lay in state. 

Some revered him for his patriotism or his humanity, some 
for his priestliness or wisdom. Few were able to see, as we can 
now, that the American Church as we know it today is largely 
his creation. 

That priests and people are one, that patriotism and religion 
go hand in hand, that prelates of any stature are capable of rising 
above their racial bias, that separation of Church and State as- 
sists the Church in "blooming like a rose," that dialogue is pos- 
sible and necessary between all who worship God, that under- 


standing and love of the common people is the cornerstone of 
progress, all these he had fought for and built into the conscious- 
ness of the American Church. 

It was difficult to imagine how any American prelate comino* 
after him would have either his opportunity for greatness or the 
discerning, immovable prudence that made him supremely 
great in action. 

John Cardinal Farley 

THE STORY of John Murphy Farley's early years seems lost in 
a haze o legend and timid statements. 1 James J. Walsh 
says: "Farley's family were farming people in reasonably com- 
fortable circumstances, able to afford their children a good edu- 
cation. One of his brothers, Edward Farley, emigrated to New 
York and became a rather prominent merchant in the city. His 
maternal uncle, Patrick Murphy, was for years a member of the 
well-known firm of Solomon & Son. The future cardinal's pre- 
liminary studies were made near his native home, but Irish 
schoolmasters have ever been known for their thoroughness, and 
he secured an excellent grasp of Latin and Greek and of funda- 
mentals in mathematics." 

To this Spartan summation of twenty-two years, Brendan 
Finn, in his Twenty-Four American Cardinals^ has little enough 
to add in two sentences; "Orphaned when still a child, John was 
educated through the generosity of an uncle. He received his 
first beginnings in Latin and Greek at St McCartan's College, 
Monaghan, Ireland." 

Both authorities are in agreement on the date of Farley's 
birth, April 20, 1842. Both further agree that the young man 
emigrated to America at the height of the Civil War in 1864. 

In the face of this strange economy of facts concerning Far- 

a The name of Cardinal Farley's father was Philip Farrelly; Cardinal Farley 
changed the spelling of his name to conform to the family pronunciation. His 
mother was Catherine Murphy Farrelly. 


ley's early life, we may hope to understand something about his 
development by an attempted reconstruction of the times and 
circumstances in which his format ive years were lived. 

Newton Hamilton, about forty miles from Belfast, where 
Farley was born, was a small town in the west central part of 
the County of Armagh, which is squeezed in between the coun- 
ties of Monaghan and Down, at the edge of the Mourne Moun- 
tains of northern Ireland. Like all small Irish towns in 18.12, its 
whitewashed cottages straggled along the narrow main street. 

Beyond the town, to the west and north, stretched the green 
fields with their staggering hedgerows marking off garth and 
tillage. To the south, the lofty top of Mount St. (bullion domi- 
nated the hilly landscape; beyond it was the higher reach of 
Mount Carlingforcl, looking out on the Irish Sea, On days of 
wind and rain, the mist closed in from the sea, veiling the 
mountiiintops from view and making this small world seem 
smaller still. 

Irish Catholics in this district were under the firm dominance 
of their Protestant overlords and neighbors. Time and bloody 
persecution had made Catholics cohesive and secretive, tak- 
ing the Mass and education where they could find them, though 
by 1842 they no longer had to resort to the fields and hedges. 

The old legends of the great clays of Maeve and Guchul- 
ainn flitted through their minds, to be retold around the turf 
fires at night, but the abortive successes of the Young" Ireland 
Movement made them less nostalgic for the past and more hope- 
ful for a free future unblighted by famine and economic stran- 

John would first have learned to read and write at home. 
There, too, the great truths of the faith became shining real- 
ities. To specific teaching was added the moving recitation of 
the beads each night, with their association with the great mys- 
teries of the faith, while the firelight played on bent heads and 
minds were filled with glowing love of Mary and her Son. This 
world of immortal romance found its complement in the excit- 
ing world of nature with its own rich wisdom. There were moun- 
tains to be explored and climbed with childish wonder and de- 

John Cardinal Farley : 69 

light, culminating in a final view of the world spread out below 
like a magic carpet. 

Excursions farther afield led to the edge of Lough Carlinford, 
a deep bay of the Irish Sea, and ecstatic summer hours of swim- 
ming and fishing. Market days at the thriving town of Dundalk 
or Monaghan and county fairs offered moments of high ex- 

Everyone was expected to work. Even the smallest boys helped 
with mattock, hoe and shovel, trying to scratch the simplest liv- 
ing from the soggy soil. There was peat to be cut and stacked; 
twigs from the forest to be tied in bundles for convenient kin- 
dling to the accompaniment of witty comments on life and peo- 

Irish love of learning was deep and universal. Priests and 
schoolmasters were honored as much for what they knew as for 
what they were; for though the new masters might sneer at the 
"pig in the parlor" and "Paddy dear, and did yez hear?" the 
people remembered the tradition of ancient studious days that 
had cast its glow from the Ireland of saints and sent scholars to 
enlighten all of Western Europe in the sixth century. This great 
past in the works of Irish literature was, even as early as 1843, 
beginning to emerge from the riddle of Erse. 

It must have been with a sense of complete dedication that 
Farley entered St. McCarten's. There in a primitive and ascetic 
atmosphere, learning was only a shade less firmly enshrined 
than the Sacrament on the altar. 

Studies were not mere tasks in which unwilling schoolboys 
fought to gain a "credit"; they were exciting excursions. Latin 
and Greek opened the riches of the past and provided enduring 
examples of graceful speech; mathematics demonstrated the laws 
on which the world turned; philosophy explained the reasons 
of things; theology their divine glorification. 

Discipline was a problem easily solved by the pandy bat, mer- 
cilessly applied at sensitive points, or the burdensome transla- 
tion of fifty or a hundred lines of Ovid or Virgil. Few mavericks 
survived the treatment. 

Whether it was the recurring famines or the thirst for op- 


portunity that drew Farley out of his suffering land, he mi- 
grated to the United States in 1864. The young student was not 
long in making his talents felt in the country of his adoption. 
One year spent at Fordham University served to reveal the daz- 
zling promise of the stocky but handsome youth. He wrote facile 
poetry and prose and showed himself far in advance of his class- 
mates in philosophy and languages. The demonstration and 
certitude of his call to the priesthood led to his entry into the 
provincial seminary at Troy, New York. Once again, after a 
single year of residence, his general brilliance and the enthu- 
siastic approval of the college rector moved Archbishop Mc- 
Closkey to select John as a candidate for the newly established 
North American College in Rome, at one of the most exciting 
periods of papal history. 

The opportunity was a splendid one. Those who visit Rome 
today and find it fascinating would have been immensely more 
charmed and interested in the Rome John Farley knew between 
the years of 1 867- 1 870. 

Pius IX was still the Pope-King of the whittled-down Papal 
States. Soldiers o the Emperor Louis Napoleon were at last 
leaving for France. Their duties in manning the walls and polic- 
ing the city were being taken over by smart groups of papal 
Zouaves, recruited from all over the world, who comprised the 
Pope's army under the command of General Kanzler. Their 
presence in the Holy City was the last frail barrier preventing 
the seizure of all that remained of papal territory, including 
Rome. Victor Emmanuel and his United Italy Government 
were settled in Florence, impatiently awaiting a change in the 
fortunes of France, which would clear the way for the long-pre- 
pared march on Rome. 

The atmosphere in which John found himself might well be 
called the Indian summer of the Papal States. Pius IX was pre- 
paring to summon the bishops of the world to the Vatican coun- 
cil. There was excitement in the air as elegant state carriages 
flashed through the streets bearing princes and bishops to au- 
diences with the Pope. 

The Pope himself might be seen almost anywhere in the city. 

John Cardinal Farley : ji 

Sometimes the wide-eyed students observed the memorably 
graceful white-clad figure conducting visiting cardinals on a tour 
of the churches, or attended by a single chamberlain, moving 
along in his gilded carriage toward the Pincian Gardens where 
he took his daily walk, and in his merryhearted fashion ex- 
changed pleasantries with princes or peasants. 

After the frenetic newness and bustle of New York, Eternal 
Rome possessed a glamorous serenity that could completely cap- 
ture the heart of any young student with an inquiring mind. Its 
classic ruins, blending subtly with the monuments of papal 
Rome, provided perpetual contrast and surprise. They also 
furnished endless opportunity for recreation after the heavy 
schedule of lectures in dogmatic and moral theology and canon 

Since Count de Rossi's significant work in archaeology, every 
foreign student had become something of an armchair archaeol- 
ogist as he visited the newly uncovered catacombs of early popes 
and saints or the gorgeous remains of villas once owned by Ro- 
man emperors and magnates. 

Great lectures, great architecture, great art these offered 
golden opportunities to any ambitious student, as John could 
easily see. To seminarians, there were added attractions in being 
able to learn lessons for their coming ministry through the ob- 
servation of Christian government at its best and social service 
at its most brilliant 

There were adequate schools and colleges for all who desired 
to learn. Good industrial schools for teaching trades were un- 
der the special patronage of the Pope, who had spent his early 
training as a priest in such institutions. Homes for the orphans, 
the insane and the aged, were conducted with an intelligent 
kindness and understanding that no other government in the 
world could equal at that time. 

That Farley learned these lessons well is amply illustrated 
in his important work for parochial schools and Catholic social 
institutions, as bishop and cardinal. 

The important events of Farley's Roman years are almost too 
numerous to mention. First among these was the i8th cen- 


ternary of Sts, Peter and Paul, celebrated with unexampled 
splendor in 1867. The vast crowds knelt in prayer as the Pope 
was borne through the streets in magnificent state, carrying* 
the Blessed Sacrament on the Feast of Corpus Christi. During 
the continuing celebration, the Pope blessed the sumptuously 
restored church of St. Paul's Outside the Walls and canonized 
205 of the martyrs of Japan. The illumination of the city and 
its innumerable churches, colorful processions, and the fervor of 
visiting dignitaries and pilgrims, turned the days into a won- 
derful tapestry. 

The year promised to end on a note of alarm when Garibal- 
di's redshirts invaded the last papal territory south of Rome. 
Kanzler and his papal Zouaves, with powerful French aid, 
roundly defeated Garibaldi at Mentana, and triumphal celebra- 
tions were added to the many religious festivities. 

For John Farley, the year 1870 had a personal meaning and 
importance that was to make it memorable for the rest of his 
life. With the triumphant conclusions of his examinations be- 
hind him, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, by 
Cardinal Patrizi, the Pope's vicar-general. 

The spiritual joy of the occasion has not come down to us in 
any written form, but John's love of St. Philip Neri, the great 
Renaissance saint, which had been important in molding his 
life and his piety, would have insured his careful preparation 
for the great event and the delight that came with its accomplish- 

That same year, Farley attended the Vatican council where 
he observed the democracy of the Church, debate (often 
heated) in the formulation of necessary dogmas and discipli- 
nary laws. 

He was fortunate in having an inside view of the gathering 
due to the presence of Archbishop McCloskey, who because of 
his important position on the committee for Church discipline 
and his many friends among the cardinals, was able to open 
every door to the young student. 

So we may picture Father Farley looking on in St. Peter's at 
that moment of storm and intense drama when the doctrine 

John Cardinal Farley : 73 

of infallibility was promulgated to the delirious shouts of the 
vast crowd watching the proceedings. 

Near the end of August, Father Farley left Rome for the re- 
turn voyage to America. Thus by a few short months he missed 
the drama of the fall of Rome, one of the highlights of which 
was the impetuous offer of the students of the North Amer- 
ican College to take up arms in defense of the pontiff's person. 
It was a request that would have warmed the hearts of frontier 

The first assignment given the young priest was that of as- 
sistant to the pastor at New Brighton, Staten Island. Father 
Farley must have been stimulated by the change from the mag- 
nificence of Rome to the austere simplicity of a country parish. 
Staten Island was thoroughly bucolic in 1870. A rickety ferry 
connected the island with Manhattan. Except for that unre- 
liable link, Father Farley might have been back in Newton 

With a simplicity that characterized his entire life, Farley 
threw himself into the affairs of the parish: the visits, sick calls, 
office consultations and services of the altar that fill to overflow- 
ing the first years of young priests in the active ministry. 

There was ample time to go through his books once again 
for the consolidation and evaluation of the knowledge he had 
gained in Rome. It is easy to picture the grateful pride of coun- 
try parishioners who congratulated themselves on having this 
unusual priest in their midst; one who intimately knew the 
Holy Father and all the famous cardinals about whom he re- 
lated personal stories with the warmth and verve of an eyewit- 
ness. Years later they still remembered him with gratitude and 
undimmed admiration. 

The rustication of Father Farley lasted two years. In 1872, 
with the elevation to the Diocese of Albany of Father Mc- 
Nierney, Farley was made the archbishop's secretary. By train- 
ing and character he was well fitted for the job. 

A bishop's secretary is an important person. He not only has 
to make the bishop's appointments with a discerning eye, but 
he also has to know canon law thoroughly and all the modes of 


protocol and address which are proper in dealing with the high- 
est officials of the Church. 

Farley was the ideal man for the position. It was his task to 
make all the arrangements for McCloskey's reception of the red 
hat in 1875, and he accompanied the cardinal to Rome in 1878 
for the actual reception of the red hat and the renewal and con- 
solidation of the old friendships of his student years. 

In 1884, a year before Cardinal McCloskey's death, Farley was 
created a papal chamberlain, an unusual honor at the time, 
which clearly marked him for future preferment. 

Then, in August of the same year, in order to clear the way 
for Bishop Gorrigan's rule of the diocese already in practical 
effect due to the cardinal's ill health Monsignor Farley was 
moved to the pastorate of St. Gabriel's Church on 37th 

The parishioners were! mostly workers and clerks. Farley made 
himself at home with them, sharing their simple joys and sor- 
rows with all the warm humanity of a country boy born in sim- 
ple circumstances. 

Now the lessons and work in Rome began to bear fruit. The 
parish debt was paid, the church was refurbished and beauti- 
fied, the parochial school was improved to such a point that it 
outrivaled the public schools of the district. A parish hall was 
built in which the dignified monsignor could meet his people 
for group action and parish festivities. A parish census and regu- 
lar visits to his people rounded out Monsignor Farley's program. 

While all this was taking place during Farley's seventeen years 
as pastor of St. Gabriel's, he was moving into public view as a 
man of creative ideas. Me spoke on Catholic education and social 
service with force and spirit, and his comments on the great 
encyclicals of Leo XIII were quoted with approval. The perfect 
ordering of his parish revealed his genius for organization. 

These were the most important reasons for his appointment 
as Vicar-General of New York in 1891. The new honor auto- 
matically brought with it the chairmanship of the Catholic 
school board. 

John Cardinal Farley : 75 

The next year, Monsignor Farley demonstrated his talent for 
public relations by organizing the famous Catholic school pa- 
rade. Bigots had maintained the inferiority of the parochial 
school system; now, for the first time, New Yorkers were 
able to gauge the massive Catholic effort in the vigorous march 
of nuns and their pupils through the streets of the city. 

Two years later, Farley followed up this demonstration with 
a city-wide exhibition of the work produced in Catholic class- 
rooms. Protestants were surprised at the showing, and many 
Catholics were equally amazed. The exhibition led to Mon- 
signor Farley's elevation to the highest rank of the monsigno- 
rate, prothonotary apostolic. No one was surprised when he be- 
came Auxiliary Bishop of New York a few years later. 

One of Bishop Farley's first successes was a drive that liq- 
uidated the $300,000 mortgage on Dunwoodie Seminary, in 
honor of Archbishop Corrigan's silver jubilee in 1898. Arch- 
bishop Corrigan died on May 5, 1902. In September of that 
year, Bishop Farley became Archbishop of New York. 

The United States was full of bounce and vigor at the time. 
Teddy Roosevelt had become President the year before, after 
the assassination of McKinley. The Panama Canal act had been 
passed by Congress. The Floradora Sextet was saying a tem- 
porary good-bye to Broadway. 

The last years of Archbishop Corrigan's reign had been any- 
thing but peaceful. New York was split into many political fac- 
tions; economic and ethnic groups were at loggerheads with 
each other. Archbishop Corrigan had been on the wrong side 
in the Knights of Labor dispute and in the outcry against Henry 
George, whose theories several prominent priests of the diocese 

Archbishop Farley was the ideal man for the times. Working 
quietly behind the scenes, he succeeded in bringing the various 
warring groups into cooperation and harmony. Those who knew 
him best in those years learned to respect his talents in grace- 
fully but firmly saying no without hurting the feelings of any- 
one. With his soft voice, twinkling eyes and courteous explana- 


tions, without compromising either his dignity or his office, the 
archbishop forged a new unity of purpose for his people. 

Among the older members of the clergy, the unity of purpose 
was partly brought into being by the official recognition of their 
work. This came in the form of the creation of many monsignors. 
Up to this time, the honor had been given to very few, and Far- 
ley's generosity in this regard was widely applauded. The rash 
of red rubies also led to many jokes, among the best of which 
was the quip Archbishop O'Ryan made to Farley himself: "Ah, 
Your Grace, I understand that since your recent trip to Rome 
half of your diocese has become purple, the other half blue." 

Farley's studies and observations in Rome had taught him the 
value of publicity, at which Pius IX was a past master; the Ro- 
man years had also given him a sense of solidarity with all the 
joys and sorrows of the Pope. 

When, at the turn of the century, irreligious politicians 
secured control of the French Government, an immediate at- 
tack was mounted against the Church, Religious orders were 
persecuted and laicized. Ancient abbeys, schools and shrines were 
seized. These and many other intolerable abuses in keeping with 
the malignant disease of slatism so evident in our own day in 
the works of Hitler and Stalin led to a direct and prolonged bat- 
tle with the new pope, Pius X. 

Archbishop Farley was quick to show his sympathy for the 
Pope by organizing a mass meeting of Catholics in the Hip- 
podrome to protest the persecution in France. It was attended 
by a huge throng which packed the building and spilled out, 
some 30,000 strong, into the surrounding area. 

Noted Catholic laymen denounced the religious persecution 
with passion, and exposed the truth of what was taking place in 
France. The atmosphere of the evening was both electric and 
dramatic. New York's newspapers gave the gathering the widest 
possible coverage, and news of the protest meeting went out 
over the whole world. It provided one more weapon for the 
Pope and helped the papacy materially in its eventual triumph 
over the insensate irreligious group recruited mostly from the 

John Cardinal Farley : 77 

ranks of the Grand Orient, the intellectual leaders of European 

The exposure of evil and evil men, the archbishop saw, was 
but one facet of the Church's struggle in the modern world. 
With this in mind, Farley mounted a positive attack against 
world-wide ignorance of the Church and her teachings by or- 
ganizing the publication of the Catholic Encyclopedia. Com- 
mittees of scholars were set up the archbishop started the 
fund-raising with a subscription of $5,000 and through his 
encouragement of the project in other dioceses across the coun- 
try, he became the leader in bringing the undertaking to a 
triumphant conclusion in 1914. Every aspect of Church history, 
teaching and sanctity, thus became available to the public in an 
easy and palatable fashion. 

Farley, himself a clever writer, contributed articles to the 
Encyclopedia. His intelligence and ability with a pen are easily 
measured by the two books which he published: The History 
of St. Patrick's Cathedral and The Life of John Cardinal Me- 

In the crisp pages of the cathedral history, Farley illuminated 
his facts with many charming insights. It is genuinely good 
reading. His biography of Cardinal McCloskey is even more re- 
markable. Farley lets McCloskey tell most of the story him- 
self from letters, diaries and the important pronouncements of 
his long and distinguished career. What emerges is a massively 
charming picture of this shy but unusually talented prince of 
the Church, shot through with hurnor. Farley's great love for his 
subject distinguishes the genuine biographer from the book- 

Archbishop Farley devoted a great deal of attention and time 
to the priests of his diocese and the candidates for the priest- 
hood. He made frequent visits to the senior seminary at Dun- 
woodie, and spoke to the students with great fervor about those 
qualities that distinguish the good priest 

As a spur to numerous vocations, Cathedral College was or- 
ganized to prepare young men for the senior seminary through 


a course of solid study and testing which gave students ample 
time to discover whether they were fitted for priestly life. The 
first rector of the new college was Father Patrick J. Hayes, a 
young priest of the diocese whose piety, zeal and executive tal- 
ents had marked him for swift advancement. 

Remembering his own experience, Archbishop Farley usually 
sent his newly ordained priests to the country parishes of the 
diocese. Through this arrangement he let them discover the 
depth and warmth of their vocation in the simple neighbor liness 
and family atmosphere prevailing in country places. In these 
circumstances, young priests learned that parishioners are peo- 
plea lesson of enduring value when they were later moved 
to the big city parishes with their complex life and unavoidable 
tendency toward formalism in relations between priests and 

Following the splendid example of Pius X, Farley initiated 
a monthly day of recollection for reading, study and the spiritual 
life. Such gatherings also gave the priests of the diocese a chance 
to know each other better, and aided the discussion of problems 
common to all. 

There was nothing parochial in Archbishop Farley's respect 
for the priesthood. He was the soul of hospitality to visiting 
clerg*y, he received missionaries into his diocese and permitted 
them to collect funds for their enterprises. 

When the Catholic Foreign Mission Society was founded by 
the "modern apostle" Father James J. Walsh, Farley warmly 
welcomed the new community in establishing its mother 
house and training center at Maryknoll, near Ossining, New 
York. The cardinal materially assisted the infant organization 
with prudent advice, praise and money. 

The hundredth anniversary of the New York Archdiocese, 
celebrated in 1908 with great pomp and oratory, revealed Far- 
ley's supreme grasp of public relations. By this time New York 
had become largely an Irish enclave, and this was reflected every- 
where in the city's life and politics. The archbishop's invita- 
tion to the Cardinal Primate of Ireland, asking him to preside 
at the Solemn Mass celebrating the occasion, brought to New 

John Cardinal Farley : 79 

York Cardinal Logue, Archbishop of Armagh. It was a subtle 
blending of Irish nostalgia for the Old Land and its glory, along 
with a sentimental glance at the province from which Farley 
had come to the United States. The New York Irish needed no 
cue to read the lesson aright; from Bishop Concannon to Arch- 
bishop Farley in spite of seemingly insuperable obstacles the 
past hundred years had been a continuous triumph for the Irish 
of the Diaspora. 

Two years later, in 1910, the last and most permanent fruit 
of the centenary, the consecration of St. Patrick's Cathedral, 
took place in an atmosphere of jubilation and splendor. His 
Eminence of Armagh returned for the celebration, and the 
beloved Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore lent his purple and 
sparkling presence to the occasion along with many prelates 
from all over the United States, and most important of all, 
Cardinal Vannutelli, the Pope's legate. 

It was scarcely a year later that New York newspapers had a 
fresh occasion for banner headlines when they were informed 
that Cardinal Merry del Val had summoned Archbishop Far- 
ley to Rome to be made a cardinal. Apostolic Delgate Falconio 
and Archbishop O'Connell of Boston had also been nominated 
for the same high honor. All the ceremonies of elevation were 
to take place in Rome, as swift communications between the two 
continents along with the fact that the United States was no 
longer a missionary country now permitted such an arrange- 

Farley and Falconio left New York on the S.S. Kronprinzessin 
Cecilie, accompanied by their suites and a large number of noted 
clergy and laity from New York and Washington, B.C. In com- 
pliment to the distinguished guests, their ship flew the papal 
flag at its masthead. 

Upon their arrival in Rome, the three American prelates 
received their formal letters of nomination on November 27, 
191 1, at the North American College, after the secret consistory 
of the morning during which Pius X had given a deeply moving 
sermon concerning the mounting attacks on the Church. 


In keeping with protocol, the ensuing two days were taken 
up with the solemnities attending the conferring of the red 
bircttns and the cappac inagnae, which actually took plate on 
the afternoon of November 2<). The Pope recalled with pleasure 
a visit in Venice with Cardinal Farley when he was Auxiliary 
Bishop of New York. 

The ceremonies were completed on November 30 in a public 
consistory in which the three American cardinal-priests actually 
received their great red hats and were assigned their titular 
churches. Cardinal Farley's, to the delight of all, proved to be 
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, which had been the titular church 
of Cardinal McGloskey; a subtle reminder to the world that 
the first two bishops of the diocese of New York had both been 
appointed from this Dominican mother house. 

These connecting links were put into gracious phrases on 
December 10, 1911 as Cardinal Farley took formal possession 
of his church. In addition to the acknowledgment of the great 
debt New York owed to Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Farley 
paid a glowing tribute to Cardinal McCIoskey and all that out- 
standing prince of the Church had accomplished. 

The welcome home in New York was a delirious succession 
of parades and banquets, signalized by the somewhat orotund 
oratory of the day and notable for the cooperation of the Prot- 
estants and Jews in making the welcome memorable. When 
the S.S. Berlin, flags Hying, arrived in New York Harbor on 
the unusually mild morning of January 17, 1912, she was met 
by countless numbers of small craft lavishly decorated for the 
occasion. All the way to her pier in Hoboken, whistles and 
horns filled the air with ear-numbing sound. This chorus was 
answered by the deep bass of the Berlin* 's foghorn. 

A gaily decorated boat carried the resplendent cardinal and 
his suite to the Battery. There the cardinal entered an open 
carriage for an almost five-mile drive through shouting throngs 
of Catholics waving papal Hags, augmented by thousands of 
New York citizens of many faiths* It is estimated some 5,000 
took part in the welcome. 

John Cardinal Farley : 81 

The press of the crowd around St. Patrick's Cathedral called 
for the best efforts of New York's Finest in keeping decorum 
and order. Mounted policemen, every button flaming like the 
sun, trotted up and down along the barricades. 

When the cardinal's carriage arrived, there was a frenzied 
shout. As a kindly concession to popular ignorance of what a 
cardinal's hat really looked like, Farley had donned its betas- 
seled medieval splendor for the parade. At the door of his ca- 
thedral, the cardinal was met by the ecclesiastical procession 
prepared to escort him into his church. 

He uncovered his head, knelt and fervently kissed the 
cross tendered to him by the crossbearer. Then, to the jubilant 
strains of Ecce Sacerdos Magnus^ the procession entered the 

The banquets and meetings of congratulations that followed 
were in a sense anticlimactic, but they served to reveal the 
pride of all New Yorkers in the honor that had come to one of 
their own. The cardinal, with praiseworthy humility, con- 
stantly insisted that the honor was due to their efforts and 
achievements rather than to his worth or importance. 

One of his acts at this time brought him tremendous per- 
sonal delight. The lovely palace of the Mastai-Ferretti family 
in Senigallia, where Pius IX had been born and brought up, 
came on the market after a series of financial reverses. Cardinal 
Farley at once stepped forward with the necessary $10,000 for 
the purchase of the noble old house and its art treasures. It was 
an act of pure gratitude and love that brought back to the 
cardinal all the unalloyed happiness of student days and the 
many occasions on which he had experienced at first hand the 
radiant charm and benevolence of the last Pope-King. 

Today the palace is a beautiful American memorial to the 
pope who did so many significant things for America. Its art 
treasures have appreciated over the years, and the value of the 
palace today is multiplied fabulously. 

In 1914, Monsignor Patrick J. Hayes was appointed Auxil- 
iary Bishop of New York. The appointment was a welcome 


one. Hayes had been the cardinal's secretary and closest collab- 
orator for many years and knew the diocese intimately. 

Farley's elevation to cardinal's rank consolidated his position 
in the diocese and the city. When the First World War drew 
the United States into the conflict, the cardinal quickly threw 
his weight and genius for organization into the war effort. The 
first step was the establishment of the New York Catholic War 
Council. This group was responsible for the opening of can- 
teens to serve both men and women of the armed forces, and a 
hospital for shell-shocked veterans. 

Bishop Hayes became the first military bishop of the United 
States. In the creation of the military ordinariate, Hayes 
showed his positive talent for organization. Before the war 
ended, the ordinariate had recruited some 1,500 priests to serve 
the armed forces. 

The various war bond drives brought the aging cardinal into 
the war effort personally. His mere presence on any platform 
was a guarantee of a large turnout. On the many occasions 
when he spoke, it was with the same warmth and graceful com- 
mon sense that moved men to contribute generously. 

Many thought it unfortunate that Cardinal Farley did not 
live to see the triumph of the Allies that came with the signing 
of the Armistice on November 11, i<)i8. At the very time when 
the final struggle was at its height and American boys were dy- 
ing by the thousands on the Meuse-Argonne front, Cardinal 
Farley died peacefully on September 17, 1918, 

The newspapers trumpeted praise of the dead prelate, citing 
his many achievements for the city and the country. The thou- 
sands who loved him filed past his coffin. On the day of the fu- 
neral, the sanctuary of his debt-free cathedral blazed with the 
varied purples of three cardinals, the apostolic delegate, and 
many bishops and monsignors. 

The dead cardinal had assumed the rule of the diocese at a 
time of division and political confusion. He had resolved these 
differences with a firm hand, and then moved on into a future 
in which the beauty, intellectual and cultural influences of the 
Church could be demonstrated to the world. Prudence and 

John Cardinal Farley : 83 

peace were his watchwords; he acted with imperturbable firm- 
ness and massive dignity. 

Despite his large talent for affairs, Farley remained a pastor 
at heart the dignity, holiness and love of the priesthood were 
always his first concern. That was why his undivided heart de- 
manded respect and got it; that was why he had been able to 
accomplish so much. 

William Cardinal O'Conncll 

IN Recollections of Seventy Years, Cardinal O'Connell has 
given us the story of his life as he saw it. The book is care- 
fully written and meticulously documented; it cannot he Ig- 
nored, but it is bound to be subjective rather than objective, 
and the reading of its four hunched pages leaves not the slight- 
est doubt that it is a full-dress portrait in which the lights and 
shadows are artfully planned to achieve a general effect of mas- 
sive greatness. In discussing the cardinal's life, his autobiogra- 
phy must be consulted; it must also be interpreted. 

James Buchanan was Hearing the final phase of his four-year 
term as President on December 8, 1859, the clay on which Wil- 
liam O'Connell, the last of eleven children- the son of John 
O'Connell and Brigid Farley- was born in Lowell, Massachu- 
setts. It was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. 

The year 1859 had begun optimistically with the discovery 
o the Comstock Lode in Nevada, It gathered excitement in 
the stirring new tune "Dixie" composed by Dan Emmett, 
which set everyone to jigging, and ended on a note of tragedy 
in the death of John Brown after his abortive capture of the 
arsenal at Harpers Ferry. 

William was the baby of the family of seven boys and four 
girls. The father was a imllhand in one of the Lowell textile 
mills. They were fiercely and proudly poor. 

In his early childhood, the sturdy boy was the inseparable 


William Cardinal O'Connell : 85 

companion of his mother. In the late afternoons when the chief 
household tasks were over, he sat on a stool at his mother's feet 
as she sewed and mended for her large family. The yellow glow 
of the lamp made a nimbus of her graying hair. The child lis- 
tened to stories of Ireland, which seemed to him more glamor- 
ous than any fairy tale. They were heavily spiced with hilarious 
episodes that made them both laugh. These hours forged 
a bond between mother and child that grew ever stronger with 
the years. 

The life of the family, though straitened with poverty, was 
colored by moments of joy as they sang and jigged and made 
merry on great feast days. St. Patrick's day easily ranked with 
Christmas and Easter as one of the important days of the year. 
On the eve of that great day, the house would be fragrant with 
the smell of the Irish "cake" and a great saddle of mutton 
baking in the oven. Next morning they would all go to church 
and then watch the huge parade of the Ancient Order of 
Hibernians as it went through the streets with deafening bands 
and flying green banners. The remainder of the day was sacred 
to song and dance and liberal libations of potheen. The mill- 
owners, who held the Irish in conditions very near to slavery, 
dared not interfere with the celebration in any way. Even with- 
out interference, there were brawls and broken heads before 
the feast was over. 

When William was four years old, tragedy struck the family 
with the fatal illness of their father. The child was wakened 
and brought to his father's room in the middle of the night. 
The circle of lamplight around the bed revealed his father's 
drawn face and his mother's kneeling figure. She was weeping 
bitterly. When all the children were assembled, Mrs. O'Con- 
nell, prayer book in hand, led the prayers for the dying, which 
the children answered. 

Suddenly the agony was over. The mother pulled the sheet 
up over the white face and returned to her knees and prayers 
for the faithful departed. At their conclusion, she rose, dried 
her eyes, and said to the children, "The holy will of God be 


Her resolution and courage in facing the future and eking 
out the family resources by personal service in the homes of 
well-to-do families of the district impressed her son as no other 
heroism ever had. 

William's grade-school days were unhappy. The atmosphere 
of the public schools of the time was one of narrow bigotry. 
The Catholic children, particularly the Irish, were treated 
with harsh contempt by most of their teachers. The bitterness 
increased at times as the No-Nothing Movement brought 
gangs of toughs into the streets to threaten Catholic churches 
and convents. 

By the time William reached high-school age, some of the 
antagonism had abated. The boy avidly began to learn for the 
first time, except in his courses in English history which was 
presented as an anti-Catholic tract. With rage in his heart, the 
boy heard his Church and its heroes abused and vilified. 

He found what comfort he could in learning to paint mod- 
estly good water-colors and in mastering the piano and the or- 
gan. Music, next to his religion, was to be William's great 
solace until the end of his life. 

In his twelfth year, young O'Connell attempted to hold a 
summer job in one of the textile mills. He lasted one full day 
in the unhealthy atmosphere which had looked so glamorous 
from a distance, with its clacking machinery and floating bits 
of cotton fluff in the dusky atmosphere. 

With his mother's firm support, the boy pointed his course 
toward the College of St. Charles at Endicott City in Maryland, 
in September, 1876. En route to school, he stopped in Phila- 
delphia where the Centennial Exposition was in progress. To 
one who had hardly been out of his district, the buildings, mu- 
sic and excitement of the exhibition were like a glimpse of 

The first sight of the college and its massive towers im- 
pressed the boy. In the two years he spent with the Sulpician 
Fathers, he was firmly grounded in Latin and science. Greek 
did not appeal to him, and he did less well at it. 

Far more important to his future was the influence of John 

William Cardinal O'Connell : #7 

Bannister Tabb. Father Tabb, a convert from the Episcopal 
Church, was a noted poet. In his classes, O'Connell found a love 
of language and poetry that completely enchanted him, espe- 
cially since all of Tabb's intuitions were liberally salted with 
wit. The bond between pupil and teacher was strengthened by 
Tabb's proficiency in music. Through him and his tremendous 
enthusiasm, William came to love the great masters and their 
works, and his progress at the piano and organ was swift. 

In spite of the country atmosphere of the school, O'Connell's 
health began to fail in his second year. There can be little 
doubt that separation from his mother had a great deal to do 
with his "breakdown/' 

Once at home and enrolled in Boston College, in its old 
quarters on Garrison Avenue in the South End, O'Connell's 
health began to improve. He rode a spirited little horse named 
Billy in the late afternoons. The brisk daily exercise brought 
the color back to his cheeks. 

He was his mother's favorite confidant, and he came to her 
with all his anxieties, joys and sorrows. Her sage advice and 
guidance played a large part in his triumphant graduation at 
the head of his class in June 1881, with three gold medals in 
philosophy, physics and chemistry, and several prizes in poetry 
and rhetoric. 

During the college years, mother and son spent many hours 
discussing William's vocation. The young man felt that God 
was calling him to the priesthood, and the delighted mother 
warmly encouraged him and doubled her own prayers for her 
favorite child. 

When Archbishop Williams was approached, he enthusiasti- 
cally accepted his new recruit. "Your record is fine, my boy," he 
said, "the place for you and your studies is obviously the North 
American College in Rome/' 

Mother and son dreaded the long separation, but in spite of 
her fears, Mrs. O'Connell hid her feelings and encouraged her 
son. In September 1881 William departed for Rome on the 
Cunard liner Marathon. Visits to Ireland, England and France 
fired his romantic mind with inspiration and pleasure. Ireland 


lived up to his great expectations; England was less stimulat- 
ing; Paris a distinct anticlimax. The French mentality and 
hard sense of reality did much to dim his memories of the dra- 
matic squares and parks, Notre Dame and the tomb of Napo- 

The first years of Roman study were exciting. Great teach- 
ers like Satolli and Agliardi impressed and inspired the young 
student; sightseeing in Rome and in the Alban Hills filled his 
mind with glowing pictures of the antique world and of the 
Renaissance. The atmosphere of the college was dark and cold 
in winter, the food was poor in quality and badly cooked. But 
what were such minor inconveniences compared with all the 
shining benefits that flowed from being at the very heart of the 
Christian world? 

O'Connell worked hard, painted many water colors, took 
charge of the college choir, and identified himself completely 
with the jocosely happy life of the students. His appointment 
as first prefect is an indication of his standing with the college 

After his ordination in St. John Lateran on June 8, 1884, at 
the beginning of his third year, the young priest looked for- 
ward to the achievement of his doctor of divinity degree and 
threw himself ardently into his studies. Before the year was 
out, a near pneumonia undermined his health. Father O'Con- 
nell was sent out to the bracing air of Anzio Beach. Recupera- 
tion was rapid, but early in his fourth year a serious bronchial 
congestion forced him to return to the United States without 
his degree. 

The story of Father O'Connell's departure from the North 
American College, as he tells it in his autobiography, is satu- 
rated with emotion and disappointment. The loss of his degree 
was obviously a terrible blow to him. 

The reunion with his mother and her joy in him and his 
priesthood had a tonic influence. After a happy week in Low- 
ell with the family, Archbishop Williams assigned Father 
O'Connell to a small parish in Medford. The pastor, Father 
O'Donnell, was amiable and easy-going. Parish duties were not 

William Cardinal O'Connell : 89 

onerous, and O'Connell was able to spend many quiet hours 
walking and studying. He was completely restored to vigorous 
health within two years. 

In October 1886, Father O'Connell was transferred to the 
"largest and busiest parish in the diocese/' St. Joseph's in the 
West End of Boston. It was mostly a tough slum area, gener- 
ously peppered with saloons and gambling joints, but in spite 
of his many parish duties and the shabby atmosphere, Father 
O'Connell read omnivorously and pondered the problem of 
the rapidly growing Church in America. The acrimonious dis- 
putes between eminent groups of bishops, who didn't hesitate 
to differ publicly with each other over the school question and 
politics, was something of a shock after the order and discipline 
of Rome. 

Almost ten years went by in a busy round of parish duties. 
With every lull in parish activities, Father O'Connell went 
straight to the family home in Maiden. There, over a cup of 
tea, he regaled his mother with amusing stories of parish affairs 
and received in return intimate rundowns of family joys and 
sorrows. It grieved the young priest to see her increasing feeble- 

In 1893, while visiting the Chicago Exposition, Father 
O'Connell had a premonition that all was not well with his 
mother. Cutting short his visit, he took express trains first to 
New York and then to Boston, arriving there in the late eve- 
ning. Without waiting for morning, he hurried out to Maiden 
where his mother greeted him with joy. In a few hours she was 
dead. The shock was tremendous. She had been his best in- 
spiration and adviser. Looking back much later as honors and 
fame came to him in abundance, he found a certain emptiness 
in them all because they lacked the intimate stamp of her joy- 
ous approval. 

Concealing his grief as best he could, Father O'Connell re- 
turned to his duties at St. Joseph's. When a change came, it was 
as staggering as it was welcome. A telegram from Cardinal 
Ledochowski announced that Father O'Connell had been ap- 
pointed Rector of the North American College. 


O'Connell received the news with some trepidation, since 
he knew very well that the man he was replacing had been 
drawn into the controversies of the times and was no longer 
welcome in Rome. If he were to take on the job, would he, too, 
be forced to take sides, or would he be given a free hand in run- 
ning the college in a manner approved by his "immediate supe- 
riors in Rome"? 

Archbishop Williams saw the wisdom of O'Connell's ques- 
tion and advised him to take up the matter with the other 
three archbishops of the board of directors of the college. Car- 
dinal Gibbons acquiesced, and the archbishops of New York 
and Philadelphia agreed warmly with O'ConnelFs point of 
view. Having secured their blessing, Father O'Connell de- 
parted for Naples. 

He found Rome changed; it had grown into a great city and 
had lost much of its country atmosphere. Servants and stu- 
dents welcomed him warmly at the college, and he started to 
feel his way into his new responsibility. If he had had any ro- 
mantic or ambitious dreams about it, they were shattered in his 
first interview with Pope Leo XIII. Leo informed O'Connell 
that he expected great things of the college under his rector- 
ship. The Pope closed his general remarks with one of the in- 
cisive personal comments for which he was famous: 

"You are young and strong, I see. That is good! You will 
need all your strength. Yes, you're rather young but old 
enough if you follow good advice/' 

The rector began his reign with hard-headed realism by 
establishing cordial relations with his immediate superiors 
Monsignor Cisca and Cardinal LedochowskL Next he got an 
increase of funds from the American bishops, which made it 
easier for him to conduct the college in keeping with the stand- 
ards of comfort, elegance and hospitality which are the marks 
of Roman courtesy. 

The students were quick to note the changes. They were 
more comfortable, the food was of better quality, the cooking 
improved. Father O'Connell, noted for his excellent preaching 

William Cardinal O'Gonnell : 91 

in Boston, now turned his talent to good advantage. Seated at 
a small green-baize covered table in the chapel, he gave the stu- 
dents biweekly instructions that were in accord with the width 
of his own culture and spirituality. They found him trenchant, 
witty and urbane, and they grinned a little, as students will, at 
his mannerism of putting on his pince-nez in moments of seri- 
ousness and then dropping it with a little jingle when he was 
amused or making an emphatic point. 

O'Connell's youth was also an asset. The students took his 
advice and correction as if it were from an older, interested 
brother. At first apprehensive when he joined them in walks 
and excursions, they learned to enjoy his good-natured com- 
panionship and wide knowledge of the riches of Rome and 

They were vastly pleased, too, when almost by a miracle he 
found and bought a summer villa for them the Villa Santa 
Caterina, adjoining the papal villa at Castel Gondolfo in the 
Alban Hills. 

Within two years, the Pope expressed his approval of Father 
O'Connell by making him a domestic prelate. The honor did 
not turn O'ConnelFs head, but it did mark him in Rome as a 
future celebrity in the American Church. People began to cul- 
tivate him; the cardinals of the Curia consulted him on ques- 
tions affecting the United States; the great Roman princely 
families received him into their homes; he was a respected 
guest of the enormously rich Americans who lived in the Holy 
City between visits to the spas of Europe. Though many of 
the latter were not Catholics, they came to admire the shy 
young prelate for his wit, urbanity and bottomless knowledge 
of history, which did so much to enliven their boredom. 

Music, which they all loved, was a further bond. On many 
occasions, the glacial atmosphere of puritanical politeness was 
warmed into a semblance of hilarity as their favorite mon- 
signor sat down at the Steinway grand and let his fingers ripple 
over the keys. 

Among O'Connell's closest friends was a young monsignor 


by the name of Rafael Merry del Val. By background and tal- 
ent, Merry del Val was destined for a great career in the Church, 
and his easy ways, facile English and charming personality, en- 
deared him especially to all the students of the North American 

After six years as rector of the college, Monsignor O'Con- 
nell was named Bishop of Portland, Maine. All his Roman 
friends rejoiced, though they realized how much they would 
miss his affable companionship. 

In May 1901, O'Connell was consecrated bishop by Cardinal 
Satolli in the splendor of the Corsini Chapel in St. John 
Lateran. The crowd of celebrities overflowed out onto the 
geometric floor of the great church as the long ceremony pro- 

The bishop's welcome in Maine was astonishing; the gover- 
nor gave an official reception in his honor, and Protestants and 
Catholics flocked to welcome him. The vast diocese soon felt 
the shock of his vigor and thoroughness as he visited every par- 
ish. Everyone was charmed with his masterly sermons. 

With the death of Leo XIII in 1903, Cardinal Sarto of Ven- 
ice became Pope Pius X, and Bishop O' Council's good friend 
Merry del Val was made Secretary of State. The effects of the 
appointment, as far as O'Connell was concerned, were soon 

On his first visit to the new pope, the Bishop of Portland was 
received with affection by a man who had few peers in unaf- 
fected warmth. Pius commended Bishop O'Connell for his good 
work and presented him with an exquisite reliquary of the true 

At the end of the audience, the Pope said, with a beaming 
smile, "You are young and strong, dear Bishop. Soon we shall 
have a great deal of work for you to do/' 

In the following year, Pius fulfilled his promise by appoint- 
ing Bishop O'Connell papal envoy to the Emperor of Japan. 
The appointment was a shrewd one. In the recent Russo- 
Japanese War in which the United States had exercised a 
benevolent neutrality toward the Japanese Americans had 

William Cardinal O'Connell : 93 

achieved a certain popularity among them. Yet the termination 
of war had led to an outbreak of violent hostility to all foreign 
missionaries, particularly those from Europe. 

The appointment surprised and terrified O'Conneli He had 
long been intrigued with the studies of Oriental art and cus- 
toms, and he realized, as few men in his time did, the impor- 
tance of maintaining face. It was easy to envisage how foolish 
he would look trying to keep his dignity while accommodat- 
ing his huge frame to floor mats and tiny furniture. The fear 
at once haunted and amused him during the long sea voyage 
with his secretary, Father Collins, and Father Supple of Bos- 

Upon his arrival in Tokyo, the bishop's fears melted away 
like swamp mist in the rising sun. A new liberal party under 
Prince Katsura had come into power while the papal legate 
had been at sea. O'Conneli was received with deference, his 
quarters were splendidly furnished in Western fashion, the 
German Ambassador loaned him a smart victoria with two 
spirited bay horses. 

On the day of his audience with the Emperor Mutsuhito, 
the glittering imperial carriage came for him. Resplendent in 
his full purple, the bishop, accompanied by his aides, swept 
across the moat and into the courtyard of the imperial com- 

Emperor and bishop liked each other at once; the exquisite 
politeness of the host was matched by the massive decorum of 
the visitor. All phases of Church problems were discussed 
through animated interpreters. As a mark of Mutsuhito's ad- 
miration, O'Connell was awarded a decoration the Grand 
Cordon of the Sacred Treasure and on his last night in Tokyo 
was entertained at a state banquet by Prince Katsura. The 
bishop drank a toast to his Sacred Majesty; Katsura returned 
the courtesy with a toast to the Pope. 

In his report to Pius X in Rome after returning from the 
Orient, O'Conneli gave the Holy Father an exhaustive descrip- 
tion of the state of the Church in Japan. One of his points 


recommended the establishment of a Catholic university in 

Two years later, Pius X established the school, which was 
placed in charge of the Society of Jesus, widely admired in the 
Orient since the days of Matteo Ricci. 

O'ConnelFs successful mission received an immediate re- 
ward. Merry del Val personally informed his friend that he 
had been appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Boston, with the 
right of succession. 

Archbishop Williams received his coadjutor on April 3, 
1906, in a brilliant ceremony at Holy Cross Cathedral. The 
aging prelate cordially welcomed his vigorous assistant. O'Con- 
nell, in his turn, offered the bishop his "complete devotion" 
and the 'loyalty of a son to his father." To the people and 
priests, he promised no copy of his great predecessor but "his 
simple self." 

The coadjutor had full need of his strength and courage. 
After a forty-year reign, Archbishop Williams was tired and ill. 
Almost immediately, he turned over burden after burden to 
his assistant. In a little more than a year he was dead, and 
O'Connell succeeded him on August 30, 1907. 

The new archbishop had, even as a young priest, chafed at 
the careless way in which the diocese was run. Archbishop Wil- 
liams had been a true father to his priests and people, but he 
had no mind for detail and was amiable to a fault. O'Connell, 
with his wide-ranging mind and directive talents matured in 
Rome at the American College, saw at once how much there 
was to do. He resolved to make the diocese a model based on 
the reform directives laid down by Pius X himself. 

It was a tough decision, and the archbishop carried it out 
with tough-minded objectiveness. In his memoirs, O'Connell 
minces no words about the incompetence and confusion he 
found, and he minced no words in making radical necessary 
changes. Many were hurt; many resented his efforts. 

One of his first acts was to place all charitable work under 
the direction of the Catholic Charitable Bureau. Within a few 

William Cardinal O'Gonnell : 95 

years, everyone was ready to commend his change. Expensive 
financing was cut to a minimum, overlapping efforts were ruled 
out, directorates were shaken up and reordered. The result was 
a comprehensive and practical effort that for the first time in its 
history met the social needs of the diocese. Institutions pros- 
pered and grew, and other bishops came to study O'ConnelFs 
plan and methods. 

Colleges, schools and parishes all felt the change. Whatever 
criticism the archbishop voiced, in retrospect at least, was seen 
to be constructive. New colleges sprang up like mushrooms. 
Boston College and the other educational institutions of the 
diocese found themselves with new plans and increasing funds 
with which to execute them. 

In emulation of Pius X, the archbishop found that charity 
begins at home; the chancery was efficiently reorganized, canon 
law was firmly enforced, the major seminary was refurbished, 
and plans for a minor seminary took shape. 

On the purely spiritual front, the archbishop aided the Pas- 
sionist Fathers and the Ladies of the Cenacle in opening re- 
treat houses to which men and women could retire for an eval- 
uation of their faith and devotion. In his own mind this was 
one of the most important moves in his long reign. 

So wide was the swath cut by the Archbishop of Boston, so 
great was his impact on American life, that few were surprised 
when he was summoned to Rome for the reception of the red 
hat in the autumn of 1911. The cardinal-elect was not yet fifty- 
two years of age, a fact that gives us some measure of his stature 
as a prelate. Rome does not move with haste. 

Boston took the new honor and the man to her heart. The 
respect and admiration for his native talent and dynamism 
were now lifted into adulation. The cardinal's word could 
make or break men in such an atmosphere. Politicians recog- 
nized this, and even the redoubtable Curley walked softly in 
the great presence. 

The people realized that the cardinal was firmly on their 
side and that all his labors were for them and the Church. At 


heart he was the boy who sat at his mother's feet and wished 
Catholics to be a shining light to a culture that had once de- 
spised and underestimated them. He was jealous for them with 
the jealousy of Jehovah for his chosen people. 

With the death of his beloved Pius X in August 1914, Car- 
dinal O'Connell moved heaven and earth to get to Rome in 
time for the conclave. His ship rushed toward Italy under full 
steam, and the Italian Government put a fast train at his dis- 
posal in Naples, but he refused it and elected to go by car. 

The effort was in vain. Cardinal O'Connell, along with Car- 
dinal Gibbons, arrived shortly after the voting was over. The 
learned Delia Chiesa had been elected and had chosen the 
name of Benedict XV. For O'Connell there was only one can- 
didate, his great friend Merry del Val. It cannot be doubted 
that O'Connell's enthusiasm for his candidate led him to hope 
that his presence might have swayed the election. But Thomas 
Morgan's somewhat gossiping Speaking of Cardinals has mag- 
nified the disappointment beyond reasonable limits. O'Con- 
nell did strongly protest to the new pope that more time than 
ten days should be allowed for the arrival of distant cardinals. 
He might utter his discontent in a moment of pique, but he was 
far too shrewd to put himself in the position of becoming per- 
sona non grata at the papal court by casting doubt on the wis- 
dom of the election. 

Yet he sensed a change in the climate with Merry del Val's 
pseudoretirement. Never again would he have the sense of 
complete confidence in being at the heart of things in formu- 
lating Church policy. Later still, with the appointment of 
Bishop Spellman as his auxiliary, the cardinal felt himself 
supplanted by one who far outshone him in influence with the 
papal Curia. 

Beyond such clashes of personality was the enduring reality 
of Boston. In the thirty years that remained, Cardinal O'Con- 
nell became a symbol of the new Boston that had come into 
being. It was not by chance that the wits among the Irish, tra- 
ditionally "agin the government/' gave him the title of "Num- 

William Cardinal Q'Connell : 577 

her One." It was well merited. No single man of his time had 
done such outstanding things for so many people in Boston. 

Every phase of Catholic life was ordered and organized. The 
guilds for professional men beginning with St. Luke's guild 
for doctors came into being, and guilds for social service 
workers and business people soon followed. The old medieval 
pride in craft and profession which the cardinal so warmly ad- 
mired in his study of history became a living modern reality 
under the moral leadership of the Church. 

The apostleship of the word was always near to the cardi- 
nal's heart. Few prelates of his time equaled him as a pulpit 
orator; fewer still had his complete understanding of the im- 
portance of communication and dialogue. 

Early in his reign, he bought the Boston Pilot, made famous 
by John Boyle O'Reilly, and turned it into one of the finest 
diocesan newspapers in the United States, 

From his experience as a lecturer in the Catholic Summer 
School, he organized a lecture bureau and the Catholic Truth 
Guild. By these means, the public was positively educated in 
Catholic belief and practices. In the light of such truth, many 
prejudices and old wives' tales withered and died. 

Some of the cardinal's outstanding social improvements are 
well worth remembering. Through his Guild of St. Apollonia, 
he provided adequate dental care and supervision for all the 
parochial schools of the diocese. In the Catholic Guild for the 
Blind, he was even more of a pioneer. In cooperation with 
the famed Perkins Institute, he immeasurably furthered the 
teaching and care of the blind for the entire United States. 

His diocese was his main preoccupation, yet there was noth- 
ing provincial about the man. In the struggle for Irish self- 
determination, he spoke out forcibly and bluntly for his people 
and lent his enormous prestige to the collection of funds 
through which this struggle was brought to a triumphant end. 

The width of his love for all was demonstrated amply dur- 
ing the terrible influenza epidemic of 1918. Without a mo- 
ment's hesitation, the cardinal turned the seminary, colleges 


and many other Catholic institutions, into infirmaries for the 
sick and dying, without reference to creed or color. 

O'Connell was equally alert in seeing the need for mission- 
ary activity in the great world that did not know Christ. The 
Society for the Propagation of the Faith was strengthened under 
the inspired direction of Father Gushing, and its fund-raising 
activities were notable among the generous charity of a gener- 
ous nation. Vocations for the missions were constantly and intel- 
ligently fostered. Father James A. Walsh, a priest of the diocese, 
was encouraged to found the Foreign Mission Society, which has 
become the miracle of Maryknoll. 

As a man, Cardinal O'Connell was basically gentle and 
fatherly with all those who appreciated those fundamental vir- 
tues. When crossed or opposed, he could be truculent and pu- 
nitive. The rules he made were strict, and he permitted no 
exceptions. Those who saw him in the company of the cultured 
and witty beheld the complete man; his knowledge and appre- 
ciation of art, music and literature were both deep and wide, 
his conversation had a tinge of droll humor, and his phrasing 
was worthy of a salonnier. 

One must read his autobiography to savor his sentimental 
side the powerful love he had for his mother, Our Lady and 
his dearest friends. The record is an honorable one that any 
man could be proud of. He wore neither his faith nor his pa- 
triotism on his sleeve, but evidence is there for both, massive 
as stone. 

The cardinal was a brilliant pianist. He could compose mu- 
sic as well, and was a fair poet, as several good hymns bear wit- 
ness. In his later years he spent many quiet hours at the piano, 
living over again the joys of his youth. One wonders if his tre- 
mendous bulk in those years was not an annoyance and a cross 
to one who had climbed mountains with his brood at the North 
American College and had shown competent horsemanship as 
he galloped through the meadows on his pony Billy. 

In his last illness, the indomitable cardinal fought bravely 
against the pneumonia that threatened his life. He was eighty- 
five, the wonder drugs had not been discovered, the struggle 

William Cardinal O'Connell : 99 

was one of the few he had ever lost. Death came on April 22, 
1944. The cardinal was conscious to the end, answered the 
prayers for the dying and gave a final blessing to the faithful 
members of his intimate household. 

In a sense, his funeral was the triumph of his life. The eulo- 
gies poured in, the tears flowed, thousands upon thousands 
came to look upon him and do him reverence. What he had 
accomplished was the living memorial. 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty 

THE year 1865, despite the close of the Civil War, was a year 
of sorrows. In April, the flags of the whole land were at 
half mast as the crepe-decked mourning train bore the body of 
Abraham Lincoln to his last resting place on the green prairie 
of Illinois. 

Later in the same month, the steamer Sultana exploded on 
the Mississippi River. Seventeen hundred men of the 2,300 on 
board perished; sadder still, they had been returning home 
from gray days in southern prison camps. 

In the quiet Pennsylvania Dutch towns above Allentown, 
the black-bordered newspapers heralding these events were 
reverently folded and put away in tin trunks for future gen- 
erations. The war years had brought considerable affluence to 
the district; the need for coal and iron in the pursuit of victory 
provided work for everyone and brought to the old-fashioned 
towns and villages new names and faces, many of them Irish. 

Among these emigrating from County Mayo, were Patrick 
Dougherty and his wife Bridget Dougherty. To them, the year 
1865 was irradiated with quiet joy in the birth of their son 
Dennis on August 16 in the village of Homesville. The village 
scarcely deserved that title, since it was a collection of a dozen 
frame houses in the environs of Girardville, most of whose in- 
habitants were in some capacity attached to the anthracite mines 
of Schuylkill County. 

The Irish were an ambitious lot, fiercely determined to give 


Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 101 

their children every possible advantage in the land of their 
adoption; they were ardently religious and depended for ad- 
vice on Father Michael A. Sheridan, Pastor of St. Joseph's 
Church in Girardville. 

It was Father Sheridan who baptized Dennis and in the 
years of his early growth detected in the stern-mouthed boy 
with the dark hair a quickness of mind and will and a devotion 
to his duties as altar boy that marked him as a candidate for 
the priesthood. 

The record of those early years is a thin one. We know that 
the sturdy boy attended the public school in nearby Ashland 
until the age of ten, and after that went to high school in 
Girardville until 1880. In that year, at the age of fourteen, Den- 
nis applied for entrance into Overbrook Seminary. 

The seminary authorities considered him too young for ad- 
mission, but Archbishop Ryan, who knew a promising young 
man when he saw one, sent the boy to St. Mary's College, which 
was run by the Jesuits, on Bleury Street in Montreal. 

The long train trip north was an exciting experience for 
Dennis; equally electrifying was the revelation of the cosmo- 
politan city with its ancient churches and culture, so different 
from everything he had known in the Pennsylvania hills. 

We have no record that he had difficulty adjusting to the 
ascetic life of dormitory and study hall and the strange ca- 
dences and complex verbs of the French language, but it can 
scarcely be doubted that there must have been initial moments 
of loneliness and discouragement, fought down and consumed 
in his driving ambition to learn everything he could with ut- 
most thoroughness. The fact that he was from a large family had 
prepared him for discipline and amiable fellowship. 

A solid grounding in the classics and a complete mastery of 
French that was to mark him in all the ensuing years had 
prepared Dennis to pass the entrance exams to Overbrook in 
1882. His record in these examinations was so brilliant that he 
was permitted to skip the first two years of training. In the 
three years of his residence in Overbrook, he easily surpassed 
everyone in his classes and proved himself a born leader. 


In 1885, Archbishop Patrick John Ryan did more than voice 
his appreciation by sending the stocky young man on a long 
slow sea voyage to Rome, where Dennis entered the North 
American College in September. 

The twenty-five-year reign of Leo XIII was just breaking 
into full flower. Once again the world was looking up to a pope 
who resembled in intellect, force and grace, the most admired 
popes in history. However, the anticlericals still were powerful 
in the Holy City, and it was with something of a shock that 
Dennis heard himself cursed by a cabbie or endured being 
spit upon by passing priest-haters. 

The North American College on Humility Street was a little 
cosmos of its own: bare in its cells and creature comforts, lovely 
in its baroque chapel, famous in its young rector, Monsignor 
Denis O'Connell, the intimate advisor and pawn-mover of Car- 
dinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland of St. Paul. One of the 
senior students of the college, a great broth of a man named 
William O'Connell, was senior prefect, directed the choir, and 
was said to have a brilliant future. 

To one of Dougherty's fierce ambition for self-improvement, 
Rome was heaven. There was a wealth of learning, culture and 
religious perfection waiting to be assimilated. He fell on his 
studies with zest, and in rambles about the city and its ancient 
churches, fairly crammed his mind with antiquity and beauty. 

Among the teachers at the Urban College one man stood out 
with unusual power Francis Satolli, who brought to his teach- 
ing of St. Thomas Aquinas inspired and eulogistic qualities 
that gave his lectures a pyrotechnic quality. Dougherty's ac- 
quaintance with Satolli ripened into an admiring friendship 
which lost no lustre through the years and was to play a large 
part in Dougherty's advance up the ladder of preferment. 

Those who knew Dennis best admired the tough quality of 
his mind; he examined ideas minutely from every side, was 
able to comprehend them in their totality and express them in 
excellent Italian, Latin, French or English. Scholarship was 
almost a mania with him, but he was equally dedicated to 
sports and the practical application of religious truths to life. 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 103 

Needless to say, he made an excellent record in his studies, 
which, a few weeks after his ordination on May 31, 1890, 
brought him the degree of doctor of divinity for work actually 
done and carefully examined. 

Ordination took place in St. John Lateran and was per- 
formed by Cardinal Parrochi, the fatherly vicar-general of Leo 
XIII. Father Dougherty found the devotion of his Roman years 
amply rewarded by special permission granted him to offer his 
first Mass at the hallowed altar of St. Peter's Chair. Bernini's 
baroque gloria above him was symbolic of the transcendent joy 
in the young priest's heart. 

It was almost with a sense of loss that he returned to the raw 
power of the American melting pot, with its striking exuber- 
ant roughness and fluctuating financial health. The very year 
after his return to Philadelphia, the Bank of America failed, 
causing the failure of several other banks and the American 
Insurance Company, 

The reunion with the family in Girardville was a happy one 
for the young doctor. The Irish community turned out to a 
man for his first Mass and reception. They all felt a surge of 
prideful joy that one of their own had reached such a towering 
eminence of place and learning at the age of twenty-five. 
Friends and neighbors had a thousand questions to ask about 
the great Pope Leo, whose oleograph picture hung in most of 
their lace-curtained parlors. 

Bishop Ryan appointed his glossy young doctor of divinity 
to a professorship at St. Charles Seminary in Overbrook, where 
he was to remain for thirteen years. We can gain some idea of 
the range of Dr. Dougherty's talents when we discover that at 
different periods he taught Greek, Latin, French, Hebrew and 
dogmatic theology. 

Students found him strict and demanding. He did not toler- 
ate fools gladly. Lack of preparation or excuses were met with 
his favorite maxim, Labor vincit omnia (work conquers every 
difficulty), enunciated with the dead-pan humor of a Chinese 
sage. They respected him for his scholarly solidity not with- 
out charm that demanded their devotion and best efforts. 


That it was no mere pose, they could see from his own daily 
devotion to books and mental tasks that often appeared in 
scholarly articles in learned Catholic journals. 

During his teaching years, Dr. Dougherty saw the last bat- 
tles being fought by Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Ireland 
and their supporters, for a liberal American Church well- 
disposed toward labor, the public schools and ardent patriot- 
ism, as opposed to transplanted nationalism. The furor over 
false Americanism was hotly debated; Dr. Dougherty was on 
the liberal side himself, though his liberalism was tempered 
by his deep knowledge and wide experience of the Roman out- 

Another event not so closely connected with his scholarly 
preoccupations, but central in the effect it was later to have on 
his life, was the Spanish-American War. The United States was 
in a jingoistic mood that crystallized into belligerence with the 
sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898. 
The war was soon over, but it left the United States with head- 
aches that were to persist for many years to come, and it sad- 
dled the country with an imperialist reputation that still 
haunts us throughout the world. 

One of the worst headaches at the turn of the century was 
the Philippines. We had annexed them from Spain and were 
trying to pacify the Islands whose guerillas were fighting us as 
they had once fought Spain. 

As is usual in such a disturbed situation, the Church is the 
first sufferer. The natives mistrusted and persecuted their 
Spanish bishops of the old regime, and the result was religious 
chaos. Rome saw with hard-headed realism that it would be 
necessary to replace the Spanish prelates with American bish- 

Dr. Dougherty was the first to be chosen for appointment 
to the ancient diocese of Nueva Segovia at the north end of 
Luzon, with its capital at Vigan, about twenty-seven miles from 
Manila. The announcement of Bishop Dougherty's elevation 
came to Archbishop Ryan by telephone at Overbrook on the 
Tuesday of Holy Week, April 7, 1903. With some astonish- 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 105 

merit, he walked into Dr. Dougherty's study with the news. 
"You've been appointed bishop of Nueva Segovia in the Philip- 
pines. Do you accept?" he inquired in his booming voice. "You 
must be quick about it. The delegate is waiting for your an- 

Father Dougherty paled. "May I have a few moments to 
pray in the chapel?" he asked. 

Permission was granted, and the archbishop waited out the 
short interval until his return. 

"Your Grace/' Dougherty said, with a slow seriousness that 
implied all he didn't know about his new assignment and its 
difficulties, "a priest should always obey the Holy See. I will 

The bishop-elect was summoned to Rome for his consecra- 
tion at the hands of Cardinal Satolli, who had obviously played 
a large part in Dougherty's nomination for the post. 

It is some measure of the esteem in which Dr. Dougherty 
was held throughout the diocese that in the brief interval be- 
fore his departure for Rome the archbishop and the priests of 
the diocese gave him a dinner at St. Malachy's Rectory and 
presented him with a check for f 11,000 to which was added a 
second check for $550 from his friends among the laity. 

Two days later, Dr. Dougherty sailed to Rome from New 
York on the liner St. Paul. 

The consecration ceremony took place in the beautiful basil- 
ica of Sts. John and Paul, not far from Santa Maria Maggiore. 
In keeping with Rome's habit of dramatizing and inspiring 
her promising sons, the ceremony was carried out with splen- 
dor in the Chapel of St. John of the Cross, founder of the Pas- 
sionists and one of the greatest missionaries of modern times. 

It was a happy thought, for the young bishop was to find in 
the Philippines a set of circumstances that would have discour- 
aged anyone but the most dedicated and virile type of priest. 

Bishop Dougherty, thoroughly briefed and instructed, re- 
turned to the United States as speedily as the times permitted. 
Archbishop Ryan generously allowed him to recruit five priests 
as the core of his faculty in attempting to rebuild his ruined 


seminary in the Philippines. With canny wisdom, the bishop 
chose Fathers Daniel J. Guercke, John B. McGinley, James J. 
Carroll, James B. McCloskey and Edgar W. Cook. Except for 
Father Cook, who died a few years later in Philadelphia, all 
were to become bishops, either in the Philippines or in the 
United States. 

Throngs of priests and people milled about the railway sta- 
tion on August 24, 1903, as the little band waited the depar- 
ture of the Pittsburgh Express. 

At last they were off in a flurry of cheers and good wishes 
for the trip to San Francisco. There were a few days for sight- 
seeing and visiting friends before departure from San Fran- 
cisco on the S.S. Corea on September 3. 

During every spare moment on the long voyage across the 
Pacific, the bishop paced the deck with a small Spanish gram- 
mar clutched in his big hands. There was much laughter 
among his confreres as they tried to match him in their under- 
standing and pronunciation of the language. 

The trip was far from being all work and no play; they en- 
joyed shuffleboard and other deck games, and joined in the 
concerts and merriment customarily found on shipboard, where 
people feel drawn swiftly together by the limited space and the 
loneliness of the sea about them. 

The bishop and his priests left the Corea in Hong Kong, pro- 
ceeding to Manila by smaller steamships. News of their arrival 
on October 6 had preceded them; the dock was crowded with 
American and Filipino celebrities led by Archbishop Guidi, 
Apostolic Delegate to the Philippines. Bands of school chil- 
dren waved tiny flags and sang out a shrill welcome. For about 
two weeks, the bishop and his group saw the sights of the big 
city, rested, and were carefully informed about the colossal 
tasks that awaited them in Vigan. 

Yet in spite of the thorough briefing, they were hardly pre- 
pared for the reality they found on October 22, 1903, as Bishop 
Dougherty entered Vigan and took formal possession of the 
Diocese of Nueva Segovia. The cathedral was scarred by war 
and sadly in. need of repairs, both outside and in. The bishop's 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 107 

house was in fairly good condition, but it had been entirely 
stripped of its furnishings, and the chapel had been used to 
stable a native general's horse. 

The large seminary was in a state of complete disrepair; it 
had been despoiled of all its furnishings, and the many books 
in its excellent library had been appropriated by native shops 
and stores as wrapping paper. Bishop Dougherty was appalled, 
but he had not changed much from the stern-mouthed boy of 
his childhood. "It will improve/ 7 he said. "We'll beat it." 

It wasn't merely repair of diocesan buildings of which he 
spoke. The native war against the Spanish, which had been go- 
ing on for years, had unleashed a spirit of rebellion among the 
native clergy. One of them, Father Gregory Aglipay, had gone 
into schism with large numbers of his followers, and had taken 
over a great many church lands and buildings. 

On his first visitation, Bishop Dougherty had doors slammed 
in his face and was threatened with bodily harm; he also found 
some of the half-ruined churches locked against him. First at- 
tempts to recover alienated property proved abortive. He next 
brought pressure to bear on the United States Governor in 
Manila, William Howard Taft, who advised him to resort to 
the court for redress. 

It was first proposed that the bishop be prepared to prove 
Church ownership of the project involved, which he shrewdly 
rejected, maintaining that in justice it was Aglipay and his 
group who were the aggressors and must show title for the 
property they had taken. The United States Government in the 
Islands and the courts accepted the bishop's summary, and 
after years of protracted litigation most of the stolen lands 
and buildings were returned. 

Bishop Dougherty quite unashamedly begged from every 
important person and organization he knew in the United 
States. Among his greatest American benefactors was the young 
Extension Society which on one occasion cabled him a large 
sum of money it was not quite sure it had in the treasury. Also, 
despite the explosive quality of Filipino emotion, Bishop 
Dougherty was fearless in approaching personally every fam- 


ily in Vigan that was financially able to help the work of res* 

Gradually things began to fall into shape. The cathedral was 
repaired and beautified; pastors were found and trained for 
work in no parishes. The once-flourishing academy for girls 
was restaffed by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres and soon 
attracted the daughters of all the responsible families. 

Best of all for the future, the seminary was thriving. During 
the war and first pacification of Luzon, American troops had oc- 
cupied the building. The United States Government appro- 
priated generous damage funds that helped the institution to 
new life and health. Compensation was also made for the 
church buildings damaged in the war. 

The sorties to the courts in Manila and the demanding paper- 
work and correspondence of the large diocese were all done 
under the most trying conditions, between diocesan visitations 
by boat and horseback. 

We can gain some idea of the bishop's stamina and labor if 
we recall that on one extensive visit he confirmed 70,000 people 
in a matter of weeks. Furious heat, towering mountains, cloud- 
burst rains nothing deterred him. He had the stamina and 
dedication of the greatest missionaries. 

The crown of the bishop's work in Nueva Segovia came in 
the convocation of the provincial council of Manila in 1907, 
which he had largely inspired and prepared. Abuses and prob- 
lems of the province were debated, new rules of conduct were 
drawn up, and a plan of action was laid out for the future. 

Near the end of the year, Bishop Rooker of the large Jaro 
Diocese in the middle islands died. Rooker had been conse- 
crated in Rome the same morning that Bishop Dougherty had 
received consecration, and though he had accomplished much, 
he lacked the driving energy of the Bishop of Nueva Segovia. 
On April 19, 1908, the Holy See asked Dougherty to move up 
to the larger see. It was in a sense a promotion, but the prob- 
lems to be solved were far greater than the honor involved. 

The bishop wouldn't have been human if he hadn't com- 
mented to himself and intimates about the "willing horse," 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 109 

but he accepted the new burden with the suavity that charac- 
terized him all his life. Besides, he had grown fond of these 
people; they were quick to hate, but equally quick to love, and 
their needs cried aloud for the help he could give them. 

There were over 1,500,000 Catholics in Jaro, with only 52 
diocesan priests and 72 priests of religious orders. Over half the 
parishes were without pastors. Illoilo welcomed the new bishop 
with joy. He spoke to his new flock fluently in Spanish, was 
affable, loved their children, and several times went to the 
United States to raise large sums of money for diocesan building 
and charities. 

In the seven years in Jaro, he found pastors for most of the 
parishes even from as far away as Mill Hill in England built 
schools and thirteen new parishes, beefed up the seminary and 
academies of the diocese, and visited even the most distant bar- 
rios and the long-forsaken leper colony. 

Both the bishop and his people were proudest of all of the 
large new hospital built in Illoilo, and staffed by the expert 
Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres. 

On the occasion of Bishop Dougherty's silver jubilee on May 
31, 1915, Jaro turned itself inside out to honor its shepherd. 
In the pale green of first dawn, exploding firecrackers an- 
nounced the beginning of the great day. For the Solemn Pon- 
tifical Mass in the cathedral, the best musical talent in the 
Islands had combined with memorable results. All elements 
of the community were represented, whether Catholics or not, 
and the Illoilo Enterprise-Press, in a glowing front-page article, 
paid tribute to Bishop Dougherty for his zeal, amazing accom- 
plishments and sterling manhood. The day ended with a grand 
reception and a brilliant display of fireworks embroidering the 
black velvet of the tropic sky. 

In reply to the outpouring of extravagant praise, Bishop 
Dougherty replied briefly in Spanish, deprecating his own ef- 
forts, gracefully passing the credit to his priests, Sisters and the 
entire community. The great throng gave the speech a stand- 
ing ovation of cheers and applause. 

The Enterprise-Press had voiced the hope of Jaro that 


Bishop Dougherty would still be among them for his fiftieth 
anniversary. Rome decreed otherwise. Advice came by wire 
from Philadelphia, on Tuesday, November 30, 1915, that Bene- 
dict XV had appointed Dougherty Bishop of Buffalo, New 
York, to succeed Bishop Charles Henry Col ton. 

The news caused consternation in Jaro. There were affect- 
ing farewells. The bishop himself was sad to leave his warm- 
hearted flock; he could remember with a grimace the hard days 
of endless confirmations as the perspiration rolled down his 
face in rivers, but he also remembered the beautiful soft faces 
of the country district children who had followed him, ador- 
ingly clutching at the hem of his cope and even the staff of his 
crozier. The bishop realized, too, that it would be a tonic shock 
to be shifted from this lush green paradise to one of the windi- 
est and coldest cities in the United States. 

Buffalo welcomed Bishop Dougherty with northern verve and 
vigor. On May 16, 1915, when he was installed in his beautiful 
cathedral by Cardinal Farley of New York, 50,000 men es- 
corted him to his residence. 

The new bishop, despite the cold, threw himself into the 
work of the diocese with almost shocking completeness. A 
quick survey showed him that there were many things to be 
done. The chief problem was the diocesan debt over $1,600,- 
ooo most of which had been spent on the lovely new Cathe- 
dral of St. Joseph with its rumors of Chartres and San Marco 
in Venice. From hard experience in the primitive atmosphere 
he had known, the bishop saw only too well that a debt-ridden 
bishop is unable to meet the challenge of new situations or the 
demands of service to his people. 

In a straightforward series of affable meetings with all the 
pastors of the diocese, Bishop Dougherty informed them that 
each parish would be assessed a tax in keeping with its size and 
means, which would be used to pay off the debt and meet the 
needs of expansion. 

In the two remaining years of his tenure of office as Bishop 
of Buffalo, he began the complete reorganization of the Cath- 
olic schools and charities, established fifteen new parishes, and 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : in 

freed the diocese of debt. When the United States entered the 
First World War, he ardently supported the drives and social 
services with speeches and personal appeals. 

On May i, 1918, Benedict XV promoted Bishop Dougherty to 
Philadelphia, to succeed Archbishop Prendergast, who had 
died. Bishop Dougherty was the first native son to become 
archbishop of the see. 

Buffalo was sorry to see him leave, but the City of Brotherly 
Love outdid itself to welcome its distinguished new leader on 
July 9, 1918. From every section of the huge diocese came large 
delegations; all of the numerous national groups and parishes 
were represented. Some brought their own bands and choirs; 
all bore resplendent banners and service flags. 

At 6:45 P.M., the church bells pealed out a call to assem- 
blage. The bishop's special train arrived at 8:27, and an enthu- 
siastic reception took place on the flag-decked platform. A 
procession of seventy-five cars formed and proceeded along 
Broad Street through six miles of cheering people. The press 
of excited crowds was so thick that police lines were broken and 
the archbishop did not reach his residence on Race Street un- 
til 11 P.M. Visibly affected, he thanked everyone for the 
warmth of his welcome in words of sincere simplicity: 

"I am very glad to be in Philadelphia after an absence of 
many years. I do not know of any place in the world where I 
would rather live than among the good people of Philadelphia. 
I am especially gratified with this splendid, but unmerited, re- 

The scenes of enthusiasm were duplicated on the following 
morning with the formal installation of the archbishop in his 
cathedral. The big church was jammed; thousands were massed 
outside in Logan Square and on the parkway. 

The ecclesiastical procession from the rectory to the cathe- 
dral was of great splendor. Spectators pushing against the bar- 
riers pointed out the famous figures of the hierarchy as they 
passed, and a loud cheer went up when the frail crimson-clad 
form of Cardinal Gibbons was recognized. 

The cardinal installed the archbishop in the gracious old 


ceremony and paid high tribute to his talents and labors in the 
mission field. In reply, Archbishop Dougherty, after thanking 
everyone for their part in the ceremony, went out of his way to 
voice a panegyric to the cardinal, as the chief architect of the 
Church in America. 

For days after, there were banquets, speeches and visits of 
ceremony. Among these, a visit to Girardville evoked a new 
peak of enthusiastic response. 

The cardinal's sisters and two of his brothers had attended 
the ceremonies in Philadelphia. Once again they were at his 
side, and when the long reception was over, they escorted their 
distinguished brother to the frame house in which his aged 
mother waited with the warmest welcome of all. 

The archbishop began a careful survey of his diocese and its 
needs. Before it was well underway, the dread influenza epi- 
demic struck Philadelphia in 1918. The archbishop at once 
placed all the buildings and facilities of the diocese at the serv- 
ice of the city and state officials. Nuns and nurses worked 
around the clock, seminarians dug graves, every lay organiza- 
tion committed itself to the desperate struggle. When it was 
over, the mayor and governor paid the warmest tributes to the 
archbishop and his people. 

The end of the war, on November 11, 1918, brought many 
French and other foreign visitors who came to thank Philadel- 
phia and its archbishop for their generous charity. Among 
them was the noted Cardinal Mercier, Primate of Belgium. 

On Tuesday, May 6, 1919, the cathedral was again of city- 
wide interest as handsome and princely Apostolic Delegate 
Archbishop Bonzano conferred on Archbishop Dougherty the 
sacred pallium in confirmation of his authority. 

The archbishop was proceeding with a vast diocesan reor- 
ganization when, on February 13, 1921, the Philadelphia pa- 
pers' headlines announced Archbishop Dougherty's elevation 
to the College of Cardinals. Rejoicing at the news was state 
wide. Officials and men of all faiths took pleasure in the honor. 

The cardinal-elect, resplendent In a sleek silk hat and the 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 713 

glossiest of black kid gloves, embarked on the Nieu Amster- 
dam with his suite on February 19, 192 1. 

The papal Undersecretary of State came to the North Amer- 
ican College with the biglietto of nomination on March 7. For 
almost a week, the splendid pageantry of elevation to the Sa- 
cred College unrolled. After his reception of the great hat at 
the hands of Benedict XV on Thursday March 10, the cardinal 
sent two messages to his people, blessing them and referring 
the luster of the honor to his country, state, and all its people 
"irrespective of creed or race." 

Receptions and festivities of the most glittering kind fol- 
lowed until Palm Sunday, March 20, 1921, when Cardinal 
Dougherty took possession of his ancient titular church SS. Ne- 
reus and Achilleus. 

The cardinal participated in the ceremonies of Holy Week 
and had several audiences with the Pope. A dinner had been 
scheduled for Easter Monday, but it was canceled when the 
news of Cardinal Gibbons' death flashed over the wires. Car- 
dinal Dougherty at once issued a statement filled with praise 
of his friend, beginning with the words: "By the death of Car- 
dinal Gibbons the Church in America has lost one of the great- 
est men in its history, and our country a foremost citizen/ 7 

Cardinal Dougherty returned to the United States on the 
Olympic, to be greeted in a series of festivities and a torrent of 
praise such as few churchmen have ever received. His Eminence 
went through the barrage with serene good humor and con- 
tinued self-deprecation; he did not forget his mining ancestry. 
The final reception at Girardville topped everything in de- 
lirious joy. Seldom had a papal honor been so liberally shared 
by all from the governor to the humblest citizen. 

At the age of fifty-six, Cardinal Dougherty had moved from 
the poor mining section of Pennsylvania to the pinnacle of 
Church preferment. In his almost thirty-year reign as Phila- 
delphia's cardinal, he had reached the peak of service to his 
city, the nation and the world. 

In his sermon on the cardinalate on April 29, 1921, he had 


said: "Whilst exalting the office, let the man be humbled. Let 
him be filled with confusion that such as he should have been 
thought of for so high a place." This humble summation gives 
us a key to the cardinal's tremendous achievements over thirty 
years. He had been signally honored, but the honor demanded 
the utmost in service to the American Church and the Holy 

When Benedict XV died in January 1922, Cardinal Dough- 
erty hurried to the conclave. The S.S. Lorraine was delayed by 
storms, and the strong but scholarly Achille Ratti had already 
been elected pope by the time Cardinal Dougherty reached 
Paris on February 7. 

The new pope received the cardinal in several lengthy au- 
diences and promised that the papal constitutions would be 
changed so that American cardinals would be given sufficient 
time to take part in future conclaves. 

The cardinal celebrated his episcopal silver jubilee in June 
1922. Once again the hierarchy of the nation and officials of his 
state and city participated in a brilliant series of ceremonies 
culminating in the blessing of the magnificent new seminary of 
Saint Charles Borromeo which had been building for eighteen 

The day of dedication, Sunday June 10, dawned bright and 
clear as thousands of buses and cars converged on Overbrook. 
Sixty thousand men, marching sixteen deep, were led by 
contingents of the armed forces with flying banners, and twenty- 
five bands and drum corps passed by the cheering thousands 
along the way. 

Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Fumasoni Biondi blessed the 
Escorial-like gray granite buildings, the cardinal pontificated at 
the Mass in the superb chapel, and a luncheon for the distin- 
guished company was served in the refectory, with endless 
speeches and warm felicitations. Then admiring thousands in- 
spected the buildings. 

In the years that followed, everywhere the cardinal went in 
the United States and abroad on pilgrimages or required ad 
limina visits to Rome, he received top news coverage, notably 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 7x5 

at the eucharistic congresses in Chicago in 19256, Dublin in 
1932, and Budapest in 1938. 

Though only 5 feet 8 inches in height, he had a massive dig- 
nity. Along with his impressive appearance went a rangy mind, 
brilliant scholarship, and the ability to express himself in sev- 
eral languages all of which made him perennially popular. 

His reception in Eire was particularly warm, because of the 
large part he had played in helping Ireland achieve her inde- 
pendence. During the Black and Tan troubles after the First 
World War, the cardinal had permitted a collection in his dio- 
cese which had brought in almost $ 100,000 to support the 
Irish people in their struggle. 

Of all his appearances abroad, the most notable was at the 
eucharistic congress in Manila, which was in a sense his second 
home. The announcement by the press in October 1936 that 
Pius XI had chosen Cardinal Dougherty to be his legate a 
latere to the thirty-third eucharistic congress in Manila caused 
wide comment, since it was the first time an American had been 
selected for such a mission. 

Cardinal Dougherty journeyed to Rome with an imposing 
suite. All along the way he was treated like a reigning prince. 
Having received his instructions from the ailing pope, he took 
the S.S. Conte Rosso at Naples on June 10. The ship, which flew 
the papal flag, had been placed at the disposition of the legate 
and a huge throng of pilgrims. 

Twenty-one days later, the Conte Rosso sailed into Manila 
to a welcome that would have warmed the most jaded. The 
cardinal was one of their own; many remembered him and his 
labors for the Islands. Guns boomed, gaily decorated launches 
and boats shrilled horns and whistles, an enormous crowd, 
led by the president and all the dignataries of church and state, 
waited on the dock. Following the reception, the legate and his 
suite were housed in the presidential palace. 

Weather and the times had combined to make every act of 
the Congress a brilliant success. The huge amphitheatre at Lu- 
neta Park echoed to the hymns and prayers of millions led by 
their bishops from all over the Christian world. 


On Sunday, February 7, the climax of the devotion was the 
eucharistic procession. Two hundred thousand marched in 
groups through some 600,000 spectators. At 9:00 P.M., after the 
closing benediction, the voice of the Holy Father was heard 
giving his apostolic benediction to the assembled crowds. 

En route home on the Tatsuta Maru, Cardinal Dougherty 
stopped in Tokyo, where he was feted by the government and 
had a cordial audience with Emperor Hirohito. The cardinal, 
accompanied by the Archbishop of Tokyo and the apostolic 
delegate, visited the Shinto shrines and prayed for the Japanese 
servicemen buried there. This act put an end to a controversy 
that had troubled Vatican-Japanese relations for years. 

Another facet of Cardinal Dougherty's prominence on the 
world scene came from his early devotion to the Little Flower. 
Long before she was widely known, Bishop Dougherty had 
read her life with amazement and had espoused her cause. On 
his many trips to Lisieux, he came to know the Sisters of The- 
rese, and in visits with Pius X and succeeding popes had sup- 
ported her cause warmly. In time, everyone in and around 
Lisieux looked on the stout American prelate as the Cardinal 
of the Little Flower. From 1913 until the canonization of the 
saint in 1935, he made frequent trips to her shrine, and it gave 
him great joy to assist at the dedication of the great Basilica in 
Lisieux to which he had been a generous contributor in 

The world-wide prominence of Philadelphia's cardinal and 

his many journeys did little to slow his work at home. In all the 
years he lived at the cathedral rectory, he said the six-o'clock 
Mass and preached the Sunday sermon. Saturday afternoons 
and evenings saw him in his confessional, like any humble 

Everyone in his official family knew how hard he drove him- 
self in long hours of paperwork in the simple chancery, in pub- 
lic appearances, confirmations, church and school dedications, 
which were but a sampling of his labors. There was not a com- 
mittee for the cultural or physical welfare of his state and city 
that was complete without him. In great celebrations such as 

Dennis Cardinal Dougherty : 

the sesquicentennial celebrations of independence in 1926 and 
the adoption of the Constitution in 1937, he brought out the 
Catholics of state and city in thousands, to glorify patriotism 
and love of America. 

The first flock he had shepherded had been dark-skinned 
children, and he loved and tended them with a complete devo- 
tion that in his new eminence was channeled into massive aid 
for American Negroes and Indians. His encouragement of 
Mother Catherine Drexel in her apostolate, his massive aid to 
the Extension Society and the Indian missions, give us part of 
the magnificent story. More telling still was his encouragement 
of Doctor Anna Dengel and her associates in their Med- 
ical Misson Society with its headquarters at Fox Chase. The 
cardinal's two compelling memoranda moved the Holy See to 
open up a completely new field of missionary activity for Cath- 
olic women by granting qualified Catholic nuns permission to 
practice medicine. 

In the twenty-two crowded years as Archbishop of Philadel- 
phia up to the celebration of his golden jubilee, the accom- 
plishments of Cardinal Dougherty were more than remarkable 
by any standard of judgment. 

The statistics 106 new parishes established, 75 new 
churches built, 22 others renovated, 20 new ecclesiastical build- 
ings mostly for the wide-flung social services 146 new schools 
and academies, 7 homes for the aged, 7 orphanages, 3 retreat 
houses for women, i for men, and the magnificent new semi- 
nary, give us a paper view of the total. If to this we could add a 
visit to some of the outstanding colleges, hospitals, churches 
and academies, we would begin to comprehend the magnitude 
and the beauty of those years. 

The cardinal was a worker and always had been. In getting 
so much done, he ran his diocese according to strict rules. Be- 
cause of his own hard life as a youth and later as a missionary, 
he sometimes was impatient with the lack of results. He con- 
sidered young priests inclined to be pampered; the strict rules 
he made for them in regard to cars and other creature comforts 
were in their eyes old-fashioned and out of tune with a large 


diocese and the demands of the age. Yet they all took pride in 
his Eminence's accomplishments and the fact that he remained 
one of the most learned men of his time. 

It was with complete enthusiasm that they threw themselves 
into the celebration of his golden jubilee on May 30, 1940, 
an occasion that brought out one of the most notable gatherings 
of Church and state leaders that Philadelphia had ever seen and 
sparked effusive tributes, from the Pope to the humblest citi- 

At seventy-five, the cardinal looked young for his age and 
went through the tiring celebrations with zest, verve and flashes 
of notable wit. 

Few priests live to see their golden jubilee, and if they do, 
are of an age to accomplish little after it. The cardinal was 
more blessed in that he kept his drive and complete faculties 
for over ten years more. Quietly he went on planning and 
building. In his fine new home at 5700 City Avenue, fifteen 
minutes from the chancery, he was able to return to the pleasure 
of his books and the casual entertainment of his wide circle of 
friends and notable visitors. 

Death came on May 31, 1951, the day after he had celebrated 
his sixtieth anniversary as a priest; he had been a bishop for 
forty-eight years and a cardinal for almost thirty. 

Most of his contemporaries were dead, but the cardinal's 
standing and fame were as bright as ever for the thousands who 
came to do him honor in a last great burst of solemn pageantry. 

From earliest youth, he had been an outstanding intellectual, 
and to this he added the laurels of a great missionary and a cour- 
ageous and wide-visioned administrator. The parable of the 
wise use of the talents had been beautifully exemplified in him. 
For his Lord, he had multiplied his gifts a thousandfold. 

George Cardinal Mundelein 

IT may or may not be prophetic that George William Mun- 
delein, first cardinal of Chicago, and one of the greatest 
builders in the history of the Church in the United States, 
should have been bom just about a year after the "great fire" 
that almost completely destroyed the city. George's father Fran- 
cis Mundelein and his mother Mary were of solid German stock. 

The scene of his birth on July 2, 1872, was a tenement on the 
lower east side of Manhattan in a section occupied largely by 
Germans who had fled the militaristic atmosphere of their 
homeland. The section within a half-mile radius of Munde- 
lein's birthplace was noted for its crime rate. But the rain falls 
on the just and unjust, and the same circle was the nursery of 
many famous New Yorkers such as a Cardinal Hayes, Al Smith 
and many appealing figures of the American theatre. 

The Mundelein family was poor but respectable, with an in- 
tense German regard for cleanliness and hard work. They were 
quiet, deeply religious and fiercely patriotic, though part of 
their poverty stemmed from the fact that their grandfather had 
left his moderately successful business to enlist in the Union 
Army at Lincoln's intitial call for volunteers. Mundelein was 
the first man killed at the battle of Fort Sumter. The large fam- 
ily he left behind him was two generations recovering from the 


President Grant's election to a second term of office coincided 
with the birth of the cardinal One of the wonders of the world, 
the Brooklyn Bridge, was being built within earshot of the Mun- 
delein home. 

George began his education early at St. Nicholas' Parochial 
School which was staffed by the Sisters of St. Dominic. The boy 
was avid for learning and fairly raced through his tasks. 
Though he looked "amiable as an angel" in his altar boy's re- 
galia, his muscular solidity enabled him to take good care of 
himself in the rough-and-turnble life of the district in which 
"micks, wops, kikes and polacks" fought each other and oc- 
casionally united against the nativism of patronizing Protes- 

Through family sacrifice and his own initiative in finding odd 
jobs, George was able to enter De La Salle Academy on Second 
Street. The young man applied himself to his studies with 
genuine German determination and completed his course in 
record time. 

His notable sharpness and the interest of political friends 
led President Grover Cleveland to offer George a commission 
to Annapolis. It was a signal opportunity, but after contemplat- 
ing himself as a noted admiral in a cocked hat, George smiled 
wryly and refused the offer. Another calling had come to dom- 
inate his mind. 

Looking inward at himself and his heart-lifting religious 
orientation, and outward at the opportunities for distinguished 
service, George came to the conclusion that his talents and ideal- 
istic desire to serve his people could best be achieved in the 
priesthood. All through his childhood, at Mass and Vespers, 
he definitely had heard the call to the higher life. 

It was this decision, aided by the advice and example of the 
devoted nuns and priests he had known, that took him on to 
Manhattan College from which he graduated in 1889 at the 
youthful age of seventeen. 

George had already been "adopted" as a candidate for the 
priesthood by Bishop McDonnell of Brooklyn. Because of the 

George Cardinal Mundelein : 121 

boy's brilliant accomplishments, frank and engaging manners, 
and devotion to study, the amiable bishop came to take a per- 
sonal and special interest in him. 

As a result, George was sent on to St. Vincent's Archabbey 
near Beatty, Pennsylvania, for further study. Here in the idyllic 
calm and bracing air of the mountains, George kindled his ap- 
preciation of Benedictine scholarship and love of the liturgy 
for three years. His long walks through the winter forest and 
quiet hours in the great abbey church, listening to the monks 
singing the divine office in the moving melody of plain chant, in- 
tensified his love of the great artistic and philosophical heritage 
of the Church. 

In 1892, Bishop McDonnell placed his protege in the Urban 
College of Propaganda in Rome. The Mundelein clan thrilled 
at the appointment; George was the most thrilled of all. It 
seemed almost impossible that the innumerable exciting places 
he had read about would now become part of his daily life. 

It was with nervous excitement that he arrived at the North 
American College after a fascinating trip through France. His 
cell proved to be a large almost bare room, some twenty feet 
square, paved with worn and chipped bricks. A desk-bookcase of 
the most rudimentary sort, a rush-bottomed chair, a narrow iron 
bed with a straw-and-husk-filled mattress clothed in coarse 
white linen, and a rusty iron washstand completed its furnish- 
ings. There was no heat. 

His initial disappointment over these Spartan surroundings 
was swept away when he followed the line of cassock-clad stu- 
dents into the college chapel. Here all was exquisite perfec- 
tion. The wealth of antique marbles glittering everywhere in 
the walls and pilasters was caught up in the baroque glory of 
the porphyry altar with its unforgettable madonna smiling 
down at the students on their walnut kneeling benches. 

The tiny courtyard flanked by generous cloisters was also a 
delightful spot; songbirds loved its massed greenery. The peb- 
bled paths led to a graceful column topped by a statue of Our 
Lady of Wisdom at its center, like a small geometric exercise. 


At the base of the column, a tiny fountain sent up its pure jet 
with continual music. 

The hour of rising was 5:30. Morning prayers in the chapel 
were from 6 to 6:30, followed by a half -hour meditation, Mass 
and thanksgiving. After breakfast, which consisted of coffee 
and hard rolls, George helped clean his room and made the 
bed. At 8:30 he joined his group of ten for the march through 
the narrow streets to the College of the Propaganda. 

Classes were from 9 to 11, followed by an hour of study and 
a light lunch. There was a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament 
after lunch, then mail hour in the little garden, a time of ex- 
cited babble until the big bell jangled for the brief siesta. There 
were two more classes at the Propaganda late in the afternoon. 
For many students, the most interesting part of the day was the 
long two-hour walk to the most celebrated buildings and gar- 
dens in Rome. This was augmented by longer sightseeing ex- 
cursions on Thursdays, Sundays and holidays. 

Having grown accustomed to the heavy German meals of 
St. Vincent's Abbey, the light fare provided by the North 
American College bothered George in the beginning, but he 
got used to it. The first lean years under Monsignor Denis 
O'Connell were followed by better ones when Father William 
O'Connell of Boston arrived to direct the college. Under his 
thoughtful care, the food was considerably augmented and 
some small semblance of creature comforts were gradually in- 

Every day was a delight for the young man. Though he 
missed his family and friends, the challenge of studying under 
superb teachers and the living wealth of art, architecture and 
history spread out before him gave George a new concept of 
the Church. 

At home, everything was built to be replaced or thrown away; 
in Rome, the Church seemed to build for eternity. Churches 
and public buildings there displayed magnificence; no costs 
had been considered too great in achieving this perfection. It 
was a lesson Mundelein never forgot and one that was to in- 

George Cardinal Mundelein : 123 

fluence him profoundly in his important roles as bishop and 

There were other important social lessons to be learned as 
well At the Propaganda, his fellow students were of every race 
and nation: black skinned, yellow, brown, white, and every 
shade in between, yet they all got along together in peace and 
respected each other's culture in the complete democracy of the 
Church. They learned, played and prayed together. Without 
respect for the fatherhood of God, George saw, democracy was 
merely a name without genuine reality. 

The students at the college often joked about their uniform; 
the blue piping on the cassock, the red sash and gleaming 
white clerical collar were daily reminders of the red, white and 
blue of the national flag. They could joke about it, but the 
national colors they wore stimulated in them a pride in their 
appearance and conduct as they sauntered about the Eternal 

George's years in Rome were significant ones for the Church. 
Leo XIII had already issued his great encyclicals and was at the 
very top of his fame. Crowds of pilgrims came to receive a 
blessing from the great pope. When they first saw him, he 
seemed almost too fragile to be alive, but when his wide mouth 
smiled and his large, dark eyes flashed, it was easy to appreciate 
the warmth and depth of his personality. 

Leo had brought the philosophy of Aquinas back into vogue. 
Contemplating the perennial youth of the "angelic doctor" in 
his studies, Mundelein came to realize how necessary wisdom 
was in formulating any program that was to achieve success. 

Much was also to be learned from the celebrated visitors who 
came to the college on important occasions. The students were 
particularly attracted to Monsignor Merry del Val in whom 
they found brilliant inspiration. Though as impressive as the 
most handsome Renaissance prince, he had retained the easy 
informality of his English school days; not even the humblest 
student feared to approach him. They delighted in his perfect 
English, and it was whispered that his skill with a rifle was 
equal to that of Buffalo Bill. 


Normally, students at the college remained in Rome for three 
years and then were ordained by the cardinal vicar. At the end 
of his three years, George was ready for his ordination. He had 
attracted general attention because of his brilliant record, 
but the canonical age for ordination was twenty-four and George 
was only twenty-three. As a result, he had almost an extra year 
in Rome, during which he applied himself diligently. 

About a month before his twenty-fourth birthday, Bishop 
McDonnell arrived in Rome. A dispensation was granted 
permitting George to be ordained in advance of the required 
age. What was still more extraordinary was the fact that Bishop 
McDonnell had secured a further dispensation to ordain his 
protege instead of the cardinal vicar. 

The ceremony took place in the seclusion of the chapel of 
the Holy Cross Sisters. A few days after the young priest's first 
Mass, offered again by special dispensation, the bishop and 
Father George began their voyage back to the United States. 
After a triumphal and restful summer with his family, George 
became assistant secretary to Bishop McDonnell and went to 
live in the bishop's house. 

Responsibility and honor came to him within a few years. 
For a brief interval, Father George was in charge of the Lithu- 
anian Church in the Williamsburg district. A short time later he 
was made rector of the cathedral chapel, Queen of all Saints. 
During his time as rector, Father Mundelein was responsible 
for building the widely admired Gothic chapel and school. 
He chose Gothic because it was a pure style little known in 
America, but entirely in keeping with tradition and the mag- 
nificence he had come to appreciate in France. 

Two years after his ordination, at the age of twenty-six, Fa- 
ther Mundelein was appointed chancellor of the huge Brook- 
lyn diocese. A great many of its parishes were Italian, and their 
problems were many and acute. The young priest, with his sub- 
tle understanding of the Italian language and mentality, was 
able to settle many of the outstanding difficulties. His work 
proved valuable in providing a bridge between Italian folkways 
and American citizenship. 

George Cardinal Mundelein : 125 

Rome watched his rapid rise and shrewd judgment. In 1903, 
Mundelein became censor of the Liturgical Academy; in 1906, 
a domestic prelate o the Pope's household, with the title of 
Right Reverend Monsignor; and in 1907, a member of the an- 
cient academy of Arcadia because of his sparkling defense of 
Pius X's encyclical condemning Modernism. 

The busy monsignor was already a noted personage when, as 
the personal representative of the aged bishop, he arrived in 
Rome for the sacerdotal jubilee of Pope Pius X in 1908. Old 
Roman friends and acquaintances remarked on the monsignor's 
air of command and openhanded generosity. Merry del Val, 
who had become a cardinal and the all-powerful Secretary of 
State, was pleased to observe the vindication of his favorable 
first impression of the brilliant student. What the authorities 
were all saying privately was made public knowledge when the 
College of Propaganda honored the visitor with the degree of 
doctor of divinity. 

A year later, Monsignor Mundelein became Auxiliary Bishop 
of Brooklyn. Bishop McDonnell consecrated him on September 
21, 1909, and in the same year made him rector of the new 
preparatory seminary, Cathedral College of the Immaculate 
Conception, at the age of thirty-seven. 

In the six years between his consecration and his transla- 
tion to Chicago as archbishop in 1915, Mundelein endeared 
himself to everyone in the Diocese of Brooklyn. There was 
much regret and consternation at his departure. Admirers con- 
soled themselves with the thought of his rapid promotion to the 
higher office. 

George might well have trembled at the promotion. He was 
succeeding Archbishop Quigley, one of the most forceful bishops 
in the American hierarchy. The problems arising in the melt- 
ing-pot atmosphere of Brooklyn were slight compared to the 
social problems and the national rivalries in Chicago. But 
George loved problems; they challenged him, brought out the 
best in him. On previous visits, the breezy character of the 
people of the Windy City had charmed and impressed the young 
bishop. Their self-reliance, outspoken manners, and love of 


progress with no thought of the cost, were entirely in keeping 
with what he had seen o the Church in Europe, particularly in 

Headlines in all the papers and phalanxes of pictures 
marked the new archbishop's arrival. It was a case of love at 
first sight. Chicago was thrilled when the fair-haired young arch- 
bishop said: "I think Chicago is the greatest city in the world. 
The blood of New York flows in my veins, but it is no disloyalty 
that prompts me to voice my admiration for this my new city. 
It is such a mistake to say that New York is typical of the new 
world simply because it has so many nationalities repre- 
sented there. The foreigners in New York have not become ac- 
customed to their new country. They are Poles, Germans or 
Italians. They are not Americans. Chicago is a typical Amer- 
ican city. We have as many nationalities here as in New York, 
but they are Americans all. They have lost their hyphens. I 
have great faith in Chicago and expect to see it grow and pros- 
per every year." 

These words expressed perfectly the city's mood at the 
time. Great plans were in the air. Already the long reach of the 
Outer Drive, reclaimed from the waters of Lake Michigan and 
studded with beautiful parks, showed faint signs of the splendor 
which makes it one of the most beautiful avenues in the world 

Chicago had arrived. A group of Midwestern poets and 
writers, sparked by Harriet Monroe's magazine Poetry and in- 
cluding Carl Sandburg, Ezra Pound and Vachel Lindsay, were 
challenging New York. A man by the name of Frank Lloyd 
Wright was astonishing the world with "crankish" new con- 
cepts in architecture. North Shore millionaires were importing 
art by the carload. Despite the frenetic headlines reporting the 
inspiring words of Woodrow Wilson and the drift toward war, 
the talk was all of art and culture. 

However, the archbishop soon discovered that the beautiful 
face lifting of the Outer Drive and "Mich Boul" was a mask 
for fetid alleys and dark streets in which terrible social prob- 

George Cardinal Mundelein : 127 

lems cried for reform along the lines of the work already begun 
by Jane Addams at Hull House. 

At the civic dinner tendered the new archbishop, a hint of 
Chicago's sinister side emerged in the action of a deranged anti- 
clerical chef who seasoned the soup with a liberal dash of arse- 
nic. Fortunately, though many notable guests were made severely 
ill, no one died. 

Archbishop Mundelein threw himself into the reorganiza- 
tion of his diocese. Within a year, his plans had begun to take 
shape and direction. A board of school supervisors was ap- 
pointed to coordinate work in the diocese and schools. In No- 
vember 1961, the archbishop turned the first shovel of earth 
for the new preparatory seminary named in honor of Arch- 
bishop Quigley. Once again Mundelein chose Gothic as the 
style for the new chapel and school buildings. 

Education had been his first concern, but it was no nearer 
to his heart than his interest in social problems. The archbishop 
prompted the Knights of Columbus to sponser an institution 
for delinquent boys, and then prevailed upon important groups 
of women to establish clubs for working girls trooping into 
Chicago from all over the Middlewest. They came for many 
reasons, but what they often found was loneliness, boredom and 
a host of dishonest and greedy people who took advantage of 
their ignorance. The clubs offered them companionship, advice 
and the chance to meet better people. 

The archbishop displayed the same hard-headed realism in 
dealing with the girl delinquents sent by court order to the 
houses of the Good Shepherd. A scale of wages was set up for the 
various kinds of work, and most of the girls soon had sufficient 
savings to insure them a chance to begin a new life after their 
release from the protectory. Big-brother and big-sister move- 
ments were also encouraged. The accent of the first year was 
strictly upon youth, a lesson the archbishop had learned the 
hard way in the neighborhood in which he was born. 

In the second year of his reign, Archbishop Mundelein began 
the work of reorganizing the Catholic charities and strengthen- 


ing the already existing St. Vincent de Paul societies at the 
parish level. Over the years he gradually unified and financed 
ail charitable and social agencies under a single command. One 
of the splendid steps in the program was the establishment of 
the beautiful Misericordia Hospital for the relief and care of 
young mothers who could not afford the high fees charged by 
many of the big institutions of the county. 

The archbishop found a lack of opportunity for the higher 
education of girls in the diocese. At his invitation, Dominican 
Nuns from Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, founded Rosary College in 
River Forest; and nearer the city, where it would be con- 
venient for all, Mundelein College, under the direction of the 
Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. None of this was 
achieved in a vacuum. The work of the chancery kept the arch- 
bishop busy at his desk for many hours each day. There were 
endless meetings with important religious and civil committees 
and endless confirmations throughout the diocese. 

With the onset of war, Mundelein plunged into the Liberty 
Bond drives with a passion reminiscent of his grandfather's 
rush to the colors at Lincoln's call. In the third bond drive, 
the archbishop was largely instrumental in selling $6,000,000 
worth of bonds. The Secretary of the Treasury made it a point 
to stop off in Chicago in order to congratulate him. 

The archbishop worked on many levels including politics. 
Like Pius X in Mantua and Venice, Mundelein made his in- 
fluence felt at city hall and in Cook and Lake counties, both by 
declaration and act. Politics had always been a "dirty business" 
in Chicago, but it was a dirty business the people tolerated. 

By sheer charm and forthright action in word and deed, 
Mundelein worked for better government, yet his relations with 
the all-powerful Mayor Thompson and political bigwigs were 
usually good-humored, and on their side deferential. To the 
archbishop, politics was just another means to forward the work 
of the Church. Good relations with civil powers were often ad- 
vantageous in expediting transfers in building new parishes 
and in securing permissions of all kinds. The archbishop was a 
realist, and he played the game to the hilt. 

George Cardinal Mundelein : 

Among prestigious people like Samuel Insull and Potter 
Palmer, Mundelein's name had a special force and meaning. 
When the archbishop was on the bandwagon, the wagon rolled. 
The millionaires of the Gold Coast were quick to see the point. 
They found the archbishop useful; in turn, he found them 
valuable. In a city that admired optimism and big thinking, 
Mundelein charmed his gilded audience with grandiose plans 
that made them gasp and give. 

Preparations for celebrating the diamond jubilee of the 
archdiocese took shape in 1920. No one was surprised when 
the archbishop announced that the chief work of the jubilee 
would be the building of a major seminary at Libertyville on the 
shores of Lake Area. Mundelein's plans called for one of the 
largest and most comfortable seminaries in the world. There 
was wide rumor that it was to be built in Early American in- 
stead of in such traditional Continental styles as Romanesque 
or Gothic. 

The truth was that Mundelein's attitude toward architec- 
ture had changed. Summer vacations in New England had 
led him to admire the serene, pure style of the old churches he 
saw there, particularly the church at Lyme, Connecticut. It 
was this church the archbishop chose as his model for the sem- 
inary chapel. All the other buildings conformed with it. 

Mundelein was equally original in staffing his seminary. The 
administrative offices were held by diocesan priests; the faculty 
was composed entirely of Jesuits. The arrangement worked 
well, so superbly well in fact that Rome eventually granted the 
seminary the unusual privilege of conferring on special stu- 
dents the doctorate of sacred theology. And the town of Liberty- 
ville changed its name to Mundelein, a well-merited acco- 

In March 1934, Mundelein received notice of his elevation 
to the cardinalate, which he kept from the public until he could 
draft a pastoral letter to his priests announcing the honor. 
Chicago was widely excited at the news. Gifts and congratula- 
tions poured in, and the cardinal-elect departed for Rome in a 
cloud of newsmen. He was especially pleased that his bishop 


Mend of long standing, Patrick Hayes, was to receive the red 
hat at the same time. 

In this strictly American consistory, Pius XI went out of his 
way to declare that he was elevating the two archbishops to the 
Sacred College because of their own merit and his gratitude to 
America for her world-wide charities. 

In the ensuing ceremonies, Cardinal Mundelein, well quali- 
fied by long Roman training and observation, took the lead. 
His reply to the Pope was gracefully complimentary without 
overstating the many golden links that bound the United 
States to Rome and the See of Peter. 

Chicagoans followed every step of the proceedings in long 
front-page articles in their newspapers. By the time the cardinal 
arrived home on May 11, 19254, welcoming committees had 
worked themselves to a fever pitch. All the careful plans were 
nearly swept away in the shouting mobs of people who greeted 
their cardinal. Everyone wanted to see him, to touch him, to 
congratulate him. Police lines were broken, horns, whistles and 
clackers sounded in complete pandemonium. The cardinal ac- 
cepted the uproarious welcome and endless congratulations in 
a robust and delighted fashion that further endeared him to 
Midwestern hearts. There was no pretense about him; he ob* 
viously enjoyed the new honor and all the rowdy fuss. 

Just how much they loved him was concretely demonstrated 
two days after the cardinal's return at the conclusion of the 
Pontifical Mass of thanksgiving in the Holy Name Cathedral 
when his priests and people presented him with a check for 
1 1,000,000 for his new seminary. 

The new honor enhanced and solidified his status in the city 
and the entire Midwest. On notable occasions when he made a 
dramatic appearance in his brilliant moire silk with the grand 
cross of the Knights of Malta glittering at his throat, people 
were thrilled at the sight of the boy from poor circumstances 
who had risen to such eminence. The millionaires along the 
North Shore, many of whom had bought in England a portrait 
or two of some bogus distinguished ancestor to hang on their 

George Cardinal Mundelein : 

walls, were equally enthralled at the sight of the real prince in 
their midst. 

The cardinal's love of drama displayed itself in other ways. 
He was often late in starting out for important affairs. In fact 
some people referred to him (without malice) as the 'late 
Archbishop of Chicago." When he finally left his house, three 
of the police department's best motorcycle cops preceded his 
big black limousine. With sirens blaring, they whisked the car- 
dinal through every red light on the way to his destination. 

He had arrived home with a fabulous plan in mind. His grand 
designs for his people had been chiefly concentrated upon 
youth. Now he wished to provide an unforgettable inspiration 
for the young and all those who loved God. The cardinal's plan 
called for an international Eucharistic Congress to be held in 
Chicago in June 1926. It was going to be the most fervent and 
picturesque pageant in the history of the city. The cardinal 
talked of the plan with such vividness that everyone could al- 
ready see it coming to pass, but he left nothing to chance. Com- 
mittees were formed carefully, funds were raised, enthusiastic 
advance publicity was sent out over the entire world. Hotel 
space was carefully surveyed and reserved in advance. 

With the dawn of the summer of 1926, 1,000,000 Catholics 
had arrived in Chicago from almost every country in the world. 
Cardinal Bonzano, the Pope's legate a latere, was received in 
state, followed by the reception of eleven other cardinals by the 
time the week of devotion had come to its inspiring close. Three 
hundred and seventy-three bishops and archbishops added their 
brilliance to the occasion. Five hundred monsignori, 8,000 
priests and tens of thousands of Sisters in varying and pictur- 
esque garb engrossed the interest of Chicago. 

The congress was opened at a monumental altar in Soldier's 
Field. For days, pageant after pageant unfolded as the devoted 
delegates poured out their love of Christ in Eucharist hymns of 
praise. Ten thousand children sang the Missa de angelis with 
spine-chilling perfection on children's day. To the chagrin of 
some disturbed Protestants, Catholic news took over the front 


pages of all the newspapers. Reporters wore their adjectives 
thin in purple descriptions. 

The grounds of the seminary had been chosen for the final 
procession and pontifical benediction. Everyone trooped out 
to Mundelein to witness the event. The dense crowds massed 
on the bright expanses of grass watched the seemingly endless 
lines of lights and color as the procession moved along the 
flower-bordered paths and over the gently curving bridges. A 
great flame of massed cardinals preceded the legate carrying 
the monstrance under a splendid jeweled canopy of gold. A 
sudden drenching rainstorm marred the close, but failed to 
dampen the enthusiasm of those who marched and those who 
watched them. 

The resounding success of the Congress impressed Chicago 
with the cardinal's ability to do things in the biggest possible 
way. He was pleased with the tremendous devotion of his peo- 
ple and the cooperation of all those Catholics and non-Cath- 
olics who had aided him in achieving his goal. Best of all, he had 
proved to the timid and the doubters that there was a tremen- 
dous store of goodwill which the presence of Christ in the Eu- 
charist could bring out in the open for all the world to see and 
admire. Communism had done much to kindle the enthusiasm 
of its followers by staging public spectacles of all kinds. The 
innate shabbiness and brute force of materialism, with its miles 
of muscles and cannon, was shown up in the mounting waves of 
love for Christ which were at the very heart of the vivid 
pageantry in Chicago. 

On the cardinal's various trips to Rome, he always behaved 
in princely style. Honest need of any kind evoked from him an 
immediate and generous response. The restoration and refur- 
bishing of his titular church, his open-handed response to every 
papal charity, the financial aid he offered to indigent German 
bishops and many others after the First World War, gave Car- 
dinal Mundelein a special stature in the eyes of Rome. The 
rapidity with which he had built so many churches and schools 
at home and the splendor of the eucharistic congress led to the 
belief in the Eternal City that Mundelein was a genuine finan- 

George Cardinal Mundelein : 133 

cial wizard. It was this combination of magnificence, expertise 
and responsive affability which led Pius XI to ask him to finance 
the building of the new Urban College, one of the Pope's pet 

The cardinal enthusiastically fell in with the Holy Father's 
plan. A commercial loan for the project was easily floated in 
Chicago, and the work began. Mundelein was distinctly per- 
sona grata at the papal court, and everyone commented on how 
much at home he was there. Pius XI selected him to take his 
place at the Solemn Pontifical Mass on the day the superb new 
building was dedicated. The tribute was deepened during the 
ceremonies when the Pope suddenly appeared to congratulate 
Mundelein on the great part he had played in the joy of this 
"consoling day." It was the Holy Father's second appearance 
outside Vatican City since the settlement of the Roman ques- 
tion in February of 1929. 

The wearing business of directing his huge diocese did not 
distract the cardinal from his ability to look into the future. In 
1928, he chose Father Bernard Sheil as his auxiliary bishop. In 
the beginning of his priestly career, Sheil was rated as some- 
thing of a maverick. Actually he was a dedicated reformer who 
was consumed with rage at the many social ills confronting him. 
With his consecration, great things were accomplished. Notable 
among them was the establishment of the Catholic Youth Or- 
ganization in which Sheil gave the youth of Chicago and 
eventually of the entire country a rallying cry and virile outlet 
Eor their energy and frustration. The magazine Today was 
founded, and young people began to reveal their talents for 
leadership. The cardinal warmly supported Sheil. When men of 
all faiths combined to praise his auxiliary, Mundelein gracefully 
stepped aside to allow the bishop to accept the limelight and the 
richly merited praise. 

In forwarding the work of Mother Cabrini, the cardinal im- 
mensely aided another social reformer of top rank. He had 
been a friend of the saint in both Brooklyn and Chicago. When 
she died, the cardinal enthusiastically supported her cause, and 
It was with both joy and pride that he accepted the Pope's 


request to officiate at the glittering ceremonies of Mother 
Cabrini's beatification in 1938. 

The cardinal's vision, like his charity, was world wide. 
Chicago was his diocese, but this did not prevent him from di- 
recting his discerning vision elsewhere. This outlook led him 
to shore up the extension society founded by Bishop Francis 
Clement Kelly for helping the mission diocese and churches 
of the United States. The society was assured of solid growth 
and continuing influence with the consecration of Auxiliary 
Bishop William O'Brien in April 1934. Under his direction, 
Extension magazine began to speak to an ever-growing popular 
audience and the magnificent work of aiding the missions be- 
gan to reach a new peak of efficiency. 

The cardinal was fearless in his public attitudes which 
showed none of the fussy caution that usually goes under the 
name of prudence. Mundelein admired Franklin Roosevelt, and 
when the President came to Chicago to dedicate a bridge in 
1937, the cardinal entertained him at a formal luncheon. The 
two men joked about politics and discussed social legislation and 
the international scene, particularly the rise of Hitler in Ger- 
many. Earlier in the year, Mundelein had denounced Hitler's 
attempt to interfere with Catholic education in Germany a 
denunciation Pius XI viewed with distinct approval as an assist 
in the battle he was fighting against the "crooked cross." 

The following year, in January, in an address before a mas- 
sive Holy Name rally, Mundelein spoke out against employers 
who defrauded laborers of their just wages. He also spoke of 
Hitler's regime with scorn, and referred to him as a paper- 
hanger and "a poor paperhanger at that." The characterization 
evoked a great bubble of laughter around the world except 
in Germany. There the publicity machine of Goebbels, which 
had long specialized in the technique of the "big lie/* directed 
its fulminations against Cardinal Mundelein. The cardinal 
shrugged them off with a jest; the very fury of the outcry 
against him informed him more surely than words that his 
thrust against the insane regime had gone home. 

A new sign of the Pope's continuing favor was seen in the 

George Cardinal Mundelein ; 135 

appointment of Cardinal Mundelein as the Pope's legate to the 
eucharistic congress in New Orleans in October 1938. While 
en route to Rome to make his report after the congress, Mun- 
delein was invited to be President Roosevelt's overnight guest 
in the White House. The evening was spent in discussing the 
international situation and the possibility of diplomatic rela- 
tions between the Vatican and the United States Government. 
The talks eventually led to the appointment of a Chicago 
banker, Myron C. Taylor, as official observer at the papal court. 

On September 20, 1939, the cardinal celebrated the thirtieth 
anniversary of his consecration as bishop. Twelve nights later 
he was stricken with a massive thrombosis and died before the 
members of his household could be called. A hush of genuine 
sadness fell on the great city when the news was broadcast. 
Everyone lamented his death at the age of sixty-seven at the 
very zenith of his power and influence. 

As if to heighten the drama, Bishop Sheil went on the air in 
the evening. Laboring under the stress of shock so that his voice 
broke occasionally, he read the cardinal's message for the na- 
tional convention of the Catholic Youth Organization, written 
a few days before: 

Let there be no mistake about it. The supreme battle of the 
modern world is the battle for God and the moral law. There 
are powerful, well-organized forces in the world today which 
are aggressively and fanatically anti-God. The vast resources of 
many governments themselves are being employed to uproot 
from the minds and the hearts of people the sacred ideas of God, 
religion, and morality. 

We must mobilize a vast army of young women and young 
men who have an abiding faith in the highest, an endearing 
love for the best, who are willing to sacrifice all they hold 
dearest in life, and lay down life itself for the cause of God. 
They must be drilled and disciplined in the knowledge and 
love of God. They must see clearly that the highest, noblest, 
holiest service is the service of God. They must have the blazing 
conviction that the supremely imperative loyalty is loyalty to 
God and to His cause without which no other loyalty can long 


From the time long ago when he had dedicated himself to 
the priesthood and the service of leadership of his people, 
George Mundelein had never once looked back. He had spent 
himself completely in God's service, with no count of the cost. 
Not since the time of Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop 
Ireland had any prelate so thoroughly understood, long in ad- 
vance, the direction of events and the necessity of molding 

Chicagoans mourned him because they loved him. Time has 
put the stamp of greatness on his creation of the spiritual bul- 
warks that will enable our nation to endure. 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes 

PATRICK j. HAYES was born in Manhattan on November 20, 
1867. It was a time of turmoil for the United States. The 
reconstruction of the Union was underway, accompanied by 
bitterness, hatred and violence. The Ku Klux Klan rode 
through the southern states, and crosses flamed at night. In 
Washington, D.C. the unloved Andrew Johnson feuded with 
the Congress as he struggled to carry out the healing policies 
of Lincoln. 

New York City was going through acute growing pains. The 
stream of immigrants, slowed by the war, was again in full 
spate. Irish, Germans and Italians arrived in ever-increasing 
numbers. The reality they found in the city of their desire and 
dreams was shocking. Tenements were their homes; working 
hours, wages and conditions were inhumanly demanding; 
crime and vice flourished in the welter of alleys and saloons. 

The Civil War had created countless new fortunes and re- 
laxed morality. City and state governments were honeycombed 
with graft and corruption. The new magnates struggled with 
each other like robber barons fighting over enormous booty. 
Display and magnificence were their symbols. While the im- 
migrants huddled in their shacks and shanties in lower New 
York and along the East River, the new rich flaunted their af- 

In 1867, the year in which Hayes was born in a bleak tene- 


ment within the shadow of the city hall, there were 600 more or 
less, public balls. "The cost of these balls were estimated 
at $7,000,000, and the average cost of a gown was computed 
to be $1,000, not including jewelry." 

Observing this outer facade, one could hardly look forward 
to a glittering future for anyone born on the wrong side of the 
tracks. But life is not a mere mechanism in which superb hu- 
man qualities are deformed by circumstances. Human character 
is able to rise above adversity, even above the corruption of 
wealth or power. Quality reveals itself for what it is. So it was 
with Lincoln; so it was with many outstanding figures in the 
history of the United States; so it was with Patrick J. Hayes. 

He was born lucky in many ways. His parents were of solid 
Irish peasant stock to whom adversity and struggle were com- 
monplace. Their great buttress was their religion. The day 
after his birth, Patrick was baptized in St. Andrew's Church. 
It was the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, 
and the boy was named Patrick Joseph in a protest against 
the violently anti-Catholic and anti-Irish spirit prevailing in 
New York at the time. 

He was less than three years old when his mother died. Grad- 
ually over the following years Patrick became the charge of his 
mother's sister Ellen Egan, who lived nearby with her hus- 

Jim and Ellen Egan were childless. They had loved and fon- 
dled Patrick as a beautiful fair-haired baby. With the death of 
Daniel Hayes, when Patrick was about nine, the Egans grew 
closer still to their orphaned ward. After a time of sorrowing, 
it must have seemed to them and the boy as well that he had al- 
ways been their own son. 

The Egan home was a tenement, but Ellen kept it shining 
and spotless. She loved to tell the boy stories of Ireland and its 
saints and scholars. She imbued him with admiration and love 
of his religion, taught him his first prayers, and answered his 
questions about the truths of the faith with vivid fervor. 

There were good public schools available, but Ellen Egan, 
with considerable sacrifice, enrolled her boy in the Transfigura- 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes : 135? 

tion Parochial School, It pleased her to see how rapidly he fell 
into its disciplines of mind and spirit. She sent him off to 
Mass each morning, a labor well repaid when she caught her 
first glimpse of Patrick as an altar boy. Above the cassock and 
snowy surplice, his young face and shining hair seemed of an 
angelic purity that promised great things. 

Life, however securely anchored in religion, is not a fancy 
valentine. Coming and going to school, at play in his dirty 
neighborhood, around the spouting hydrants or along the river 
in summer and in the littered lamplit streets of winter, there 
were innumerable shadows of evil. Foul words and suggestions* 
drunkenness, theft, dishonesty, cruelty, filth these were as con- 
stant as the sun rising each day over Brooklyn. But many 
children normally move through evil circumstances with the 
ease of Jack the Giant Killer. They exist in a world of their own 
which can make them singularly unconscious of the evil about 
them and singularly immune to the rotten impulses that dog 

Looking back from his eminence as cardinal, Hayes could 
say to the boys of his old neighborhood: "I can see it now as I did 
forty years ago. To you and to me it was then the top of the 
earth. The great city we have today is, after all, but an expan- 
sion of what we found on the dear old highway* There was 
the Board of Education at one end, typical of New York's care 
of children; at the other end the old ferry which so often carried 
across the river to God's acre our sacred dead; transportation 
was then a problem as it is today; the various lines of street- 
cars converged to, and radiated from the old street; the impres- 
sive foundry and printing press establishment; the merchants, 
and shopkeepers then marking the beginning of departmental 
stores all this and much more gave to the old street and neigh- 
borhood a grandeur all its own." 

Whatever the neighborhood lacked, whatever its evils, there 
were things of compelling interest that a childish imagination 
could manipulate into wonder: watching the presses, window- 
shopping less with envy than the possession of beauty that 
comes with its contemplation watching the whirling carriages 


and clanging streetcars. Life was here throbbing and absorb- 
ing life. 

Patrick was a perfectly normal boy of his time and neighbor- 
hood, but his ideals and dreams lifted him above most of his 
fellows. He played their games, swam with them, spoke their 
language, followed them on exciting excursions, but when the 
day was over and most of them went to filthy and disordered 
homes, he returned to Aunt Ellen's ascetic cleanliness and the 
evening Rosary. In the midst of evil and disorder, he lived in 
a cleanliness and religious joy that promised glory after the 
crucifixion of life. Other boys wanted to be firemen, ward heel- 
ers or steamboat captains, or to operate beyond the law. Patrick's 
ambitions were centered on the priesthood. A priest wasn't 
merely a man who had to do great things; first of all he had to 
be something, a terrifying something another Christ. 

It was this sobering thought that kept Pat Hayes from swear- 
ing like the other boys and brought him to tears in the con- 
fessional over his minor lies, evasions and dishonesties. The boy 
wasn't angelic, but he was steady and good and knew the dif- 
ficult steps to the goal he had in mind. 

There was, as the future events of his life were to show, an 
abounding pity in his heart for those less fortunate than he. 
There was so much good wasted because of disordered homes, 
so much talent lost for lack of proper direction and a little mon- 
etary help. 

Aunt Ellen and Uncle Jim saved and economized so that their 
wiry little Pat could enter the Christian Brothers' School on 
Second Avenue in 1883. They expected no more thanks than 
they received in the irreproachable conduct of their adopted 

Grover Cleveland was the forceful new Governor of New 
York, and there were Democratic rumors of his running for 
President New York was building and rebuilding furiously. 
There was a note of optimism everywhere. 

De La Salle Institute was more than a high school; it served 
to prepare talented boys for college in the shortest time pos- 
sible. Pat Hayes was talented and readily took to his accelerated 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes : 

schedule. The uncomfortable and shabby old classrooms offered 
little of the gracious atmosphere that is supposed to go with 
learning. Discipline was of the rough-and-ready type, but like 
Eton or Harrow at the time, the excellence of the school de- 
pended on intellectual competition and attainment Com- 
petitive sports were also strongly encouraged. Young Hayes 
did not excel on these, but his enthusiasm and leadership 
brought him the post of cheer leader, in which he forcefully 
demonstrated his comradeship with the boys of his class. The 
quickness of Pat's wit, his ready laughter and love of a joke, 
were other characteristics that endeared him to the other stu- 

Among these was George Mundelein, a quick, strong boy of 
good German-American stock and a brilliant student and fine 

Within two years, Patrick Hayes was ready for Manhattan 
College. By this time, everyone accepted the idea that the lively 
and humorous young man was destined for the priesthood. 
Though his ideals differed from those of the other students, 
he was one of them in the demanding and sometimes rowdy 
life of the school. It was only at Mass and in the sanctuary that 
the other boys witnessed the difference in Pat's solemn poise 
and the precise correctness of his genuflections and gestures. 
Two years after his entry into Manhattan, Uncle Jim and 
Aunt Ellen sat in the heat-saturated auditorium of the college 
and watched with pride as their boy received his beribboned 

The past winter had been a terrible one for them and all 
their friends. The climax of the cold had come in a furious 
blizzard which raged for thirty-six hours and literally buried 
New York, isolating it from the rest of the world; messages to 
Boston had to be relayed via England. About 400 people died 
as a result of the storm, most of them in the rickety tenements 
along the east side. 

After the graduation exercises, the family returned to Madi- 
son Street for a celebration in the modest apartment. They and 
their friends drank tea and ate Aunt Ellen's rich cake, while 


the twenty-year-old boy recounted the drama of the day, with 
a young man's wit and spontaneity. With the pink rose in his 
lapel and his boyish innocence, he reminded Aunt Ellen of 
the morning of his First Communion when, even as now, he had 
sat in the place of honor at the head of the lace-covered table. 

The following September the Egans, with smiles and tears, 
watched the dark-clad form of Patrick as he mounted the steps 
of the train which was taking him to St. Joseph's Seminary in 
Troy, New York. They all dreaded this first separation, fore- 
seeing how lonely they would be in the coming months, but 
they were brave in the knowledge that it was a great step for- 
ward toward the boy's goal. 

During his first retreat at St. Joseph's, Patrick Hayes realized 
the full meaning of his call to the priesthood. Seen in the golden 
haze of a child's dreams, a priest was a luminous figure out of a 
fairy tale. Now the words alter Chris tes could be grasped in 
their full reality. To try to be as perfect as Christ, called for 
complete dedication to the rules of the seminary and an ever- 
deepening love of the Saviour. 

Pat did well in his studies, but it was his iron devotion to the 
Christ life that brought him the admiration of his fellow 
students and the professors who watched him with eagle eyes. 
There was a touch of self-deprecating humor in all he did and 
said, but there was a stern gravity in his poise and in the me- 
ticulous devotion he brought to every step of his ascent through 
minor orders to the irrevocable subdiaconate. 

The glowing reports of his progress led Archbishop Corrigan 
to ordain Patrick several months in advance of his classmates. 
It was a great day for the Egans. All their sacrifices seemed as 
nothing in comparison with the joy in their hearts in receiving 
their first blessing from their priest son. 

There was added honor to and intense excitement among 
them and their friends because Archbishop Corrigan had given 
the young priest his choice of further study in Rome, or at the 
newly established Catholic University in Washington, B.C. 

His worldly wise priest friends advised him to go to Rome; 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes : 

he would know foreign travel, the outstanding professors in 
the Christian world, the most famous cardinals of the all-power- 
ful Curia and perhaps the Pope himself. Compared with 
these, what had a poverty-stricken university to offer? 

The young priest listened to all the sage advice with his 
habitual grave and charming smile. All the ambitious and in- 
tellectual reasons were on the side of Roman studies, but it was 
one of Hayes' great qualities that all his life he treasured Pas- 
cal's phrase: "The heart has its reasons . . ." and followed it in 
dealing with men. 

The grave smile was still there when Father Hayes an- 
nounced to one of his close friends in the priesthood: "I'm going 
to Washington. I have others to consider. My aunt and my un- 
cle have sacrificed much to see me a priest. I cannot leave them 
now that they are old." 

In the two profitable years of study that followed, there were 
Christmas and summer vacations to be shared with the two 
who loved him best, and tranquil hours as they sat enthralled 
while the young priest related his experiences, well salted with 
the humor which they all enjoyed. 

The licentiate in theology awarded Father Hayes seemed to 
the Egans as much theirs as his. They were equally delighted 
with the post given him at St. Gabriel's Church on East gyth 
Street, where Monsignor Farley already vicar-general of the 
diocese was making a great name for himself. And now Aunt 
Ellen could attend Father Pat's Mass every day. 

It is always something of a shock to established pastors when 
they must receive a talented new priest into their homes. It was 
well known that Monsignor Farley was demanding in what he 
expected of his assistants. 

Father Hayes was at once a surprise and a delight. He al- 
ways made a careful meditation before Mass and a slow thanks- 
giving after. Watching him offer the Mass was a pleasure. He 
was totally absorbed in what he was doing, and his gestures and 
genuflexions were precisely correct without losing any of their 
grace. In the rectory he was unobtrusive, thoughtfully polite, 


deferential, orderly in his work and sympathetic with the 
people he consoled and advised, 

Before long, Monsignor Farley found himself discussing 
things with Father Hayes. He was not quick in advancing opin- 
ions, but if asked for them gave crisp and objective answers that 
were prudent and original a combination not too often found 
among clerical idealists fresh from seminary training. 

Mutual respect between the two men grew into an enduring 
friendship. When Monsignor Farley became Auxiliary Bishop 
of New York in 1902, he chose Father Hayes as his secretary. 

With his elevation to the direction of the diocese in the same 
year, Archbishop Farley took his able assistant with him. In 
1903, Hayes became chancellor a task that brought him into 
cordial and intimate relations with the diocese, its problems, 
its priests and people. With quiet vigor, Hayes at once pro- 
ceeded on a businesslike reorganization of the chancery that 
facilitated the immediate handling of diocesan business. 

His success was so brilliant and instant that Farley, in the same 
year, made Hayes the rector of the newly established Cathedral 
College, the minor seminary for aspirants to the priesthood. 

The young people of St. Gabriel's Parish had been particu- 
larly fond of Father Pat. There was a childlike streak in his 
nature that seemed to make him one of themselves. As he 
listened and joked with them or told them stories from the life 
of Christ they were charmed with the sincerity of love that il- 
luminated his phrases. 

This talent in handling the young was of tremendous value 
at Cathedral College- The aspirants for the priesthood had no 
fear of consulting their rector about any of their problems, 
moral or physical His solutions, advanced always with a tinge 
of light humor, were readily acceptable. Many of the boys came 
from poor families; in times of stress it was well known that 
Father Pat was the first one to put his hand in his pocket. 

In his comings and goings in the sanctuary and out of it, the 
young rector was measured by the pitilessly idealistic yardstick 
of youth, and they all admitted that he measured up to their 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes : 145 

demands and expectations without any tinge of priggishness. 

Those who worked with Father Hayes in the organization of 
Cathedral College were constantly amazed at his jovial urban- 
ity on every occasion and his quick solution of the many vexing 
problems of the young institution. They marveled, too, at his 
serene handling of the chancery and his demanding duties as 
the bishop's secretary. His affectionate kindliness toward the 
priests of the diocese endeared him in every parish. 

In 1903, Rome gave Father Hayes the doctor of divinity de- 
gree. Three years later, Cardinal Farley was pleased to reward 
his busy assistant with the rank of domestic prelate. We can 
imagine the joy in the Egan household when they first beheld 
their handsome son clothed in the purple of the Church. 

Monsignor Hayes labored away on his triple assignment for 
eleven years. His graying hair was the only sign that his age and 
burdens were beginning to tell upon him. Many were quick to 
point out his resemblance to the reigning Pope Pius X and the 
same inner serenity which communicated to the planes of his 
face an air of boyish though tfuln ess. 

The life had its higher moments. Weekly visits with Aunt 
Ellen and Uncle Jim and participation in the anniversary cele- 
brations of the priests of the diocese displayed Monsignor Hayes 
as a man of warmth and ready wit. "After all, he's one of us/' 
they said, watching his erect figure swinging down the lamplit 
street as he departed. 

When Archbishop Farley was elevated to the candinalate, it 
was Monsignor Hayes' duty to see that everything was carried 
out with dignity and dispatch. Like all good executives, he 
readily delegated responsibility, and if praise was forthcoming, 
he gracefully stepped aside to allow his co-workers their just 

To one of his romantic nature, it must have greatly pleased 
Monsignor Hayes that Archbishop Farley took him along to 
Rome for the great event in 1911. Pius X was already some- 
thing of a legend, and it was with mounting excitement that 
the monsignor looked forward to the several meetings with the 


great pope. Added to this, he was to see at first hand the most 
beautiful shrines in Christendom. They had been names on his 
tongue for so long; now he would savor them by intimate ac- 
quaintance. His observations are set down for posterity in the 
vivid little booklet he wrote and published soon after his re- 
turn to the United States. 

Three years later, in 1914, Monsignor Hayes returned to 
Rome with Cardinal Farley. The papers of the world screamed 
war; the armies and navies of the two great alliances were al- 
ready in motion. Cardinal Farley asked the Pope to appoint 
Monsignor Hayes Auxiliary Bishop of New York. The Holy 
Father, bowed down with grief over the impending struggle, 
readily granted the request. The young prelate, so like his 
younger self, must have brought him a brief feeling of joy. 
The briefs for the appointment were issued on July 3. Five 
weeks later Pius X was dead. 

Cardinal Farley and Bishop-Elect Hayes lingered on in Rome 
for the conclave which elected Benedict XV to rule the Church 
during the terrible war that followed. Despite the submarine 
menace, the cardinal and his suite returned safely to New York. 

On October 28, 1914, Hayes was consecrated bishop in St. 
Patrick's Cathedral in the presence of a brilliant throng. Every- 
one noticed the large number of the elderly and the crowds of 
children who came to watch the pageantry. Among them, Uncle 
Jim and Aunt Ellen thrilled to the vibrant voice of the new 
bishop as he gave his first aspostolic blessing. 

There was little time for rejoicing. The United States 
drifted nearer to war daily. Woodrow Wilson's stern notes on 
the sinking of the Lusitania^ German arrogance, brutality and 
failure to comply with international law, soon assured that 
American arms would aid the Allies. 

The danger was amply apparent, but Americans went along 
at their driving pace. The first jazz bands emerged; Prohibi- 
tion was just around the corner; village orators all over the land 
were declaiming Joyce Kilmer's "Trees"; United States troops 
were chasing Pancho Villa in Mexico. 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes : 

With the declaration of war in 1917, American Catholics en- 
listed in great numbers. The duty of looking after the spiritual 
needs of the men in the armed forces, most of whom em- 
barked for France from ports in and around New York, fell on 
New York's cardinal He took the problem to the Holy See. The 
response was almost immediate, Benedict XV appointed Bishop 
Hayes ordinary of the armed forces of the United States on 
November 29, 1917. 

The bishop already had burdens enough, especially since the 
cardinal's health was not good and most of the tremendous busi- 
ness of the diocese already rested on his capable shoulders. With 
astonishing organizing genius within a year of setting up the 
machinery of the ordinate, Hayes somehow found time to secure 
the services of 900 chaplains to serve the armed forces. This 
achievement gives us an idea of his capability as an organizer 
and his cordial relationship with all the bishops of the United 
States who responded so quickly in making priests available for 
service. The correspondence involved, the endless conferences, 
visits to camps and bishops, all these Bishop Hayes took in his 
seemingly leisurely stride* Lights burned late in the chancery, 
but the bishop found time to intensify his prayers and lengthen 
his visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Many a soldier en route to 
France observed the erect figure kneeling in St. Patrick's, obliv- 
ious to the parading thousands and the bands outside blaring 
"Over There/' 

Perhaps it was fortunate that the war was of short duration 
for the United States, since Liberty Bond rallies, the Catholic 
War Council and allied activities, made demands on the work- 
haunted bishop that might well have broken a man of stronger 

The death of Cardinal Farley was a great personal blow to 
Hayes. They had worked together for twenty-four years, during 
which there had been no dimming of their mutual respect and 
affection. Hayes listened to the final absolution for his friend 
with tears in his eyes, and then, with realistic courage, turned 
to assume the full burden of the diocese. 


His experience, training and proven capabilities were of such 
high order that it astonished no one when Benedict XV ap- 
pointed Hayes to succeed Farley as Archbishop of New York 
on March 10, 1919. 

On the day of his installation, March 19, 1919, St. Patrick's 
was far too small to hold the huge crowds. Those who could 
not get inside after marching in the procession waited pa- 
tiently in the cold until many noted prelates including Arch- 
bishop Bonzano, the apostolic delegate, emerged for their re- 
turn to the rectory. 

It was in keeping with the new archbishop's innate piety and 
modesty that he had asked that all the festivity be kept at a 
minimum because it was Lent. The program he had announced 
was modestly simple to be "a Shepherd of his people." 

The new archbishop wasted no time in revealing the high 
quality of his shepherding. In June 1919, at the annual retreat, 
he gave the assembled priests of the diocese an outline of his 
plan for the complete reorganization and consolidation of Cath- 
olic charities in the diocese. Cardinal Farley had already begun 
the labor in 1913 with the establishment of the United Catho- 
lic Works. On this somewhat meager foundation, Hayes began 
to build. 

The first step was a meeting of all existing Catholic charities 
of the diocese. Some 400 persons attended the first meeting. 
They were instructed to make a survey of their particular char- 
ity and its further possibilities and demands. 

The entire survey was completed in about six months. Then 
the work of consolidation and coordination began, thoroughly 
covering every aspect of social life under the single title of the 
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. There were 
six main divisions: families, children, health, protective care, 
social action and finance. Under these main headings were hun- 
dreds of great and small groups providing necessary aid for 
Catholics from the cradle to the grave. What had been a waste- 
fully unorganized effort was forged into a massively effective 
instrument in the service of the people, in complete accord 
with the most modern sociological discoveries. 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes : 149 

The wide-open heart of Archbishop Hayes must have taken 
justifiable pride in the statement issued by the state board o 
charities. It characterized the organization of the Catholic 
Charities in 1920 as "the most significant and important event 
of the year in the field of charitable work/' 

In the first four years of the organization, more than $3,500,- 
ooo was raised for the modernization and support of the various 
clubs and institutions. The result gave great comfort to the arch- 
bishop. Long ago in his childhood he had sorrowed with a 
child's poignant sadness over the waste of talented and likely 
people who had been lost to the Church and a happy life 
through want of a helping hand in times of trouble or crisis. 
The reorganized charities were severely tested during the 
Depression. There is scarcely a like institution in the country 
which met the challenge with such boldly conceived magnifi- 

As a corollary to his reorganization of the charities of the 
archdiocese in 1920, Archbishop Hayes gave cordial and sym- 
pathetic encouragement to Julia Teresa Tallon in the forma- 
tion of a new religious community, the Parish Visitors of 
Mary Immaculate. Through its assistance, social work in many 
parishes was speeded up in various ways, particularly through 
the visitation of the poor and sick in their homes. People soon 
grew to realize that these magnificent women came primarily 
neither to pry nor to pray. They went into homes as friends, 
rolled up their sleeves and went to work, restoring cleanliness, 
order and some semblance of comfort. Their influence was in- 

Less than five years after his installation as Archbishop of 
New York, Pius XI signified his intention of elevating Arch- 
bishop Hayes to the cardinalate in March 1924. It was a strictly 
American consistory in that Archbishop Mundelein of Chicago 
received the red hat at the same time. 

Both prelates and the American people were given the warm- 
est commendation from the Holy Father, who did not ordinarily 
pay gracious compliments without solid reasons. Yet it must be 
said that Hayes, like Pius X, had dreaded the honor and had 


prayed that he would not receive it. When it came, the gentle 
and obedient archbishop bowed his head in graceful acquies- 
cence. Like Cardinal Farley, he chose to think of the cardinal- 
ate less as a personal honor than a justified reward for all that 
New York had accomplished in the field of national and inter- 
national charity. 

Santa Maria in Via was assigned to Cardinal Hayes as his titu- 
lar church. It is worthy to note that Santa Maria in Via had 
once been the titular church of St. Robert Bellarmine, whose 
democratic principles had strongly influenced the founding 
fathers of our country. 

The new cardinal took possession of his church with the pro- 
scribed pomp and responded in English to the cordial welcome 
tendered him. After all the pressing obligations of the multiple 
ceremonies were over, the cardinal found time to send a mes- 
sage upon embarking for home. "God bless little old New 
York," he said. 

His ardent love for this city was amply demonstrated in 
the ecstatic reception he received. Religious boundaries were 
forgotten in a veritable Niagara of praise. Aunt Ellen was no 
longer living, but Uncle Jim, bent and frail, had been wait- 
ing on the pier in the midst of the assembled dignitaries. The 
cardinal hurried forward and folded the old man in a warm 

During the following fifteen years of his rein, Cardinal Hayes 
continued his major work of modernizing Catholic charity, 
Though his health was not of the best, he refused to spare him- 
self: graduation exercises, endless board meetings, confirma- 
tions, receptions for distinguished guests (including Cardinal 
Pacelli the papal Secretary of State), saw him erect, gracious 
and smiling, with no hint of the fatigue that was his constant 

He was particularly appreciative of the splendid work done 
by the religious women of the diocese, and continually praised 
them in public. To observe him in his visits at important wom- 
en's schools was a memorable experience; his kindness, sym- 
pathy and lavish praise were in keeping with those o the most 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes : 

perfect gentle knight. The radiance and courage he left behind 
him in groups too often forgotten by the public was one 
of the true measures of his simplicity and greatness. 

One of the important efforts of his last years was the organiza- 
tion of the Cardinal Hayes Literature Committee. The board 
was composed of noted writers and editors under the leadership 
of the much loved Monsignor Lavelle, Rector of St. Patrick's 
Cathedral. Lists of good books were published in a monthly 
pamphlet, "The Book Survey." It was a positive attempt to 
sort the sheep from the goats in the enormous flood of trash 
pouring from the presses. 

The last years of the cardinal's life were immeasurably sad- 
dened by the political scandals in which prominent Irish-Amer- 
icans were heavily involved. If the cardinal had one fault, it was 
accepting people at their face value. He forgave transgressions 
again and again; he refused to listen to rumors. But he was cut 
to the quick by irresponsibility and crooked dealing. His for- 
giving attitude, above all, marked him as the true "cardinal of 
charity." The hurt he kept to himself; it was part of his cross that 
he quietly accepted, with many added prayers for the sinner. 

Cardinal Hayes died of a heart attack while saying his night 
prayers on September 4, 1938. The members of his household 
found him In his bedroom at St. Joseph's Villa, Montkello, in 
the morning, with the crucifix clasped in his cold fingers. More 
than 500,000 people filed past his coffin as he lay in state. In 
death, his face was serene and young looking, with a hint of the 
grave smile at the corners of his expressive mouth. Many cried 
unashamed tears as they passed the coffin. It was not his 
eminence they remembered, but his charity which is only the 
Latin term for love. 

John Cardinal Glennon 

WITH the coining of the railroads to the West in the sixties 
and seventies, Kansas City leaped from the status of a 
frontier town to that of a large, bustling city. Of equal swift- 
ness was the growth of the Church in those years. Kansas City, 
which had long played second fiddle to St. Joseph, became a new 
diocese in 1880, and John Hogan, Bishop of St. Joseph, was 
moved to the newly erected see. 

Priests were needed, badly needed, so the bishop turned to 
his friends in Ireland who could put him in touch with young 
clerics of promise suitable for missionary work on the frontier. 
Among those who elected to come to Kansas City was a tall, raw- 
boned student by the name of John Glennon, a fresh-faced, 
clear-eyed country boy from the Clonard Kinnegad section 
of West Meath. He had been born there on June 14, 1862, and 
was the eldest son of Matthew and Catherine Glennon. He had 
made a brilliant record in the classics at St. Finian's College in 
Milwaukee, at the head of the lovely blue lake of Ennell. 

Glennon had prepared for the priesthood at All Hallows 
College near Dublin. Once again, as he had at St. Finian's, he 
had distinguished himself in his studies and was ready for or- 
dination at twenty-two. 

Bishop Hogan was so pleased with his subject that he at once 
sent funds for his passage to the United States, with the assur- 

John Cardinal Glennon : 753 

ance that he himself would undertake the further training of 
the young man. 

Glennon arrived in Kansas City in 1883, in what must have 
seemed to him a strange rough atmosphere after the calm beauty 
of his native land. Bishop Hogan was impressed with what he 
saw and heard. This tall, dignified stripling was more than 
learned; his personality was completely outgoing, his manners 
were charming, his speech elegantly graceful. 

Scarcely a year later, after a thorough course in pastoral the- 
ology given by Bishop Hogan, John Glennon was ordained on 
December 20, 1844. It was a day of bitter cold. Because the in- 
fant diocese couldn't afford to waste heat except on Sundays 
and holy days, the ordination took place in the sacristy where 
weekday Masses were normally offered for the small congrega- 

St. Patrick's Church was Father Glennon's first assignment 
Soon he was the talk of the town because of his beautiful ser- 
mons filled with deep piety and liberally seasoned with the 
spice of wit. So winning were his ways, so outstanding his learn- 
ing and practical sense, that Bishop Hogan after three years 
of close observation permitted Father Glennon the luxury of 
a visit to his people in Ireland as a prelude to a time of further 
studies. Upon his return to the United States, Father Glennon 
became rector of the cathedral. Soon the bishop was consulting 
him on important questions and decisions. Although Father 
Glennon was only in his late twenties, no one thought it strange 
that he should be appointed vicar-general of the diocese, a job 
usually given to much older and more seasoned men. 

As the bishop's alter ego, Father Glennon soon met the other 
bishops of the province, along with Archbishop Kain of St. 
Louis. All were impressed with the force of Glennon's person- 
ality and judgment. 

Between the heavy duties of the busy cathedral parish and 
the tragic problems growing out of gambling halls and saloons, 
the brawny young priest helped Bishop Hogan with the paper- 
work. In the process, he learned what a difficult thing it was 
to be a bishop-~doubly difficult to be a frontier bishop. 


When the long winter ended and the prairies became a flame 
of living green, there were endless confirmations. Father Glen- 
non went with the bishop. It was his job to see that the vest- 
ments were packed in the big valise and that everything was at 
hand once the church was reached. Sometimes, if it was pos- 
sible, they went on jolting trains; usually they set off in a buggy 
along country roads that were little more than cowtracks, with 
Father Glennon holding the reins. Often they were drenched 
with sudden rainstorms, arriving at their destination soaked and 
much the worse for wear from clods thrown up against the 
leather lapboard by the heels of the trotting horses. 

When they had freshened themselves a little with the primi- 
tive means at hand, the two men would don their cassocks and 
take their places in the procession from the rectory to the 
church. Father Glennon invariably brought order out of chaos, 
counseling the awkward altar boys with a merry wit that set 
them at ease. 

When the long ceremony was over and the last echoes of 
"Holy God We Praise Thy Name" had died against the tin or 
plaster ceiling, the procession re-formed for a return to the 
house through a cloud of white-veiled children to the inevitable 
reception and collation. Much of the talk was bound to be 
centered about the cardinal down in Baltimore who was fight- 
ing the battles of the century, and the great Pope Leo with his 
well-reasoned encyclicals and towering scholarship. 

Sometimes the succession of confirmations lasted for days 
or weeks. When they were over, there was the long trip back, 
with the horses stretching out to a gallop as they felt themselves 
nearing home. All along the way, the strong young priest pro- 
tected his superior when he could from the bores, the dif- 
ficult, and the constant repetitions that could exhaust a man. 

Father Glennon pursued his busy way for twelve years. No- 
body doubted that he would be a bishop, and when at last the 
papers said that Pope Leo had named him Coadjutor Bishop 
of Kansas City, everyone rallied around to felicitate him and 
to plan for the ceremony of consecration and the banquet after 
it with its presentation of purses and florid oratory. 

John Cardinal Glennon : 155 

Bishop Glennon was consecrated on the Feast of Sts. Peter 
and Paul on June 29, 1896. Archbishop Kain had come from 
St. Louis as chief consecrator; Bishop Louis Mary Fink, O.S.B., 
of Kansas City, and Bishop Maurice Francis Burke of St. Joseph 
were his assistants. There was a moving moment when the 
handsome young bishop, in full episcopal panoply, turned from 
the altar to intone his first blessing. 

A cheer went up for him as the procession moved through 
the throngs outside and they saw his graceful hand raised in 
constant blessing. The new bishop was thirty-four years old, 
a fact that led many among the doting Irish to speculate that 
he had a great future in store for him. 

Seven years later, on April 27, 1903, at the age of forty-three, 
with the joyous concurrence of the bishops and priests of the 
province, Glennon became Coadjutor Bishop of St Louis, with 
the right of succession. Archbishop Kain died on October 13 of 
the same year, and Bishop Glennon succeeded him. 

The day of his installation revealed to Archbishop Glennon 
what his first task must be the building of a new and more 
spacious cathedral. Though the old cathedral was an architec- 
tural gem in the classic style, the diocese had been growing like 
prairie corn in the heat of July, and as a result, the cathedral 
could no longer accommodate even a part of the crowds that 
came out on great occasions. The sanctuary was totally inade- 
quate to hold a throng of bishops and still permit the liturgy 
to be carried out with fitting pomp. 

In the four years during which the drive for funds went on, 
the archbishop kept the subject alive with graphic phrases that 
spurred people to give and give again. "We want a million- 
dollar structure," he said on one occasion, "that should not be 
Classic, Gothic or Renaissance. We hope to have a large and 
very beautiful structure. Its seating capacity is estimated be- 
tween four thousand and five thousand. We do not expect to 
go into debt. It is a bad thing to have a mortgage between you 
and the Almighty.*' 

The cornerstone was laid on October 18, 1908. As the fabric 
of the cathedral grew and people gasped at its splendid and 


imposing proportions, they were amazed at the archbishop's 
vision and shrewd financial ability. Everyone knew what the 
building meant to Glennon, for if you passed by on Lindell 
Boulevard you could see a majestic figure crowned with a tall 
silk hat inspecting every step of the work and making jests with 
the workmen. 

True to the archbishop's promise, everything was paid for 
on the day the cathedral was opened for worship, October 9, 
1914. He mentioned that fact with pride in his sermon; he also 
justified his selection of the Byzantine style in poetic phrases 
that were a model of elegant persuasion and an indication of 
the source of his popularity as a preacher on great occasions. 

The Gothic spire [he said] like the prayer offered, goes upward 
to the skies; the Byzantine, like unto a prayer answered, brings 
the dome of heaven down to earth. One is a prayer asked, the 
other a prayer answered. The Gothic tells of northern forests 
where the stately pines go upward unchallenged until pine is 
joined to pine near the summit, and as you look through the 
vista as in a Gothic church, the vertical pine tree multiplies itself 
in every pillar, while up in the roof the branches unite as sure 
protection against the inclement sky. The Byzantine, on the 
other hand, takes its first line from the desert where the Baptist 
preached and the Saviour prayed, and brings to it no other 
covering save the sky above, under which the Saviour's life was 
lived and beneath which He agonized and died . . . 

The Gothic is best when the gray monotone of the north 
rests upon her every arching line and stately column, but the 
Byzantine will not be complete until it has set on its walls the 
luster of every jewel, the bright plumage of every bird, the glow 
and glory of every metal, the iridescent gleam of every glass. 
If the diction of the Gothic be more stately, the working of the 
Byzantine is more varied. 

Its argument is that Christ came to men here on earth in His 
temple to dwell, and therefore the flowers of the field with 
fragrance, the birds of the air with their songs, and the children 
of men with their prayers, shall unite in making His home, in 
so far as they may, acceptable to Him. Hence the decoration of 
the Byzantine with its involved capitals, its delicate arabesques, 
with its blending of the iris, acanthus and the fleur-de-lis with 

John Cardinal Glennon : 757 

all the flowers that bloom in the valley or on the hillside, with 
all the blossoms of May and all the fruits of autumn, with the 
an tiered stag and fabled pelican, with the dove that proclaims 
innocence, and the peacock, bird of immortality, will call them 
into being and set them into splendor of mosaic unity, beckon- 
ing them to chant, with the servants of God, His praises and to 
live in His service, and in so far as possible, speak in their 
myriad tongues of the earth's subjection to its Lord and Creator. 

By the time the cathedral was consecrated on June 24, 1926, 
St. Louis and the Catholics of the United States took justifiable 
pride in the imposing building which, without and within, was 
a tribute to the archbishop's taste and exuberant fancy. What 
started out to be a $1,000,000 structure has grown into one of 
the outstanding cathedrals in the United States. Costs, qnite 
naturally, multiplied with the years; modest estimates are in 
the neighborhood of $8,000,000 to $10,000,000, but St. Louisans, 
who like things to be big, say with complaining pride that the 
cathedral has cost over $20,000,000 and will never be finished. 

It has become a place of pilgrimage for visitors; at almost 
any hour of the day, in winter's cold or summer's heat, one 
can see lines of cars parked along the boulevard, an indication 
of the groups inside, walking about, pausing for prayer in the 
various chapels, staring up at the walls and domes. Pairs of 
nuns whisper discreetly to each other as they discuss its art and 
architectural splendor; groups of farmers from the prairies are 
impressed with so much magnificence; the old and lonely of 
the city, blue-veined hands sifting their beads, find consolation 
in its beauty and the monumental silence that begets resigna- 
tion and tranquility. 

Archbishop Glennon was a remarkably healthy man during 
his forty- three years as Archbishop of St. Louis. Perhaps his 
radiant health and consciousness of longevity had much to do 
with his perennially happy and optimistic outlook and easy 
manner of working. While he was building his fine cathedral, 
he was also thinking and planning for the future and growth 
of the priesthood in his diocese. The first fruits of his thoughts 
were seen in Kenrick Seminary for the study of philosophy and 


theology and the St. Louis Prepartory Seminary on Shrewsbury 
Avenue, both under the competent direction of the Vincentian 

Archbishop Glennon was not merely content to provide 
beautiful and comfortable buildings for the education of his 
priests. Often, like a father with his sons, he could be found 
at either institution, learning at first hand just what the boys 
were doing as he talked to them in conferences and with them 
in a great burst of laughter at recreation time. 

There also arose a network of homes and protectories, mak- 
ing the Archdiocese of St. Louis one of the most modern social 
centers in the United States. 

In the field of education, Archbishop Glennon was out- 
standing because he loved learning and followed it all the days 
of his life. His lights burned late at night as he pursued his 
wide reading in history, biography, philosophy and theology. 
Poetry was an old love that revealed itself in the rhythm of his 
every utterance, in the glowing colors of his figures and com- 
parisons. When one reviews the significant growth of St. Louis 
University and the other splendid schools of the diocese during 
the archbishop's long reign, it should be obvious to all how ar- 
dently he encouraged every effort in the field of education. The 
careful planning went on into his vigorous old age, and plans 
for eight new high schools were on his desk at the time of his 

It was his high regard for the wider aspects of education and 
Catholic literature that led Archbishop Glennon to encourage 
Sister Mary Joseph of the Sisters of Loreto in founding her gal- 
lery of Living Catholic Authors in 1932 at Webster Groves, out- 
side St. Louis. It has grown into a noted repository o manu- 
scripts and pictures of famous Catholic authors from all over 
the world and is an inspiration to young writers, an accolade 
for authors of professional skill and international eminence. 

Hardly a bishop went through the city without stopping off 
to visit, not merely for the font of wisdom they found in the 
archbishop, but for his wit and joy of life. From the big ram- 
bling house of gray stone, they were taken out to see how the 

John Cardinal Glennon : 

cathedral was progressing, regaled meanwhile with his inimi- 
table comments on life; he was like an exuberant boy as he 
showed them around and explained his dream. 

Few went away from his home without feeling refreshed. 
His reputation inevitably led to speaking engagements. Audi- 
ences were enthralled with the mellow cadence of his voice and 
the word pictures he painted with such vivid phrases. 

He was particularly welcome on any and all occasions, and 
he served longer on the Catholic University's board of trustees 
than any other bishop in its history, not merely lending his 
name, but attending lengthy and sometimes acrimonius meet- 
ings. Bishops Keane and Shahan leaned on him heavily for his 
advice and help in the difficult early days of the school when 
politics between factions almost wrecked its growth. But they 
depended on him even more for a sense of hope an incor- 
rigible optimism which saw beyond the hurdles of the time 
to the glittering future that is now being realized. 

Some indication of his talent and human importance can 
be gleaned from the fact that he was chosen to preach the pane- 
gyric at the funeral of Cardinal Gibbons. With oratorical 
power, he summed up the tremendous achievements of the 
great cardinal; the eyes of all his hearers misted as he pleaded 
in emotional tones that in the presence of his mortal remains 
we pledge ourselves that "we shall not break faith with him" 
and the great enterprises he set in motion such as the Catholic 

The esteem at home was still more obvious. Funds for Glen- 
non's imperial projects were usually oversubscribed, the rumor 
of his presence at any church or civic affair could insure a rec- 
ord turnout, and he could always sweep his listeners up into a 
mood between laughter and tears. 

A delightful story has come down to us from one of the ear- 
liest occasions on which a child indicated his admiration by 
choosing the name of Glennon at confirmation time. 

The pastor of the parish, as is customary, read off the names 
selected by each child as he presented himself at the commun- 
ion rail to be confirmed. When the name of Glennon was an- 


nounced, the archbishop started briefly, then instantly in a 
stage whisper audible throughout the church, he said, "Tell 
him to take the name of a dead saint!" 

In time the archbishop was pleased and touched with this 
name compliment. As the years went on, he assembled a card 
index of all the boys named for him from 1938-1942, and gave 
a New Year's reception for them in his home at which he and 
his housekeeper, Miss Flynn, regaled the boys with soft drinks, 
cake and ice cream. During the sessions, he circulated among 
the boys, cracking jokes, quizzing them about their ambitions 
and studies, giving them good advice. It was hard to say 
whether the children or the archbishop got more fun out of 
these affairs. 

Women adored him for his delicate courtesy, good humor, 
sympathetic quickness and sterling good looks; in their eyes 
he was a father image completely without flaws. They came 
to him with their troubles, asked his advice, enthusiastically 
supported him in his drives and invited him to speak at their 
conventions and celebrations. In return, the archbishop treated 
them all with an old-fashioned courtliness which showed a 
quick flare-up toward anything that might tarnish or mar his 
image of womanhood. 

It was with regret that he saw women competing with men 
in the world of business and finance. "Take the women today/' 
he observed from the pulpit. "They are in the race. Some of the 
women go downtown in the race and race beside the men 
working very honorably and very properly, that is, if they have 
to do so. It is regrettable that men have to let them, are com- 
pelled to let them. Time was when the father of the house, the 
husband, cared for the home and sustained it in all its splendid 
unity, in all the homeliness of a home/* 

Not one of those who boasted "my country right or wrong," 
Glennon had a solid patriotism based on justice and sober 
idealism. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was one 
of the signers of the Gibbons' patriotic manifesto which so 
thoroughly pleased President Wilson. But as Archbishop Glen- 
non saw the second great holocaust approaching he deplored 

John Cardinal McCloskey 

James Cardinal Gibbons 

John Cardinal Farley 

William Cardinal O'Connell 

Denis Cardinal Dougherty 

George Cardinal Mundelein 

Patrick Cardinal Hayes 

John Cardinal Glennon 

Edward Cardinal Mooney 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch 

Francis Cardinal Spellman 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre 

Richard Cardinal Gushing 

John Cardinal O'Hara 

Cardinal Ritter 

John Cardinal Glennon : 161 

it and stressed the ideas of peace so dear to the great modern 
popes beginning with Pius X. 

Yet after the infamy of Pearl Harbor, Glennon said: "We 
are not a military nation. But we are at war. We are not a na- 
tion prepared to go to war no democracy is and yet we are 
at war. In a democracy, there has to be so much discussion, an 
opportunity given to every citizen for that is the essence of 
democracy, to express his opinion and we cannot obtain the 
unity of purpose until the cogent reasons therefore are known. 
So, when a democracy declares war, it is only the end of much 
discussion and agitation." 

Then he continued, with a Christian warning: "Churches 
have a duty in time of war not to promote hatred, racial or 
otherwise. Churches should give their moral aid and their 
physical support to the nation. I am glad to say yes, to rejoice 
that the Catholic Church has been doing its full duty. It stands 
in the nation at perhaps twenty percent or a little less of the 
entire population, but in the ranks of the Army, its ratio is 
thirty percent of these brave young men who are facing the 
fortunes of war." 

He loved the land of his birth and gave practical and mone- 
tary encouragement to make Irish independence possible. 

"That mystic light/' said the archbishop, speaking on a St. 
Patrick's Day in Kansas City, "it comes from the wild sea that 
washes the Irish coasts; from the heather that covers its hills; 
from the moaning winds that crowd its woods; from the woods 
themselves with their silent life and mystic gloom; from the 
open meadows and the summer night; from the banshee's cry 
and the fairy's companionship; from out of all the scenery and 
association and that life that becomes a part of the Irish char- 
acter, there comes a strange yearning, that great desire, that 
unwillingness to be part of the commonplace; that restlessness, 
energy and fire which, as a dissolvent set here in American life, 
makes crass materialism impossible and sets across the face of 
our land a rainbow of light and hope/' 

It was the privilege of St. Louis to have had the same out- 
standing bishop at the helm during all the years it was growing 


from a small town to a great metropolis. Archbishop Glennon 
was particularly keen in forecasting population trends, so ex- 
pert in fact that real-estate agents were careful to watch where 
he was building new parishes. Almost a hundred new par- 
ishes were founded; universities and colleges grew from primi- 
tive plants into magnificent centers of culture and scholarship. 

Wherever the archbishop went, he took with him the joy of 
life to the four international Eucharistic Congresses where he 
was one of the chief speakers, on his ad limina visits to Rome, 
or on his frequent trips to Ireland. Part of this joy came from 
his apt sense of humor and childlike gaiety. There are so many 
sterling examples of his wit that the mere recounting of them 
would be tedious, but a few examples can give us an insight 
into his verve and quickness. 

Though he enjoyed baseball and sometimes threw out the 
opening ball for the Cardinals, it was remarked by one of his 
friends that people found it odd he didn't play some game. 
"Glory be to God," the archbishop replied. "I once tried golf, 
but I so disfigured the scenery that I never played again, in fear 
of public indignation and reprisal." 

Someone wondered why he wasn't a cardinal, and the swift 
reply came: "And sure the Holy Father wouldn't want me in 
competition with the home team." In public, his reply to the 
Mayor of St. Louis on the same subject was more elaborate. 
"Our mayor would like me to wear the red robes/' said the 
archbishop. "But when the great Cardinal [Gibbons] con- 
ferred on me the pallium, he appointed me the Pope of the 
West and this would put me in white robes. I have to wear 
something," he continued in comic confusion. "Ill wear any- 
thing as long as it is all wool and a yard wide." 

On his visit to St. Louis in 1936, Cardinal Pacelli was tre- 
mendously impressed with the cathedral and its majestic arch- 
bishop. He would probably have shown his appreciation by 
raising the archbishop to the cardinalate if the war had not in- 
tervened. Glennon already was dean of the American hier- 
archy, and his accomplishments richly deserved the highest 

John Cardinal Glennon : 

Yet when Jim Farley called from New York on Christmas 
Eve, 1945, with the announcement of his elevation almost 
ten years after Pacelli's visit everyone was jubilant. Hier- 
archy and laity fairly deluged Archbishop Glennon with mes- 
sages of congratulation. At the advanced age of eighty-four, he 
had fancied himself indifferent to such recognition, but he was 
cheered and made happy by it as an honor for his people. 

Cardinal Spellman, who had been delighted to learn that 
the Archbishop of St. Louis was one of the four Americans to 
be honored, warmly invited Archbishop Glennon and his suite 
to join the Spellman party in New York. The archbishop was 
pleased with the invitation, and it was in the best possible 
humor that he took off in a large plane with Cardinals-Elect 
Spellman and Tien, along with twenty-five newsmen. 

Originally it had been planned that the entire party would 
stop in Ireland for two days. The first day was to be devoted to 
sightseeing, the second to the conferring of governmental hon- 
ors on Cardinal Glennon at a state dinner in the President's 
palace in Dublin. 

After conferring with Prime Minister De Valera, who met 
his distinguished guests at Shannon and escorted them on a tour 
of Killarney's lakes, it was decided that a better arrangement 
would be for Cardinal Glennon to receive his Irish honors on 
the return voyage when he would be able to appear in the 
blazing splendor of the Roman purple. 

After a brief stop in war-weary and dejected Paris, they flew 
over the mountains to Rome. The wartime iron gratings were 
still down on Ciampino Airport on February 14 as the planes 
taxied in for a landing. The Holy City was occupied by Eng- 
ish and United States soldiers. 

The cardinals-elect settled in at the Grand Hotel. Its gran- 
deur was somewhat shabby and tarnished, its heat less than 
would suffice to keep out the damp cold. Many guests soon 
had colds, among them Archbishop Glennon. It was a nuisance, 
of course, but he made light of the cautionary advice of his 
brilliant young secretary Monsignor Cody and the remedies o 
Commodore MacMahon, his personal physician. 


On Monday morning, February 18, the four distinguished 
Americans waited in the Hall of the Hundred Days in the 
beautiful old Roman chancery building. They were surrounded 
by members of their families and hundreds of distinguished 
friends, both lay and clerical. 

There was drama in the presentation of the bigliette of nom- 
ination as the Pope's messengers arrived from the Vatican after 
the secret conclave. The first letter of nomination came to 
Archbishop Glennon, who sat in the armchair on the right, 
befitting his dignity as dean of the American hierarchy and his 
forty-three years as an archbishop. His next in seniority, Arch- 
bishop Mooney of Detroit, had been a bishop for a mere seven- 
teen years. 

A great storm of applause burst against the ceiling as the 
Pope's messenger congratulated the new cardinal. In all the 
magnificent pageantry that took place during the following 
four days, correspondents and friends noted the joyous verve 
with which Cardinal Glennon went through the most com- 
plex ceremonies. In going up to receive his red hat, he made 
the three genuflections of ceremony with the graceful ease of 
a man half his age. In visiting the curial cardinals and in tak- 
ing possession of his titular church, he conquered everyone 
with his erect carriage and Celtic charm. Yet his cold lingered 
on, deep-seated and stubborn, in the chilly rooms he found 
everywhere in war-torn Rome. 

It was with a sense of near relief that Cardinal Glennon and 
his party took the plane for Ireland with its creature comforts 
and blazing peat fires. Arriving at Shannon on March 4, the 
cardinal was met by Prime Minister De Valera and other offi- 
cials. After a warm welcome to the new prince of the Church, 
the entire party flew on to Dublin and went by car to the presi- 
dential palace in Phoenix Park where Glennon was the guest 
of President Sean Thomas O'Kelly. 

It was after they reached Dublin that Monsignor Cody and 
Dr. MacMahon noted a lassitude in the cardinal that alarmed 
them. They tried to persuade him to remain seated while 
speaking at the state dinner that evening, and when he jocosely 

John Cardinal Glennon : 165 

put them off, they prevailed upon President Kelly to enforce 
the rule. 

After the glowing citation and the gift of honors, the Presi- 
dent said, "As President of Eire I insist that His Eminence re- 
main seated while he talks to us/' It was a smiling Glennon 
who obeyed the order, but in his few remarks he carried the 
distinguished audience along with him in gales of laughter. 

He made fun of the war to end dictators that had spawned a 
new crop, like those of his entourage who made him sit down 
when he wished to stand up. He referred to his cold, amid a 
volley of laughter, "as deep rooted, like the Roman faith/* 
Then he introduced Monsignor Cody, calling him "an expert 
in protocol/ 7 "I will say/' the cardinal added, "that so far he 
has kept me out of trouble and perhaps can tell you, if 
he wishes, how he has done it." Of Commodore MacMahon, 
the cardinal said, "He is my personal physician. Perhaps in that 
official and informed capacity he can tell you how he succeeded 
in making this cold last so long/' 

Amid ringing applause and cheers, the cardinal was given a 
standing ovation as he rose and majestically left the room with 
Monsignor Cody, who shortly returned for a brief speech of 
thanks for all the kindness they had shoivn his revered cardinal 
sentiments which were echoed in the bluff words of Com- 
modore MacMahon. 

After much discussion, Cardinal Glennon was prevailed 
upon to take a five-day rest before returning to St. Louis. He 
radiated such sparkling humor from his sickbed that everyone 
hoped he would soon be up and as vigorous as ever. But Com- 
modore MacMahon discovered that uremic poisoning had set 
in. Monsignor Cody anointed his beloved superior, and Car- 
dinal Glennon died as he had lived, In an atmosphere of humor 
and deep piety. 

His Irish farewell took place at Pontifical Mass in the Cathe- 
dral of Christ the King, in Mullingar, where he had preached 
its dedication sermon in 1939. Country people of the district 
rubbed shoulders with the bigwigs of Dublin and the Irish 
Government. The sanctuary was ablaze with Irish purple and 


the thrones of three princes of the Church: James Cardinal 
MacGuigan o Toronto, Norman Cardinal Gilroy of Sydney, 
and Bernard Cardinal Griffith of London. 

The people of St. Louis were almost incredulous at the news 
of the cardinal's death. A large percentage of the city's popula- 
tion and most of the hierarchy of the United States came to 
honor him during his lying-in-state and at the Pontifical Mass 
of Requiem at which the new-minted cardinals of Detroit, Chi- 
cago and New York said their farewells in the bronzelike ac- 
cents of the final absolution. 

St. Louis had grown used to him; it would miss his fatherly 
counsel and witty remarks, as well as his superb aplomb. Those 
more thoughtful than others pointed out that Cardinal Glen- 
non was the last of the Church's links with the Baltimore coun- 
cils and the last intimate friend of the great Gibbons and all 
the giants of his time. 

It has been said that a man is not a hero to his valet. If so, 
Glennon was a grand exception. For thirty-eight years, his 
housekeeper Catherine Flynn had looked after the archbishop. 
No one among his close friends knew him as well as she did. 
In an interview granted to Thomas Morgan after the funeral, 
Miss Flynn spoke of the cardinal's love of reading and study. 
She told of his outgoing ways and the joy of life which masked 
a monastic spirit and childlike love of God. 

"God created him perfect," she said, with a deep sigh. "Only 
once in five hundred years do we see a perfect man. Archbishop 
Glennon was the one of our time." 

It was a lovely epitaph that few princes of the Church could 

Edward Cardinal Mooney 

EDWARD MOONEY was born in Mount Savage, Maryland, on 
May 9, 1882, the seventh child of Thomas Mooney and 
his wife Sarah Heneghan Mooney. The child was baptized in 
St. Patrick's Church on the following Sunday. 

Grover Cleveland was in the second year of his first term as 
President, and the United States was in a period of tremendous 
expansion. Among the steel cities, Youngstown, Ohio, had a 
phenomenal growth. Within a generation it had jumped from 
a quiet village to a bustling city of smoking chimneys sprawling 
on both sides of the Mahoning River. Growth spells opportu- 
nity for the immigrant, and Tom Mooney was fiercely deter- 
mined that his children would not be condemned to the ob- 
scurity that had been his lot. After talking things over with his 
wife, he moved his family north and joined the Irish colony 
in Youngstown on the wrong side of the tracks. Edward was 
five at the time. 

Tom Mooney was a vigorous man and he took his strong mus- 
cles and alert mentality to the tube mill. Before long he was an 
expert in wrestling the big white-hot steel plates which he 
fed through the bender that turned them into pipes. Wages 
were good enough to maintain the Mooney family in a drab 
frame house like those of their neighbors in the Irish section. 
Good schools were available, and there was competent reli- 
gious instruction at St. Columba's Parish nearby. 

i6 7 


Things looked grim for the Mooney family with the death 
of their father when Edward was in his early teens. But Sarah 
Mooney, who was praised in the community for her cooking, 
quietly established a small bakery business. Each afternoon 
after school Eddie and his brothers delivered the crusty sweet- 
smelling loaves to her customers. It was hard enough work in 
the heat of summer, but when winter carne, the self-reliant 
children suffered from snow and the biting north winds blow- 
ing down from Lake Michigan as they made their rounds 
through the soot-darkened streets. 

The Irish neighborhood, known as Kilkenny, was hard- 
boiled. Ed Mooney held his own with the best of the lads, and 
though he was a good student at St. Columba's School and a 
devoted altar boy, he spoke the language of his neighborhood 
and shared the robust and rowdy games of his companions. 

Edward felt that he had a vocation to the priesthood, and 
Monsignor Mears, the pastor at St. Columba's, was consulted. 
It was arranged that the boy would go to St. Charles College 
in Maryland for his classics, and later to St. Mary's Seminary 
in Baltimore for philosophy and theology. Bishop Horstmann 
of Cleveland would pay the expenses. 

Edward's progress was so swift and his record so excellent 
that when he received his A.B. at St. Mary's in 1905, Bishop 
Horstmann sent him to Rome for further study. The young 
man's devotion to learning, his excellent showing in examina- 
tions, and deep but practical piety gave him stature among the 
students and brought him the rewards of two doctor's degrees 
in philosophy and theology. 

Edward was ordained by Cardinal Respighi in St. John Lat- 
eran on April 10, 1909, and offered his first Mass in the pillared 
splendor of St, Paul's Outside the Walls, his favorite church 
In Rome. The young priest returned to Youngstown for his 
first Solemn Mass and a happy reunion with his family. 

Bishop John P. Farrelly, who had succeeded Bishop Horst- 
mann as Bishop of Cleveland, was pleased with the attainments 
of his cultured young priest and assigned him at once to the 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 169 

professorship of dogmatic theology at St. Mary's Seminary in 

For seven years, Father Mooney gave his polished lectures 
to the seminarians. His talks were spiced ivith amusing insights 
and vignettes culled from the Roman years, but though he 
could make the students laugh with his genial summations and 
looked mild as milk, there was a quality about him that de- 
manded respect. They were all rather proud of his growing 
fame as a retreat master for both religious and lay retreats. 

With the foundation of Cathedral Latin School, Father 
Mooney became its first president, a position he held for five 
years while it grew from a small school to an enrollment of 
i, 200 students. 

Administrative duties, the wise use of never-sufficient funds, 
the governance of the faculty composed of diocesan priests and 
the Brothers of Mary all these Father Mooney fulfilled with 
alacrity and informed common sense. What he wanted was not 
just another school; he desired scholastic excellence of the 
highest order. That was why he warned that any student with 
thirty demerits would be dismissed. Above all, he wished this 
to be a school for gentlemen, not "seventy-five percent gentle- 
men/' as he said ironically. 

Cathedral Latin School served an even more important func- 
tion in recruiting and training boys for entry into the senior 
seminary. Father Mooney was especially successful in this en- 
deavor; his attractive spirituality and manly ways gave boys an 
insight into the magnificence of the priesthood, 

In 1921, Bishop Schrembs became Bishop of Cleveland. The 
new bishop saw that many new parishes would have to be built, 
and decided he would need every available priest for the work. 
With this in mind, he persuaded the Brothers of Mary to bring 
in more men and take over the complete operation of the 
Cathedral Latin School. 

Father Mooney was appointed Pastor o St. Patrick's Church 
in Youngstown in 1922. The welcome given him was cordial, 
and his family was delighted to have him so near after the 
long years of intermittent separation. 


A story has come down to us from Father Mooney's brief 
reign as Pastor of St. Patrick's at the time when the Ku Klux 
Klan was active. Father Mooney, the story says, was having an 
outdoor ice-cream social for the purpose of raising funds for 
his church. The Klan hired the next empty lot, assembled in 
its white gowns, and as Father Mooney was appealing for funds 
burned a huge cross that lit up the entire area. Some $12,000 
was pledged as Irish and German tempers began to boil in the 
Catholic group. Father Mooney calmed them and walked over to 
the Klan platform where, in the astounded silence, he thanked 
the Klansmen for so beautifully lighting up his fiesta and invited 
them to partake of ice cream and cake at his expense. According 
to the tale, a great many of them accepted and some even 
pledged money to the funds being raised. Whether true or not, 
it is the sort of legend that sums up the kind of situation 
in which Father Mooney excelled and conquered. 

After barely a year as pastor, the news came that Father 
Mooney had been called back to Rome as spiritual director of 
the North American College. The change was a welcome one; 
it offered full scope for his spiritual discernment, love of study, 
and a near genius in guiding young men toward the complete 
realization of themselves in the priesthood. 

No light can hide under a bushel in Rome. Such distinguished 
curial visitors to the college as Monsignor Marchetti Selvagianni 
and Cardinals Gasparri and Van Rossum discovered in 
Doctor Mooney a subtle approach to ecclesiastical affairs and a 
theological wisdom of the first order. Cardinal Van Rossum, the 
Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, 
was particularly impressed. Soon it was said that Father Mooney 
was destined for high things. The rumor was borne out with his 
appointment to Gasparri's commission for the revision of the 
Roman Catechism and later as apostolic delegate to India in 
1926. Mooney himself protested to Van Rossum that he did not 
have the qualities for the position. 

"I'm afraid I shall not live up to expectations," he said, 

"Don't worry/' Cardinal Van Rossum answered. "I'm sure 
you will.'* 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 

The consecration of Father Mooney as Archbishop of Ire- 
nopolis took place on January 31, 1926, Soon after, the apostolic 
delegate sailed to take up his new responsibilities. 

En route to India, he stopped in the United States for an af- 
fecting reunion with his aged mother, who had played such a 
large part in directing his steps toward the priesthood. The 
priests of the diocese, who prized Archbishop Mooney, gave him 
a magnificent banquet at which they spoke of their admiration 
in unmeasured terms and presented him with a generous purse 
to further his mission work. 

The voyage was long and there was ample time to mull over 
the complexities of the tasks he faced There were conflicting 
privileges and loyalties between the Portuguese enclaves and the 
native bishops; there were problems with the native princes 
and the British Raj. Most important of all, it was necessary 
to make all the parties involved see the wisdom of building up 
a strong native priesthood, as Pius XI so ardently desired. All 
of this would have to be done in a strange climate on a strange 
diet by varied and often primitive modes of travel. As he walked 
the decks of the ship Archbishop Mooney must have smiled a 
little, comparing his new problems with the old days when he 
and his brothers delivered bread in the heat and cold of 

The apostolic delegation at Bangalore, in the province of 
Mysore, largest province in South India, surprised the arch- 
bishop; the climate at 3,000 feet above sea level was pleasant 
most of the year. The white buildings of the city of some 600,- 
ooo people made a pleasant contrast with the lush green of the 
trees and exotic flowering shrubs. There was advantage in 
the fact that Bangalore was an important railway center and 
the seat of a university. 

Archbishop Mooney found the Indians both subtle and shyly 
reserved. Conversation with them proved to be delightful; often 
they could see a point quite invisible to the Anglo-Saxon 
mentality, and there was usually warm friendliness behind the 
shy facades. 

The archbishop was not content to be a mere paper delegate. 


He moved about in official society with sure charm, and starting 
out on the convenient and excellently organized railway, pro- 
ceeded on a personal visitation of his vast territory by car, car- 
riage and bullock cart. 

Father John A. Killian, S.J., who observed the work of the 
delegate at close range, offers us an inspiring summary of 
those years: 

In four short years in India, he won the undying affection 
of every missionary priest and bishop and the laity. He scoured 
the vast country from east to west and from north to south. He 
visited every mission field. 

He saw all the missionaries. He was one with them in food 
and travel. There was no place too remote for him to visit, no 
abode too wretched, no food too poor. He welcomed all with 
delight and contagious amiability. 

Fifteen new missionary territories were erected under his 
supervision; three existing diocese were transferred to native 

The crowning achievement of all was the reconciliation with 
the Church of about sixty thousand Christians of the Malabar 
Rite who had been in schism for centuries. 

The strangeness wore off after awhile or was consumed in the 
delegate's intense zeal which saw beyond the present moment 
to the fields white with the harvest of souls. As an American, 
he was above and beyond the political battles and narrow na- 
tional interests. This gave him enormous advantage in settling 
rivalries and disputes objectively, and his pleasant manner and 
long experience in handling perplexed or maverick youngsters 
proved to be of great value. 

In the almost five years of his mission, he had fulfilled Van 
Rossum's optimistic prophecy to the hilt in settling outstanding 
problems among bishops and princes and in immeasurably for- 
warding the movement for the native priests and sisterhoods. 

There had been sticky moments in trying to settle difficulties 
between the Portuguese and Indian bishops, but through the 
employment of patience and endless reasoning in pointing 
up loyalty and duty, Archbishop Mooney was able to solve the 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 173 

most vexing problems in a fashion that established good prece- 
dents for a peaceful future. In doing so, he had completely 
charmed officialdom, particularly Lord Halifax, Viceroy of 
India, who became his lifelong friend. 

The reward for good work is usually more of it. Archbishop 
Mooney realized this in 1931 when he was transferred to the 
apostolic delegation in Tokyo. It was quite a change to go from 
a country in which facility in careless living is almost genius to 
a land in which the mannered mode of life is nearly a mania. 

The intense neatness of the land and people delighted the 
archbishop. Scarcely less interesting was the compartmental 
character of the Japanese mind, which could maintain op- 
posites with serene aplomb. Their good taste, love of art and 
stark drama, conspired to make life among them something of a 
charming game. Yet Archbishop Mooney could see that behind 
their outmoded religio-patriotic fervor was an uneasy search for 
philosophical and religious certitude. 

One of his first endeavors was to act as a bridge between the 
government and the educational and social groups of the Cath- 
olic Church in Japan. Authoritarian education, symbolized by 
the Catholic University and the religious schools, appealed to 
all that was best in the Japanese character it took little 
energy to explain that to the great princely and commercial 
families. Even many of those who were not Catholics came to 
see the wisdom of sending their daughters to the schools gov- 
erned by the nuns, in which discipline and graceful conduct 
were the norms. 

When Archbishop Mooney arrived in Japan, the outstanding 
issue between Catholics and the government was the question 
of the Shinto shrines or national cemeteries which all Japanese 
were required by law to visit and pay homage to. Japanese Cath- 
olics had quietly stayed away, maintaining that they could not in 
conscience take part in Shinto worship. Were such visits merely 
patriotic or were they also religious? 

Archbishop Mooney found a way out by insisting that the gov- 
ernment must make a public declaration to the effect that visits 
to the shrines were merely patriotic and not religious. The 


declaration did not come until after his departure, but when it 
came, Japanese Catholics gradually frequented the shrines and 
became less suspect to their compatriots. 

Another outstanding achievement of the Japanese days was 
the calling of a plenary council of the bishops of Korea. All the 
sessions of the council were conducted in Latin, because of the 
diverse languages of the bishops participating. Archbishop 
Mooney presided genially, and under his direction a uniform 
discipline was established for the territory and measures were 
taken for increasing missionary zeal and effectiveness. 

Pius XI was pleased with Archbishop Mooney's achievements. 
His usefulness in Japan, however, had run its course. That 
country's aggressive colonialism had aroused the anger of the 
United States Government, and the American prelate was no 
longer persona grata at the Japanese Foreign Office. With this 
in mind, Pius XI appointed Archbishop Mooney Bishop of 
Rochester, in upstate New York. It seemed a modest reward for 
tremendous achievement, but it was to be of short duration 
and a genuine steppingstone to ecclesiastical preferment. 

The Depression was at its height. Bishop Mooney suffered 
acutely with his people in Rochester, since he knew from his 
childhood what it meant to be poor and insecure. He multiplied 
himself in public service, in lectures at the seminary, in con- 
ferences in all the parishes especially among the many foreign 
groups that were often forgotten and seldom encouraged. 

Though Bishop Mooney's body had been out of the United 
States, his mind had been shrewdly concerned with the progress 
of papel social teaching and its progress in America. These he 
proceeded to emphasize in speeches throughout the diocese 
and as a crown to his efforts arranged a conference on in- 
dustrial problems in the fall of 1936 in which the ideas of 
Church and Labor were shown to be in complete accord. 

The Bishop of Rochester may seem a minor figure in the 
national conference of bishops, in which ruling archbishops and 
cardinals usually have the chief say. Such was not the case with 
Archbishop Mooney. In a sense, he was a bishop's bishop. The 
hierarchy knew his reputation intimately and admired his sue- 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 175 

cess and tremendous ability. These were the main reasons which 
led them to elect him to the chairmanship of the National 
Catholic Welfare Conference's administrative board from 1934 
to 1939 and again from 1941 to 1945 periods in which some of 
the most important decisions for the future of the entire Church 
in America were made. It may further be said that the N.C.W.C., 
as we know it today, is largely his creation. 

Detroit became an archdiocese in 1937, with Edward 
Mooney as its first archbishop. Priests and everyone else re- 
ceived him with a great demonstration of loyalty and affection. 
There were several bands at the Michigan Central Station when 
his car arrived at 7 P.M. on Ausust 2. A large group led by 
Governor Murphy welcomed their archbishop with noisy en- 
thusiasm. Tens of thousands of people, carrying flags and ban- 
ners, were massed in Roosevelt Park. 

In a brief speech to the throng, Archbishop Mooney said that 
he came among them to fulfill the law of Moses, confirmed by 
Christ: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God . . . and thy neigh- 
bor as thyself." He stressed the beauties of peace, the horror of 
hate. A glowing tribute was paid to his predecessor Bishop 
Gallagher, and then everyone regardless of creed or race 
was urged to cooperate in the public service. 

On the following morning, Archbishop Mooney was en- 
throned in the beautiful Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament. 
Over half the hierarchy of the United States had come to pay 
him honor at the ceremony over which Archbishop Cicognani 

It had been foreseen, well in advance, that the old Cathedral 
of SS. Peter and Paul would be much too small for the occa- 
sion, so the spacious Gothic Church of the Most Blessed Sacra- 
ment had been selected. (It later became the new cathedral, 
after Rome granted the archbishop's petition for the change.) 

When the apostolic delegate had returned to his throne on 
the Epistle side of the altar, Archbishop Mooney, in full regalia* 
addressed his new flock. A dead silence fell in the crowded 
church as bishops and laymen listened to one of the most clear 
and ringing declarations of purpose they had ever heard. He 


said: "I carry the Gospel of Christ. This is the Gospel of broth- 
erly love and peace not peace at any price, but peace at the price 
of doing justice, of practicing charity, of exercising the disci- 
pline of conciliation and restraint, of pursuing the way of mu- 
tual understanding, of using methods of calm discussion and 
responsible agreement, of standing faithful to the given word/' 

Detroiters liked their new archbishop instantly his genial- 
ity, his trenchant summaries, his deeply religious orientation, 
his subtle explanations of doctrine, his width of view. 

But when the celebrations were over, the actual situation 
proved more serious than Mooney had expected. The huge 
Detroit diocese had been drastically reduced in area. The era of 
boom in the twenties, which brought thousands of Catholics 
streaming into Detroit, had been followed by the depression of 
the thirties, with its astounding tragedies and misery. Capital 
and Labor were locked in a struggle with few or no holds 
barred; racial hatreds were at a peak. In addition, Archbishop 
Mooney was succeeding Bishop Gallagher, a good and kindly 
man who had ruled the diocese for nineteen years, but who had 
become overwhelmed and confused toward the end by the 
mounting issues crowding upon him. The diocese was in debt 
to the tune of $20,000,000. 

Then there was the problem of Father Coughlin. A fabulously 
successful pastor, publicist and speaker, his name was a power 
in the land. Some said he had courage, others that he lacked 
prudence. All admitted that he disliked our much-adulated 
President. Though Bishop Gallagher had usually supported 
Father Coughlin 's efforts in public, the considered opinion 
among United States Catholics was that the Detroit priest had 
grown too big for his diocese. 

If Archbishop Mooney shuddered a little at the problems to 
be solved, he must have smiled a little too at his motto: "We 
serving the Lord." He seemed to be doing that with a vengeance. 

The first thing to be tackled was the debt. Archbishop 
Mooney discussed the entire problem with noted lawyers and 
financial experts, after which he met with the heads of banks, 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 177 

in order to reduce the interest rates and widen the base on 
which the debts rested. 

With his talent for convincing people, the archbishop was 
able to secure the enthusiastic interest of more than 200 pastors 
who pledged the full resources and credit of their parishes. 
They agreed to devote a definite minimum of their annual in- 
comes to the reduction of the entire debt. Even parishes out of 
debt offered the same help. As a result of the guarantees, the 
archbishop was able to provide banks and insurance companies 
the security they demanded on their loans. 

While this plan was being worked out most parishes were also 
working to reduce their own debts to some degree. Conse- 
quently, when it came time to put the new loan agreement into 
effect in February of 1941, the total debt of the diocese had 
shrunk to $ 18,000,000. Insurance companies took $10,000,000 
of this total on 1 2-year notes secured by mortgages. Banks of the 
Detroit area, Chicago and New York, assumed the balance of 
$8,000,000 on an 8-year loan covered by serial notes. This re- 
financing project was accomplished without any compromise of 

On loans from parishes out of debt, the archbishop agreed to 
pay a just interest rate. He also agreed to return the principal 
when it was needed for parish expansion. By the time the third 
anniversary of this refinancing program dawned, the diocese 
had reduced its total debt to the banks and insurance companies 
by nearly $12,000,000. 

Imitation is the sincerest flattery. The cardinal's successful 
annual drive has moved many bishops in the United States to 
institute an annual development fund campaign in their own 
dioceses. They even use Cardinal Mooney's title for this fund- 
raising effort. 

Archbishop Mooney had genuine financial vision which 
enabled him to see that the mere payment of the diocesan debt 
was not his real goal. He must build if the diocese was to excel 
in the service of God and his people. That meant churches, 
schools, hospitals and centers for social service. 


Out of his own fertile mind came the Archdiocesan De- 
velopment Fund in 1943, which even in the midst of war looked 
forward to the future after victory had been won. In May, an 
army of enthusiastic volunteers set out to gather funds which, 
beginning with a new seminary, embraced every future con- 
tingency and included sections of the diocese that had only be- 
gun to develop. 

When Archbishop Mooney came to Detroit, his diocese em- 
braced nearly 603,000 souls. At the time of his death the Cath- 
olic population had risen to nearly 1,400,000, all adequately 
served with churches, schools, hospitals and social centers of 
the most completely diverse kind all as a result of his develop- 
ment fund. 

It is possible to single out of these accomplishments the proj- 
ects which were nearest to his heart. The first of these was St. 
John's Provincial Seminary which, with its soaring bell tower 
and flowing fagade, delights the eye and contains every modern 
facility for the formation and training of young men for the 
priesthood. The priesthood is an elite corps of the Church, and 
upon its piety, zeal and learning depend the stability and prog- 
ress in bringing Christ to the people. 

St. John's Seminary is the only true canonical provincial 
seminary in the United States enjoying the approval of the Holy 
See's Congregation of Universities and Seminaries. It is gov- 
erned by a board of all bishops of the province, and each bishop 
has an equal vote. The tuition is set by vote, and any deficit is 
met by all the dioceses, which are assessed sums in keeping with 
their size and the number of students enrolled. 

In staffing the major seminary, the archbishop turned to his 
old mentors, the Sulpician Fathers, who had so beautifully fos- 
tered his own gifts and spiritual life. 

Hardly less dear to the archbishop's heart than the good boy 
with a vocation were the orphaned, retarded and troubled chil- 
dren. For these, he provided pleasant homes where they could 
be cared for and educated according to modern ideas. The most 
notable achievement in this field was Boysville at Macon, Mich- 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 

igan, which helps troubled young men to find themselves and 
guides them toward self-reliance and useful lives. 

Last but not least was the archbishop's completion of his ca- 
thedral in the best tradition of late Gothic splendor. Its beauti- 
ful twin towers are one of the outstanding landmarks on Wood- 
ward Avenue. 

In addition to these important items, there were large sums 
loaned for the purchase of parish sites and for pioneering re- 
ligious efforts. Among these was the firm establishment of the 
Catechetical League under trained leadership. Quarters were 
found near all the great public school centers, and 60,000 Cath- 
olic children were thus enabled to learn the truths of their re- 
ligion with a minimum of inconvenience. 

Unique is the fact that the seminary and Boysville were built 
and financed by the combined efforts of all the bishops of the 
province. This was not merely an indication of the cordial good 
feeling that prevailed under Archbishop Mooney; it reflected 
a talent for getting cooperation that went back to his early col- 
lege days when he was head of the Students* Mission Crusade 
and later coached and directed a lively debating society. The 
art of convincing minds was his, and he had a near genius for 
showing people how necessary it is to cooperate in the achieve- 
ment of important goals. 

The problem of Father Coughlin was solved with a minimum 
of fuss. In Speaking of Cardinals, Thomas Morgan says that the 
solution came through a new synodal law making it obligatory 
for all priests of the archdiocese to secure the archbishop's ap- 
proval on anything to be printed or broadcast. Whatever tran- 
spired is a secret between Archbishop Mooney and Father 
Coughlin. It is to the everlasting priestly credit of both men that 
they said nothing and went on to new successes: Father Coughlin 
to become a devoted pastor of his beautiful shrine church of 
the Little Flower with its active grade and high schools; Arch- 
bishop Mooney to the Sacred College of Cardinals. 

The news of his elevation to the senate of the Church came by 
a telephone call from the apostolic delegate on Christmas morn- 


ing 1945. During the war, the Holy Father, as a sign of mourn- 
ing, had made no cardinals. Now that peace had come, Pius XII 
signalized the Church's joy in elevating thirty-two distinguished 
prelates chosen from all over the world. The United States 
had the distinction of four new cardinals: Glennon of St Louis, 
Mooney of Detroit, Stritch of Chicago, and Spellman of New 

The archbishop did not intend to publish the news imme- 
diately, but Heinie Hoch, veteran reporter of Catholic affairs 
for the Detroit News, who had the archbishop's private tele- 
phone number and had been tipped off from New York, called 
the archbishop for confirmation of the story. 

The archbishop readily confirmed the news, and when asked 
for a statement, told Hoch to meet him at the Mother of Con- 
solation Chapel on Mackey Avenue, which he was going to bless 
that morning. Archbishop Mooney then added something char- 
acteristic of his diplomatic alertness and even-handed justice; 
"Call the other papers, will you, Heinie? I'm sort of busy this 

Cameramen and newsmen in packs converged on the chapel 
long in advance of the designated hour. Archbishop Mooney 
greeted them with a broad grin and publicly confirmed the 
rumor. Then he said swiftly what was in his heart: 

"Naturally I am deeply moved by this supreme token of con- 
fidence on the part of the Holy Father. I am profoundly grate- 
ful to him. The sobering thought of the responsibility this 
honor carries induces a mood of deep-felt humility in the re- 
cipient. But there is unalloyed joy in the thought of the 
compliment it implies to the clergy and the people of this 
archdiocese, whose cooperation through the years has been so 
heartening and so inspiring." 

The two old friends, Archbishops Stritch and Mooney, made 
joint plans for the journey. When they departed for Rome with 
their friends, it was significant that no newsmen were on the 
plane. Both prelates were one in wishing to preserve intact the 
religious aspects of their elevation. 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 181 

Cardinal Mooney stayed in a villa on the outskirts of Rome, 
and resolutely refused all the blandishments of reporters and 
cameramen. Yet after he received his red galero from the hands 
of Pius XII in the splendid Solemn Consistory of February 21, 
1946, the new cardinal graciously made one concession to his 
favorite newsman in consenting to broadcast a question-and- 
answer interview from the Vatican radio direct to WWJ in De- 
troit. Hoch was all the more surprised and grateful because 
Cardinal Mooney had refused the same concession to all the 
major networks. 

The plane trip home was a bumpy one. The weather was so 
bad in Detroit that the cardinal was forced to land in Chicago, 
proceeding to Detroit by train. Despite the weather, there was 
a tremendous crowd waiting at Detroit's airport. Monsignor 
Hickey, who was directing the reception, got in touch with the 
cardinal by phone, asking what time he expected to arrive. Ac- 
cording to Thomas Morgan, the cardinal told Monsignor Hickey 
to send the people home. "Do not let them wait around in the 
cold. Why make them wait for me anyway? After all, I'm no 

It was in this mood of consideration for others and genuine 
manly gratitude that the cardinal went through the round of 
dinners and receptions in his honor. During his entire life he 
had shown striking consideration for the little man, a quality 
that remained unchanged with his new eminence. 

Edgar Guest, an old friend and golfing partner, was the master 
of ceremonies at the civic banquet in the cardinal's honor. 
The high point of the dinner was the presentation of two cars 
by General Motors and Ford; the first was a Cadillac, then came 
Ford's gift of a Lincoln that could be turned in for a new car 
every year. After the applause had died down, Guest returned 
to the mike. "Now it is my turn to give the cardinal something 
I know he can drive." The poet held his gift high for all to see. 
It was a shiny new golf ball. 

In his first public speech after his return from Rome, the 
cardinal urged his listeners to "join themselves ever more closely 


with the Holy Father by the study and practice of papal direc- 
tives concerned with social problems and community and in- 
ternational cooperation/' 

During his first eight years as archbishop he had not hesitated 
to speak out bluntly in defense of the C.I.O. and U.A.W. when 
they were under attack or misrepresented. Phil Murray always 
dropped in for a visit when he was passing through Detroit. 
Walter Reuther and many others in the U.A.W. were on 
friendly terms with the archbishop, as were the titans of in- 
dustry: Knudson and Coyle of General Motors, Keller and 
Hutchinson of Chrysler, and Henry Ford II and Bugas of Ford 


In 1947, Cardinal Mooney accepted active membership on 
Detroit's Labor-Management-Public Committee, along with 
Reuther, Charles E. Wilson, President of General Motors, 
Henry Ford II and other noted community leaders. 

Two years later, at the solemn dedication of St. John's Sem- 
inary, the cardinal bluntly reminded his distinguished audi- 
ence of priests and prelates that he and most of the American 
priests and bishops had come from working-class families, that 
they must cherish their kinship with working men, and that 
they must profess and prove their active interest in workers' 
problems and welfare. 

The cardinal spoke in much the same fashion in defense of 
the United Nations by reminding its critics that although it was 
an imperfect instrument, like all human instruments, it was a 
long step in the right direction, warmly approved by Pope Pius 

November 1951 was a significant month for Detroit Catho- 
lics, who were celebrating three events: Cardinal Mooney' s sil- 
ver jubilee as bishop, the completion of Blessed Sacrament 
Cathedral, and the 5>50th anniversary of the Church in Detroit. 
Four cardinals came for the solemn day of triumph: Stritch of 
Chicago, Tien of Peiping, China, Spellman of New York, and 
McGuigan of Toronto. Thirteen archbishops and eighty-eight 
bishops a dazzling demonstration of Catholic solidarity and 
even more of a personal tribute to Cardinal Mooney. 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 183 

In 1952, during the national convention of Holy Name men, 
there were tremendous public demonstrations of love for the 
Blessed Sacrament; in a fervid holy hour, massed thousands in 
Briggs Stadium poured out their love of Christ in prayer and 
song and marched down Woodward Avenue the following morn- 
ing with bands and flying banners. 

The cardinal had a right to be proud of his archdiocese as 
the fifties were coming to a close. Every aspect of Catholic life 
showed remarkable vigor; bishops, priests and people were in 
harmonious accord; a crusade against indecent publications and 
movies was successful; colleges and schools were growing 

The death of Cardinal Stritch in Rome on May 27, 1958, was 
a terrible blow to Cardinal Mooney. They had been close 
friends since their student days in the North American College. 
Cardinal Stritch had always been the "little brother/' and it was 
this loving title with which Cardinal Mooney hailed his friend 
as he lay in state on the day of the funeral. 

The news from Rome in early October of the same year was 
that Pius XII was ill. This great pontiff had been a true father 
for suffering people everywhere, and men of all faiths admired 
and loved him. He died on October 8, 1958, and was buried 
with universal mourning. The cardinals of the world began to 
convene for the election of a new pope. 

Cardinal Mooney had not been well for some time, and had 
the occasion been of less importance, he might well have fol- 
lowed the advice of his doctors to rest as much as possible. But 
he who had preached duty to others all his life was not one 
to spare himself in the solemn duty of electing a new Holy 

At the conclusion of the Mass of the Holy Spirit on the morn- 
ing of the day the conclave was to open, Saturday, October 25, 
Cardinal Mooney felt tired. Yet he returned to the North Amer- 
ican College after Mass and was his old jovial self at luncheon 
with Cardinals Spellman and Mclntyre. 

Near the close of the meal he asked Cardinal Spellman if 
there would be time for a brief rest. The cardinal didn't think 


so, but when Cardinal Mooney reminded him of the old adage, 
"When in Rome do as the Romans do," which certainly en- 
joined a siesta, New York's cardinal laughingly acquiesced. 

At 2:15 P.M. Cardinal Mooney retired, instructing his secre- 
tary Monsignor Breitenbeck to call him promptly at 2:45. When 
the monsignor knocked on the door at the appointed time, he 
got no answer. Entering the room, he found the cardinal dying 
of a massive heart attack. After calling the doctor, he gave Car- 
dinal Mooney extreme unction. Cardinals Spellman and Mc- 
Intyre, hurriedly summoned along with the rector, Bishop Mar- 
tin J. O'Connor, arrived for the last absolutions. 

The two cardinals were overcome by the sudden tragedy, but 
as the opening hour of the conclave was near at hand, they had 
to hurry off despite their shock and grief. It was particularly sad 
to think that Cardinal Mooney, who had been an outstanding 
leader of men the world over, would never excercise his highest 
prerogative in helping select a new pope. 

It was this duty, which now took precedence over all church 
business, that made the presence of a dead cardinal in Rome 
something of an embarrassment, in a sense. Everything was ex- 
pedited for his departure for home on the following day. For- 
tunately, three who loved and admired him Bishop O'Connor, 
Monsignor Breitenbeck and Father Arthur M. Karey, Assistant 
Chancellor of Detroit were there to see that everything was 
carried out to the last degree of permissible splendor. 

Special permission to offer a Requiem Mass was obtained for 
Bishop O'Connor, since it would be Sunday and the Feast of 
Christ the King on which Rome would say its final farewell to 
the dead cardinal in the superb chapel of the North American 

After the Mass, the cardinal's body, accompanied by Mon- 
signor Breitenbeck and Father Karey, was flown to Idlewild, 
and then to Detroit, where it was met by the cardinal's grief- 
stricken curia led by Bishops Zaleski, Donovan and Donnelly, 
followed by throngs of priests and people. 

For two days the body of the cardinal lay in state in the beauti- 
ful home given to Bishop Gallagher by an admirer. It is notable 

Edward Cardinal Mooney : 185 

that some 10,000 people made the long pilgrimage to the house 
in Palmer Woods to show their love and respect for this out- 
standing prince of democracy, impressive even in death. Later 
in the week the dead cardinal lay in state in his cathedral while 
thousands of his people waited patiently in long lines for a 
last look at his beloved countenance. 

On Friday, October 31, the morning was heavy with the sad 
sound of tolling church bells all over the city of Detroit. The 
apostolic delegate offered the Solemn Mass of Requiem, and 
after four absolutions, the cardinal was borne away to his be- 
loved seminary of St. John. There, after the final absolution 
by Bishop Zaleski, the cardinal's body was laid to rest in the 
crypt beneath the high altar. 

Pope John XXIII sent a message of praise and condolence; 
others flowed in from faraway places all over the world. In his 
own city, the talk was all of the cardinal's achievements and the 
realization of how much the city and state would miss his force 
and vision. No one doubted his greatness as priest, nuncio, 
bishop and cardinal. Always Edward Mooney had been in the 
van of the struggle for the head and heart of the modern world. 
Priests and people had loved the man. They would sorely miss 
the inspired leadership that had enabled them to see and share 
his high destiny "We serving the Lord/* 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch 

THE WARM summer dusk was settling over Nashville, Ten- 
nessee, when Samuel Stritch was born August 17, 1887. 
Garrett Stritch, Samuel's father, had come from Dublin in the 
seventies. His first years in America were spent at the home of 
a cousin in Louisville, Kentucky. They were important years 
which brought the bright young man the friendship and inter- 
est of Colonel Lewis, one of the wealthy men of the district, and 
the acquaintance of Catherine Malley, an American-Irish girl of 
striking brunette charm. Acquaintance grew into love and mar- 

Colonel Lewis at first thought there was greater opportunity 
for his protege and the growing family at Sycamore Mills in 
Tennessee. The nearest Catholic church was in Nashville, a long 
journey by boat or carriage, and Mrs. Stritch was acutely miser- 
able when she was unable to attend Sunday Mass. 

Garrett Stritch and his family returned to Louisville for six 
months. At the end of that time, Colonel Lewis offered his 
friend the managership of the Nashville office of Sycamore 
Mills. Garrett gladly accepted and found a comfortable frame 
house for his brood in North Nashville, at the corner of Madison 
and Fifth avenues. It was in this high-windowed house that 
Samuel Stritch was born. 

Assumption Church, three blocks from home, was the scene 
of his baptism and early religious training. He received his in- 


Samuel Cardinal Stritch : 187 

troduction to learning at Assumption school, and his teachers 
found him unusually bright and lively. Though the second 
youngest of eight children, he cheerfully helped his older broth* 
ers in their daily chores of chopping and carrying wood for 
the capacious stoves and fireplaces of the day. 

The reward for this labor came in summer with long excur- 
sions to the swimming hole in White's Creek. There the burst- 
ing joy in a boy's heart seemed almost too great to be bome as 
the sun-dappled hours sped by. 

Sam's intellectual opportunities widened when he transferred 
to St. Mary's Cathedral School and came to the attention of 
Father John Morris, rector of the cathedral. Father Morris en- 
joyed his encounters with the lighthearted boy whose ready 
repartee and quick comprehension of the deepest thoughts 
seemed to mark him for a career in the Church. 

When Samuel was in his ninth year, his talented father died. 
Fortunately Catherine Stritch had the complete self-reliance 
that enabled her to be both father and mother to her children. 
They all looked to her for direction and advice. The tender- 
hearted Sam was particularly attentive; the bond between them 
was close and affectionate. 

Sam Stritch literally flew through high school, graduating at 
the age of fourteen. Boyishly shy and quite sure that he had a 
vocation, Sam made ready to go to St. Gregory's Minor Seminary 
in Cincinnati. 

A picture taken at the time shows an alert wide-browed child 
with delicately chiseled features and large blue eyes. 

The great battles within the American Church were over in 
1901, but the issues were still discussed with more heat than 
light, even among the neophytes at St. Gregory's. The famous 
Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore was a national figure, the ad- 
mired friend of presidents and people alike. 

Sam's fellow students at St. Gregory's soon learned respect for 
this small, determined scholar. The devotion he brought to his 
studies in the classics and philosophy was remarkable. He was 
an ardent reader, and the perfection of his conversation and 
phrasing added luster to the tasks of learning. 


Within two years, the bright boy had earned his A.B. Father 
Morris was proud of his protege. Bishop Byrne of Nashville 
echoed this encouragement by suggesting that the young student 
be sent to Rome. 

Catherine Stritch was sad to see her son go, but managed to 
voice a blessing through her tears on the day of his departure. 

During the trip to Naples, Sam thought about the world he 
was to enter. But the reality of color, charm and strangeness was 
even more exciting than he had imagined it. The ancient world 
lay before him like a glittering mosaic of some great master. 
All the way to Rome he peered through the train window at the 
little towns perched like eagles on the mountains. It was all so 
different; even the smells were new. 

The first glimpses of Rome enthralled him. Everything he 
had read about was here, beckoning him on every side in golden 
walls, sun-lustered domes and soaring columns. It was a great 
treasure chest, and he would have six long years to savor the 

At the North American College Sam felt that Bishop Ken- 
nedy was more than a little surprised at the sight of his small 
knickerbockered figure, and perhaps he wished that his mother 
had been less reluctant to see him grow up. But he could sense 
that the bishop was intrigued by his alert replies and boyish 

Things promised well. No knight donning armor for the first 
time was more thrilled than Sam as he put on his colorful uni- 
form with its blue piping and red sash. In his imagination, he 
was one with the great churchmen of history. 

The sense of excitement and perpetual newness lasted all 
through the six years of intensive study. Other boys found the 
climate and the cold house trying. To Sam it seemed much like 
the climate of Nashville, but here there was so much more to 
see, so much more to learn, and such fascinating visitors and 

In summer it was even more charming up at the Villa Santa 
Caterina. The blue lake, the hikes through the pines, gardens 
and vineyards, the endless summer succession of famous church- 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch : 189 

men, the tennis, the picnics. He bubbled endlessly of it all in 
letters to his mother, easing her loneliness by his romantic hap- 
piness and vivid descriptions. 

On various feast days, Cardinal Merry del Val invited groups 
of students to his nearby villa. On these occasions he doffed his 
air of ecclesiastical grandeur and became one of them. They 
watched with amazement as he displayed his marksmanship with 
a rifle. He would set up a row of pennies on the garden wall and 
unerringly shoot them off at thirty paces. They tried to copy 
him, but they couldn't match him. In their minds he was a cross 
between John Barryxnore and Buffalo Bill, with all the added 
glamor of being the Pope's Secretary of State. 

Sam found his studies as exciting as the excursions into the 
countryside; St. Thomas or Blessed Albert opened up ever-in- 
creasing vistas of the mind and the power behind it. But for 
Sam, the lovely little chapel was a special place of solitude. There 
in the comforting warmth of his long cloak he could let his 
mind and heart soar away into the landscape of immortality. As 
sacristan, a post of great honor, he was careful not to let others 
know what hours of devotion went into the care and decoration 
of the altars. 

By 1910, Sam had triumphantly passed the examinations for 
his two doctor's degrees, one in philosophy, one in Theology. 
As a sacristan and an officer of the college, he was ready for or- 
dination. But canon law said he was too young to be ordained at 

Bishop Kennedy, with fatherly solicitude, took Sam to an 
audience with the great pope-saint, Pius X. With a piercing in- 
tensity that recognized a dedicated soul, the Holy Father looked 
at the young man. Before the Pope lay the shining record of 
Sam's studies and conduct. 

The pontiff smiled at Bishop Kennedy over the bent head of 
his charge, then laid his hand on Sam's shoulder. "He is young 
in years/' Sam heard the silvery voice say, "but old in intelli- 
gence. Let him be ordained/' The smile on the Pope's face lit 
an answering one on Sam's. He was ordained by Cardinal Res- 
phigi on May 21, 1910. 


After his homecoming Mass In the cathedral and the excite- 
ment of the parish reception, there were long hours spent in 
regaling the family with the stored-up excitement of six exciting 


Father Sam was happy in his assignment as assistant to Father 
Morris. To be stationed so near to home, to have his old friend 
as adviser and companion, were gifts he had never expected. In 
fact he had often had romantic dreams of doing missionary work 
in the poorest Negro parish in the diocese. 

After several happy years at Assumption, Father Sam was 
transferred to St. Patrick's Church in Memphis. Within a year 
he became pastor, and everyone in trouble was beating a path 
to his door. The small salary he received never had time to get 
warm in his pocket. Like Pius X in his youth, Sam's devotion 
to personal charity work and his good use of every minute of his 
time brought extra burdens; he became Bishop Byrne's secre- 
tary in 1916, and chancellor of the diocese in March 1917. 

War came. Wilson was the idol of the South, which was send- 
ing its sons into the service by the thousands. The bishop's 
secretary burned his lights far into the night, yet he was never so 
busy that he couldn't find time to console or advise the mothers 
and wives who came to him with their sorrows and problems. 

No one was surprised when the boyish priest became a mon- 
signer in 1921. "He'd make an ideal bishop," people said. Rome 
seemed to feel the same way about it. Three months after he 
first donned the purple, Benedict XV named Monsignor Stritch 
Bishop of Toledo, Ohio. 

The Church of St. Francis de Sales in Toledo was jammed to 
the doors for the consecration on November 3, 1921. The 
bishop looked small and frail from a distance, but his minute 
figure and cameolike profile were impressive at close range. 
More memorable still was the warm personal charm of the man 
who seemed almost shy as he listened and then made big deci- 
sions with a minimum of soft-spoken words. 

His biggest adjustment concerned the northern climate, which 
did not agree with him. Of his first year in Toledo, he said, '1 
didn't get warm until August/' 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch : 

Grateful for his teaching, the boy bishop gave his attention 
to education which he called "our first charity." In 1924, he 
opened a Catholic teachers' college, the first of its kind in the 
United States; Mary Manse College had been started in 1922. 
The teachers* college opened the way for Catholics to acquire 
the necessary credits and degrees that would enable the Church 
to keep pace with nonreligious schools and colleges. 

All the mission activities of the dioceses were put under cen- 
tralized control in 1923. The charitable works were unified the 
following year and became Toledo Catholic Charities, Inc. The 
bishop himself still believed in personal charity. Known as a 
soft touch to everyone in the city, he seldom had a dime in his 

A pilgrimage to Rome in 1925 seems to have given Bishop 
Stritch the incentive to build a cathedral in Toledo. Soon he 
was talking about his dream and incessantly working for its 
practical realization. 

The cornerstone of the Cathedral of the Holy Rosary was laid 
by Cardinal Czernock of Hungary on June 26, 1926. Four years 
later, on August 26, 1930, before he could finish his cathedral, 
the bishop was elevated to the Archbishopric of Milwaukee, 
upon the death of Archbishop Messmer. The promotion was en- 
tirely unexpected and not entirely welcome. Bishop Stritch 
loved Toledo, and had even hoped to be buried there in the Vis- 
itation Convent. Doubtless his success in handling the various 
foreign groups in the diocese, his pastoral zeal and outstanding 
learning, had played a large part in the promotion. "To think 
with the Church/' had long been one of the bishop's favorite slo- 
gans. Now that thinking demanded a simple act of obedience 
and the assumption of heavier burdens. The cold Toledo win- 
ters had been his greatest cross; they weren't likely to be less 
severe in Milwaukee. Besides, the United States was in the midst 
of the Depression, and the large groups of workers of foreign 
descent in Milwaukee suffered most as the wheels of industry 
practically ceased moving. 

Yet why should the bishop feel discouraged? People were still 
people. Five thousand of them crowded into the civic audito- 


rium in Toledo, to bid him farewell. So reluctant were they to 
lose him, that 400 went with him on a special train to see him in- 
stalled in Milwaukee. Pondering it all in his daily holy hour in 
his chapel, the archbishop could see that love was the real treas- 
ure. Money was important, but without love it achieved noth- 

The real necessities of the times were "God and good fathers 
and mothers/' the bishop said in his farewell speech in Toledo. 
Then his soft voice broke a little as he concluded; "I leave you, 
but I take you with me in my heart." 

Milwaukee welcomed him with fervor. Cardinal Mundelein 
installed him in his new cathedral on November 19, with the 
gracious magnificence of which Mundelein was a past master. 
A few days later the governor and civic officials welcomed their 
new shepherd with warmth. 

In response, the archbishop promised them his care, his love, 
and a "helping hand"; he wished chiefly to be a "useful citizen" 
among them, "doing his share toward the realization of those 
ideals which make life worthwhile." 

The problems he found would have daunted a man less spirit- 
ual. Banks and financial houses failed or were in the grip of 
panic, and no relief was yet in sight. Many of his people saw their 
life savings and livelihoods swept away over night. 

The archbishop agonized with his people for two terrible 
years. Sometimes he suffered days of depression. He always 
criticized himself first, and the sorrows and tragedies of his first 
Milwaukee years led him to blame himself. Could he have done 
more in any given circumstance? Could a more loving attitude 
have prevented sorrow or tragedy? 

Fortunately he did not have to suffer alone. Early in his reign 
he had selected a brilliant young Polish priest, Father Roman 
Atkielski, as his secretary. Father Atkielski was treated like the 
archbishop's younger brother; he was at once a friend and a con- 
science. Though the archbishop had occasional days or periods 
of depression, Father Atkielski's presence provided him with a 
safety valve for his self-questioning. Behind the facade of the 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch : 

archbishop, Father Atkielski found the depth and simple 
warmth of a great soul. 

Things in the diocese took a turn for the better after 1933. 

There was a new current of optimism and hope in Washington, 
and its electric impulse began to be felt in the farthest corners 
of the United States. 

The archbishop was just as active as ever in gathering every 
penny he could for charity. This meant long and exhausting 
trips up and down the diocese and the organization of commit- 
tees and dinners, but no amount of personal service was too 
much, as long as the money came in. 

Among the movements nearest to his heart was the Catholic 
Youth Organization that crusading Bishop Shiel had organized. 
It had quickly caught the fancy of important people in and out 
of the Church and the fancy of the young as well. In place of 
do-nothingism, there were drives, goals, games and all sorts of 
opportunities and incentives for the young people of the area. 

The great Pope Pius XI spoke with vigor and fire of Catholic 
Action, the Christian penetration of society under the leader- 
ship of the hierarchy. In season and out of season, the arch- 
bishop preached the doctrine he saw only too clearly that 
mere activity was not enough; activity informed with the spirit 
of prayer, sacrifice and self -conquest was needed. 

Cardinal Mundelein was quick to appreciate the knowledge, 
talent and cordial friendliness of the neighboring archbishop. 
By friendly persuasion, Stritch became vice-chancellor of 
the Extension Society. His first-hand knowledge of the crying 
mission needs of the South was of prime advantage in appor- 
tioning funds raised. The position also brought him into con- 
tact with Bishop O'Brien, who became his closest friend and 
adviser in later years. 

In the beginning, the archbishop was not in favor of drives 
for building even such necessary things as high schools. The first 
goal was the elimination of human want and misery; after that 
there would be time for a long-range plan for diocesan schools. 

The bishop's modest personality registered well with the na- 


tional groups of the diocese. Even his name was a help. The Irish 
weren't quite sure there wasn't a hint o German lurking in its 
fringes; the Germans were quite sure there was, especially since 
the bishop could speak the language; the Poles and Slovaks 
found the name Stritch somehow akin to their own difficult 
names. He came among them to ask about their children and 
their businesses; his small empurpled figure was on hand for 
parades and Holy Name rallies. 

Father Atkielski often had trouble keeping the archbishop 
looking like an archbishop: the busy small shoes would lose their 
shine, the black suit would be a mass of wrinkles, the thinning 
hair would be straggling over his collar. The young priest would 
call a halt until the physical luster was restored and he saw his 
beloved friend shining and well-groomed, hurrying off to the 
next meeting. 

What the bishop meant to his people was amply demonstrated 
on his silver anniversary in 1935. Thousands gathered in the 
civic auditorium for the Pontifical Mass. The archbishop sat 
very erect on his throne. The smile he wore deepened when he 
leaned forward as his old friend and advisor, now Bishop Mor- 
ris of Little Rock, ascended the pulpit for a homely sermon of 
congratulation that recalled old and fragrant memories. Be- 
fore the year was over, he had been serenaded by the symphony 
orchestra and 1,500 Catholic school children and 30,000 Holy 
Name men had received communion from him. 

These were the things the bishop prized, not for their 
personal meaning to him though that touched him deeply 
but as signs of the personal love he had tried to kindle among 
them in pastorals, sermons and lectures pointing up the glories 
of purity, kindness and self-conquest to be deed Catholics not 
name Catholics. 

Cardinal Mundelein's death on October 2, 1939, brought 
great sorrow to Archbishop Stritch. Mundelein had been a tre- 
mendous force in the Midwest. Though a natural born aristo- 
crat who had a positive genius in using his talents to advantage, 
his heart had been like that of Cardinal Gibbons completely 
wrapped up in the struggles of the common people. 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch : 

Archbishop Stritch guessed which way the the winds were 
blowing. Though he briskly went on with the normal business 
of the chancery and the annual charity drive, a cold fear gripped 
him, and prayers multiplied in his mind and heart. 

On Christmas eve a slip of yellow paper was delivered to him 
as he and Father Atkielski waited for the summons to Midnight 

"I can't do it," the priest heard the archbishop mutter. That 
could only mean he was going to Chicago. 

Christmas afternoon Archbishop Stritch went to the telegraph 
office and personally sent a cable to Rome, asking to be relieved 
of his burden. Father Atkielski could see how depressed he was. 
Though the secretary did his best to cheer him with his light 
banter, the gloom failed to lift and the answering cable ordering 
the archbishop to accept put an end to the tension, but failed to 
dispel the cloud of self-questioning humility. 

The mood of quiet leave-taking in Milwaukee was completely 
shattered in the Windy City; 50,000 people jammed themselves 
in and around the Union Station to greet him. Twenty thousand 
of them were young people led by Bishop Sheil. The din of 
their shrill voices was augmented by twelve bands. It was the 
kind of welcome that always delighted Cardinal Mundelein. 
For a moment the small figure of the new shepherd stiffened, 
then the spontaneous and spine-tingling enthusiasm carried him 
away and he began to grin like a boy at a circus. It was this warm 
grin that had first conquered Chicago. 

After the brilliant installation, the archbishop threw himself 
into the work of governing "the largest diocese in the world." 
Unlike Cardinal Mundelein, he preferred to remain in his 
town house instead of commuting to the more opulent villa at 

In the first months of his reign the archbishop was busy find- 
ing out the complex details of the vast works Cardinal Munde- 
lein had started. Next came the task of finding the proper peo- 
ple to direct the various activities and organizations. In this he 
proved to be a shrewd evaluator of men, ready to take advice 
from his auxiliary bishops Sheil and O'Brien. Everyone found 


him humorously approachable. They called him "the Boss/' 
with affection, and he in turn often enough gave them a nick- 
name: Bishop O'Brien, his junior auxiliary and closest collabo- 
rator, was "Juny." 

All of those in authority discovered that the new archbishop 
readily delegated authority. The delegation was complete and 
he held those in command strictly responsible. 

One of his first big projects was the strengthening and im- 
provement of the diocesan newspaper, The Neiu World. Dioc- 
esan newspapers had a reputation for being provincial and rid- 
dled with ecclesiasticism. The archbishop w r anted to get as far 
away from this as possible. His own vision and interests had the 
width of the Universal Church. In time, The New World 
achieved the same informed and freshly expressed viewpoint. 
Through enthusiastic drives and publicity, the subscriptions 
in a little over a decade jumped from 10,000 to 2 10,000. It was 
a first-class achievement and a continuing one that merits the 
highest praise. 

In the first seven years of his reign Archbishop Stritch made 
Catholic Action a living force in the diocese. "It is not enough," 
he said, "to go to the Sacraments and attend Sunday Mass. We 
must live and participate in the life of the Church. What we 
are trying to do is to educate people to understand what it means 
to be a Catholic." 

Social studies, the liturgical movement, the use of correct 
church music, world-wide missionary activity, were all enor- 
mously encouraged in a fashion that attracted the favorable 
attention of the entire nation. 

During the war years, the archbishop mourned the misery 
and death that plagued mankind. Even stronger than his pri- 
vate patriotism and love of country was his interest in the Pope's 
peace plan for the world, which put the emphasis on the love of 
God as the only sure guarantee of the love that should exist be- 
tween all nations. 

Chicago went into a frenzy in 1946 when the news of the 
archbishop's elevation to the cardinalate was released. The 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch : 

cardinal was excited rather than elated. To him the honor be- 
longed to his priests and people, as much as to himself. 

The monumental pomp of Rome, an old story to him, was a 
masterly frame for the spiritual splendor of Pius XII. The new 
cardinal was pleased with the titular church assigned him, St. 
Agnes Outside the Walls. In formally taking possession of his 
church, he stressed the symbolism he saw 7 in St. Agnes. Her pure 
life and heroic death were a protest against the materialism of 
her times; in our own day, she is an inspiration to Catholic 
w r omanhood in the struggle against materialistic humanism. 

While in Rome, the cardinal reopened St. Mary of the Lake, 
which Mundelein had bought as a residence for his young priests 
taking postgraduate w T ork in Rome. 

In a broadcast beamed to the United States over Vatican Ra- 
dio, Cardinal Stritch gave a significant address on Christian 
unity as it exists in the democracy of the Church. At the close 
he stressed the duty of Americans to "make Christian truth 
shine forth in all our activities and undertakings" in tragic 

On November 19, 1946, Cardinal Stritch celebrated his silver 
anniversary as a bishop. Three cardinals, the apostolic delegate 
and over a hundred other priests came for the occasion. 

The Pope sent a personal message which praised the cardinal 
for "the power of his mind and the generosity of his heart/' so 
amply demonstrated in his own diocese and the world at large. 
Pius XII particularly commended the cardinal's w r ork as chair- 
man of the board of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, 
in which post he had directed "monumental works of charity" 
that "channeled relief contributions gathered in the United 
States to the suffering peoples almost everywhere." 

One of the cardinal's first acts was the mounting of a crusade 
against Communism through the powerful Holy Name Society. 
Education, a central lecture bureau, retreats and discussions, 
holy hours, the rosary crusade, all were used as weapons in fight- 
ing the monolithic conspiracy. 

The cardinal himself was always available for big or small 


occasions. Sometimes he wrote his sermons, pecking them out 
with two fingers on a typewriter while a mounting pile of cig- 
arettes burned out in the big ashtray; at other times he spoke 
extemporaneously with the graceful ease born o his wide read- 

Some inkling of his courtesy comes down to us from his Good 
Friday custom of preaching the three-hour meditation on the 
Passion of Our Lord for the Franciscan Sisters of his household. 
He felt it was some slight return for the devoted attention they 
lavished on him, even remembering his numerous anniver- 
saries with cards, in addition to cakes and special things they 
had baked in the hope of tempting his somewhat capricious ap- 

The twelve years after his elevation to the cardinalate brought 
Cardinal Stritch increasing burdens, but they also brought many 
consolations. The social work of his senior auxiliary Bishop 
Sheil received national recognition and became the pattern 
followed by many dioceses. 

The growth in the Catholic high schools and colleges of the 
diocese was phenomenal. From New York to California, he was 
the inspired spokesman for the Pope's various peace plans. The 
grueling work of his great diocese kept him ever on the move, 
but did not dim his piety or warm regard for the humblest peo- 

P le ' 

On the many occasions of his trips to Rome ad limina visits 

to report on his diocese, the dedication of the splendid new 
North American College on the Janiculum, and other occa- 
sions Cardinal Stritch showed in word and deed a universal 
comprehension of the Church and its needs. 

It was with complete astonishment and considerable dismay 
that on March i, 1958, the cardinal received the news that he 
had been appointed sub-prefect of the Congregation for the 
Propagation of the Faith, which controls and finances the world- 
wide missionary activity of the Church. Never before had an 
American prelate been honored with such an important posi- 
tion in the government of the Church. 

After some struggle, the cardinal knelt in his chapel and 

Samuel Cardinal Stritch : 

found the strength to say, "Thy will be done." In his public ex- 
pressions, he was careful to stress the fact that the great honor 
belonged to America and its people rather than to himself. 

It was hard to leave Chicago and its warmhearted people. He 
had been their shepherd for nineteen years, and he was woven 
into the fabric of their lives with a thousand golden threads. 
But the voice of Peter was the voice of God, and Cardinal Stritch 
was ready to obey the call to wider responsibility in God's serv- 
ice. "Ambition is for young men" was his practical way of 
phrasing it. 

Quietly he went on with his rule of the diocese. Yet he some- 
how found time for the affecting farewells, dinners, personal 
visits and speeches and activities already listed on his schedule. 

On April 15, he and Archbishop O'Brien took a train to New 
York and were the guests of Cardinal Spellman. On April 17, 
accompanied by some of his family and dearest clerical friends, 
Stritch sailed for Rome on the liner Independence. 

The last American picture, taken at the ship's railing as he 
waved to the distinguished group that had come to see him off, 
is touching. The friendly grace of a father is in every line of his 
face, but there are also hints of age, weariness and sorrow. 

The first days of the voyage were happy. The cardinal was 
cheerful and philosophized on the difficulties of high position 
and the joys of being a pastor. In Chicago, he had had pain- 
ful cramps in his hand and right arm, but had responded to 
treatment. Now as he was nearing Naples the pain returned. 
This time it was excruciating and nothing helped it. 

With his customary courtesy, he insisted on receiving the 
bishops and priests who had come to welcome him in Naples. 
They saw that he was too ill to stand and that his right arm was 
tucked inside his cassock below a face wearied with pain. Some- 
how he was able to thank them; his soft southern voice had lost 
none of its charm. In Rome, an even more imposing group of 
200 met him at the station and included prelates and heads of 
religious orders. A resplendent guard of carabinieri escorted the 
cardinal to his car. 

By evening he was hospitalized at Clinica Sanatrix, under the 


care of Dr. Valdoni, who diagnosed the illness as an ' 'occlusion 
o the main artery of the right arm/' This was confirmed upon 
the arrival of the cardinal's Chicago doctors, who had flown to 

Amputation of the arm slightly above the elbow seemed to be 
the only remedy. Cardinal Stritch faced the disagreeable neces- 
sity with cheerfulness, made jests with his Chicago clerical 
friends, and said in conclusion, "Fifty years ago here in Rome, 
in the subdiaconate, I gave my body to God; I shouldn't be- 
grudge him an arm after all these years." He rallied strongly 
after the operation. Pius XII, who kept in constant touch with 
the clinic, expressed his joy at the cardinal's progress. 

On May 18, he was well enough to offer Mass. "Now I feel like 
a priest again/' he said at breakfast. That same night he had a 
severe stroke which paralyzed him. He died eight days later. 

The age-old ritual of a Roman funeral fitting a curial cardi- 
nal^ rank followed, with its notes of high pomp and prescribed 
form. Then the cardinal's body was flown to Chicago, and after 
lying in state while thousands came to show their love and sor- 
row, was buried in the bishop's vault at Mount Carmel Cemetery 
on June 3, 1958. 

The flood of eulogies, even from the simplest people, clearly 
showed how strong a hold Cardinal Stritch had had on the hearts 
of his children all over the world. Everyone felt a sense of 
tragedy in his sudden death. Given years, he might have left as 
shining a record in Rome as he had in Toledo, Milwaukee and 

Francis Cardinal 

SHORTLY before the Civil War, Patrick Spellman, a master 
shoemaker from Clonmel, Ireland, settled in Abington, 
Massachusetts, about twenty miles south of Boston. Like many 
of the Irish of the era, Patrick was quiet and saving in his habits. 
He was soon attracted to Honora Hayes, a lovely girl whose 
family came from Limerick. Sometime after their marriage, 
Patrick formed a partnership with the owner of a general store: 
in his spare time he worked at his trade of bootmaker in the loft 
above. Within a few years he was able to buy a house on Glen 
Street. His son William Spellman was born there in 1858. 

William grew up to be much like his father, provident and 
with an ironic Yankee turn of phrase. He went to work at Jones 
and Reed shoe factory and at the age of twenty-two was able to 
open a grocery store of his own on South Avenue. 

The young man was equally careful in selecting his bride 
Ellen Conway; they met in 1886 and were married two years 
later. William settled her in a rented house on Temple Street. 
There on May 4, 1889, their first child was born, a boy for whom 
his mother selected the name of Francis. 

The grocery store prospered. About the time young Frank 
Spellman was eight years old, his father bought a lovely Geor- 
gian house with five acres of land, a pleasant orchard and a large 
carriage house at 96 Beulah Street. 

The family had now grown to five children: Francis, Martin, 



Marian, Helene and John. As the eldest of the family, Frank 
took the lead in all their games and play. It was a happy home 
in which the strong religious conviction of their mother made 
them all conscious of their responsibility to God and their 

At the age of ten, Francis learned to serve Mass in the Holy 
Ghost Church, but though he was a good reliable altar boy, no 
other early signs of his vocation manifested themselves. 

Frank dutifully helped his father about the store, but it was 
soon apparent that his interests were in people, not in canned 
goods or coffee. Outside the store and public grade school, in 
which he was an undistinguished pupil, Frank's interests were 
centered mainly on baseball and photography. He was a good 
first baseman during his first year in high school, but a hand 
injury forced him to stop playing, and in 1906 he became man- 
ager of the school team. 

It was during his high school years that he revealed a talent 
for writing essays. On his graduation, Fordham University was 
chosen as his college. His aunts in the metropolitan area could 
be expected to keep an eye on him. 

In 1907, Fordham was still a small school and its teachers and 
pupils were on a familiar footing. Francis was a good student, 
but no more than that. Tennis, drama and oratory offered the 
boy a release for his energies, and in the college magazine, The 
Fordham Monthly, the young student published criticisms and 
amiable essays. 

He was a normally religious boy with little about him to 
indicate a religious vocation. But the inclination was there. 
He had confided to his mother, at the end of his high school 
course, that he might like to become a priest. Except in her pray- 
ers, Ellen Spellman did not try to press the issue. Yet on the day 
of his graduation when Frank announced his decision to study 
for the priesthood, his mother's heart must have overflowed 
with gratitude. 

After some family discussion, Frank was allowed to point his 
course toward the North American College in Rome. Through 
Bishop Anderson, the Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, the final 

Francis Cardinal Spellman : 203 

permission was obtained from Archbishop O'Connell, and of- 
ficial arrangements were made. 

Spellman sailed on the liner Franconia on September 26, 1911. 
The excitement of the voyage to Liverpool was followed by a 
leisurely tour of London, Paris, Cologne, the Rhine country, 
Heidelberg, Lucerne, Milan, Venice and Florence. With mount- 
ing excitement, Francis finally reached Rome. 

The cold spartan atmosphere of the dark cell to which he 
was assigned in the North American College was an anticlimax. 
Donning his black cassock with its pale blue piping and red 
sash, the somewhat disappointed student went to his first inter- 
view with the rector, Bishop Thomas Francis Kennedy. 

The bishop was old-fashioned and punctilious. The casual 
easy manner of young Spellman, who had never experienced 
anything but friendly informality in his dealings with home- 
town priests and the noted Jesuit scholars with whom he had 
rubbed elbows at Fordham, seemed lacking in respect, to the 
rector. Bishop Kennedy's attitude did not alter during Spell- 
man's years in the college and was shared by Vice-Rector Mon- 
signor O'Hearn. It insured that Francis Spellman would hold 
no position of honor in the governance of the house. 

The young cleric accepted his lot with equanimity. He was 
popular among the students and was usually at the center of 
their sports and excursions. Like his father, Frank had a dry, 
ironic sense of humor that could cut through the core of things. 
A telling quip enunciated with the baby-faced innocence Frank 
was always able to command could dissolve the students into 
gales of helpless laughter. 

Among those nearest to Spellman was Louis F. Kelleher. They 
had met earlier when Kelleher had been an outstanding mem- 
ber of the Boston College debating team. Kelleher was one year 
ahead of Frank, he knew the ropes at the college, and was able 
to advise him on customs and strategy. 

Their daily schedule began at 5:30 in the morning with a 
jangle of bells; It ended at 10 at night with the final bell and 
lights out. The first year, with a review of philosophy, offered 
Frank no special challenge. Coached by Kelleher, he made the 


acquaintance of the superb corps of teachers: Dante, Lepecier, 
Tarclini and Cord. They were obviously destined for great 
things, but Spellman was especially Intrigued by Borgoglnl 
Duca, a brilliant and fascinating young teacher. 

The consistory which elevated Archbishop O'Connell to the 
cardlnalate came two months after Spellman's entry into the 
college in the autumn of 1911. Cardinal Farley, elevated at the 
same time, had conferred the A.B. on Francis the year before, 
and the boy coulcl brag a bit as boys will about knowing two 
cardinals, one of them his own bishop. 

With the coming of the summer heat, the students went to 
their summer home, the Villa Santa Caterina in the Alban 
Hills, not far from Castel Gondolfo. There life was much easier 
and far healthier, with many long excursions into the beautiful 
countryside, though the boys also studied history and foreign 
languages, wrote sermons, meditated and prayed. 

Wherever Frank Spellman went he carried his camera, and, 
never one to be shy unless the occasion demanded it, this paved 
the way for a visit to Cardinal Bisleti's villa at Veroli. The car- 
dinal was pleased to be photographed in many poses. With 
a slight hint from the youthful photographer himself, Bisleti 
invited Frank to present the finished picture in person after his 
return to Rome a first step into the charmed circle of influen- 
tial cardinals. 

During his second year, Spellman attracted the special atten- 
tion of Borgogini Duca. It was the beginning of a life-long 
friendship which profoundly influenced Frank Spellman's entire 

The remaining years of Spellman's attendance at the North 
American College were dogged by illness and mischance; pneu- 
monia laid him low and he spent several months in Italian hos- 
pitals and fell behind in his studies. The unsympathetic rector 
proposed to send him home, but his many friends among the 
students rallied to his assistance, and by dint of great personal 
effort and courage, Spellman triumphantly achieved his docto- 

On May 14, 1916, came the crown of his student years when he 

Francis Cardinal Spellman : 205 

was ordained a priest in the eighth-century Church of Appoli- 
nare. The exaltation of those moments is the secret of Cardinal 
Spellman's own heart; he was never one to wear his religion 
on his sleeve, but his faith in God and love of Him ran deep, 
like his own emotions. 

The family could not come for the great occasion of his or- 
dination and the offering of his first Mass at the tomb of St. 
Peter, but the young priest felt a sense of destiny and a com- 
pelling unity with the first apostles. 

The journey home and his first Mass, offered in Whitman on 
July 23, 1916, added to his joy. All that he had suffered seemed 
slight compared to the radiance of his mother's face on that 
great day. 

A much needed vacation was followed by undistinguished as- 
signments, first as a chaplain to an old ladies' home, and then as 
a curate at All Saints Church in Roxbury. Father Spellman 
mastered the killing routine of parish life with a zeal and in- 
terest that the people were quick to appreciate. 

With America's entry into the First World War, Father 
Spellman was eager to enter the chaplain service. Hope of en- 
tering the Navy ended with his spirited response to the arro- 
gant examining officer. Then, at the very last minute when he 
expected to go into the Army, Cardinal O'Connel! abruptly 
appointed him to drum up subscriptions for the Pilot, the di- 
ocesan paper. Father Spellman's success in that work led to his 
appointment to the chancery, where his knowledgeable effi- 
ciency earned him the envy of some of his co-workers and de- 
scent into the basement of the chancery as archivist* The great 
cardinal did not seem to appreciate his bright young Roman 

In the Holy Year of 1925, Father Spellman went to Europe 
with a diocesan pilgrimage under the leadership of Bishop 
Anderson. The cruise began inconspicuously for the young 
priest. Though he had been appointed the bishop's secretary 
for the pilgrimage, it was obvious to all that the bishop re- 
sented the arrangement. Once in Italy, however, Spellman's 
services as interpreter and his quick way of making important 


decisions forced the bishop to change his mind about the value 
of his assistant. The bishop was not uninfluenced by the fact 
that Borgogini Duca and a distinguished delegation of Roman 
prelates had greeted Father Spellman warmly upon his arrival 
in Rome. 

Monsignor Borgogini Duca, who was now a person of great 
importance in the Secretariat of State, had for some time been 
having difficulty in running the new playground projects spon- 
sored by the Knights of Columbus, under the direction of Mr. 
Edward Hearn. Spellman's talents seemed to promise the an- 
swer to the difficulties. The Pope, prompted by Borgogini 
Duca, requested Cardinal O'Connell to release the young 
priest for the work. Such a request was in the nature of a com- 
mand, and Spellman's Roman friends found it hard to under- 
stand his wise decision to return home for the purpose of se- 
curing the cardinal's consent. 

In the course of the interview, Cardinal O'Connell asked 
Father Spellman what he wanted to do about the offer from 

"Whatever my Ordinary wishes me to do/' was the quick 

"You have answered correctly/' the cardinal said, with a 
glacial twinkle in his eye. 

Perhaps His Eminence of Boston recalled that it was a similar 
request from Italy that had been his first step to the car- 
dinalate. In any event, he gave his permission and graciously 
allowed Spellman to retain his diocesan stipend of $1,000 a 

Father Spellman, the first American priest to be attached to 
the Secretariat of State, began modestly by settling in at the 
Minerva Hotel. Each morning he offered Mass in the hotel 

The task of smoothing out the playground difficulties did 
not engross too much of the young cleric's time. Tennis kept 
him in good physical shape, and visiting Americans of note ap- 
preciated his services in securing audiences with the Pope and 
tickets to the various important galleries. Soon Father Spell- 

Francis Cardinal Spellman : 207 

man was a member of an intimate circle of people like John 
J. Raskob and Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Brady. 

The Brady's were prodigal in their charities. They enter- 
tained cardinals and princes in the splendor of their Italian 
home, Villa del Sole. Father Spellman became an intimate of 
the household and offered his daily Mass in their private 

Through his friendship with Borgogini Duca, Spellman was 
drawn directly into the orbit of Secretary of State Cardinal 
Gasparri. He and his assistants soon discovered in Spellman a 
mine of information concerning American conditions. They 
discovered, too, that one of Father Spellman's great talents was 
a rounded and imaginative grasp of affairs. In approaching a 
problem, he did so from every possible angle and often enough 
could suggest not one but several solutions. 

The first rewards of the young priest's services soon followed. 
In 1928, he was made a secret chamberlain, with the title of 
monsignor, and a few years later a domestic prelate and a right 
reverend monsignor. Mr. Hearn soon found himself overshad- 
owed by his brilliant young assistant. When Spellman secured 
a gift of $45,000 from John J. Raskob for a publishing project 
of Pius XI, Hearn was piqued. Spellman now received a new 
title from the Pope, who called him, "his precious monsignor." 

The precious monsignor's influence grew after Hearn J s res- 
ignation. Some of Monsignor Spellman's ideas were incorpo- 
rated in the settlement of the Roman Question in 1929. He 
became the confidant of such future cardinals as Pizzardo, Otta- 
viani, and Tardini. Still more important for his future was his 
acquaintance with Francesco Pacelli and Enrico Galeazzi. 

While on vacation in 1927, Monsignor Spellman met Arch- 
bishop Pacelli in Berlin. The good things the archbishop's 
brother had said of the American priest and Galeazzi's high 
opinion of him led to a cordial friendship that was to grow 
more intimate through the years. 

When Pacelli became cardinal and the successor to Gasparri 
as Secretary of State, Monsignor Spellman's role took on 
greater importance. He became the favorite translator of the 


Holy Father's speeches and the favorite consultant on Ameri- 
can affairs. In the Pope's first broadcast on the newly built Vati- 
can Radio on February 12, 1931, Spellman was selected to give 
the English summary of the Pope's speech an honor that 
brought him national prominence in the United States. 

It was Pacelli who selected Spellman for the exciting and 
dangerous task of smuggling out of Rome the Pope's encyclical, 
Non Abbiamo Bisogno, which contained a vehement denunci- 
ation of Mussolini's attempt to crush the Catholic Action 
Groups in Italy. En route to Paris, Monsignor Spellman trans- 
lated the document and gave it to the world press in the French 
capital. The encyclical caused a tremendous stir and served to 
moderate the Black Shirt tyranny. For a time after his return 
to Rome, Spellman was often threatened by Fascist bullies. He 
stood his ground with tranquil confidence, and in time the nui- 
sances abated. 

Vatican approval of Monsignor Spellman's worth and work 
soon appeared in his appointment as secretary to Cardinal 
Lauri, papal legate to the eucharistic congress in Dublin 
in June 1932. Days of fervid splendor marked the congress, 
and Monsignor Spellman's indefatigable labors were com- 
mended in the highest quarters. 

There had been persistent rumors in Boston that Spellman 
would soon be a bishop. It was also whispered that his post 
would be Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. As if to forestall this 
eventuality, Cardinal O'Connell suggested Spellman's name 
for the Bishopric of Portland, Maine, which had become va- 
cant with the elevation of John Gregory Murray to the Arch- 
diocese of St. Paul. 

The official announcement from the Vatican finally came. 
Monsignor Spellman was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bos- 
ton. The new bishop's consecration was a clear indication of 
his coming eminence. In offering him this post, Pius XI in- 
formed Monsignor Spellman that ultimately he expected him 
to succeed Cardinal O'Connell. 

The consecration took place on September 8, 1932, at the 
altar of the chair below the Gloria of Bernini, in which the 

Francis Cardinal Spellman : 209 

chair of St. Peter is enshrined. Cardinal Pacelli was consecra- 
tor. His co-consecrators were Archbishops Borgogini Duca and 

Pizzardo. Bishop Spellman went through the complicated cere- 
mony with ease under the eyes of a distinguished assemblage. 
It was significant that he wore a splendid chasuble of cloth of 
silver which had been worn by Cardinal Pacelli on March 13, 
1917, when he was consecrated Archbishop of Sardes in prepa- 
ration for his mission to Germany. 

The reception after the ceremony was in the baroque splen- 
dor of the Borgia apartments the first time an American 
bishop had been so honored. The bishop's father and sisters 
were unable to attend the great event due to Mrs. Spellman* s 
illness, but his two physician brothers were in the glittering 
crowd, along with a small party of his oldest friends. 

At the close of the dazzling day, Bishop Spellman retired to 
his plain room in the Hotel Minerva and took a crumpled 
cablegram from Whitman: "God bless and keep our boy. Keep 
him kind and humble. This is the prayer of father and 

Before departing for Boston, Bishop Spellman went on a 
final holiday with Cardinal Pacelli. A leisurely sea voyage 
brought the small party to Gibraltar, by boat to Cannes, and 
then overland to Chamonix. A few days in Rome, after vaca- 
tion, were crowded with farewells from high and low: the chil- 
dren of his playgrounds entertained him at a touchingly emo- 
tional party; Pius XI warmly received him in a two-hour audi- 
ence and presented him with expensive gifts among which 
were a pectoral cross and ring. 

The ecstatic reception and Mass in Whitman, at which no 
picture-taking was allowed, were followed by endless confirma- 
tions throughout the big diocese. Bishop Spellman was assigned 
to the cardinal's suite at the seminary for the time being, since 
all the parishes of the diocese were filled. When he applied to 
the cardinal for the first good parish that became vacant, the 
request was denied and he was sent to Sacred Heart Church at 
Newton Center, a parish heavily in debt. After a dignified pro- 
test, the bishop accepted the new burden. In his usual practical 


fashion, he went on with the innumerable confirmations and 
chipped away lustily at the parish debt. 

In the years that followed, the winds from the cardinal's 
palace blew hot and cold as occasion brought Bishop Spellman 
in and out of the spotlight. But the bishop was busy enough 
not to mind the sudden changes in the weather. His parish be- 
came a model one. The school particularly enlisted his keenest 
interest. Children and teachers loved to see him and responded 
completely to his gentleness and arch sense of humor. 

The death of the bishop's mother on July 28, 1935, was a 
terrible blow. She had been ailing for several years, but her 
departure saddened the bishop beyond measure; she had been 
one of the greatest stabilizing instruments of his entire career. 
By a superhuman effort, he managed to sing the funeral Mass 
and impart the last absolution. 

The visit of Cardinal Pacelli to the United States in 1936 
electrified the whole nation. The trip had at first been envis- 
aged by Mrs. Brady as a much-needed private vacation for the 
cardinal at her superb estate Inisfada at Manhasset, Long Is- 

Bishop Spellman, one of the first to whom Mrs. Brady com- 
municated the news from Paris, saw the impossibility of such 
an arrangement and the loss of an important publicity oppor- 
tunity for the Church. Four letters written to Rome changed 
the Vatican point of view completely. 

The cardinal arrived in October 1936. Newsmen were 
charmed with his wit, urbanity and complete discretion. The 
United States was on the eve of a presidential election. The 
bigots were on the alert for any possible indication of "Vatican 
interference," particularly because of Father Charles Cough- 
lin's intemperate and bombastic denouncement of Roosevelt. 

In the month he spent in the United States, Pacelli saw most 
of its great cities. Mrs. Brady herself assured this author that 
the expenses of the trip were paid by the Most Reverend John 
Gregory Murray, Archbishop of St. Paul. The ovations ac- 
corded the cardinal everywhere from New York to San Fran- 
cisco were extraordinary. 

Francis Cardinal opeilman : 211 

The cardinal secretary looked to his capable young pupil for 
advice. All arrangements were in Bishop Spellman's hands, 
and the timing and organization of the trip were faultless. It 
was a great triumph for the cardinal secretary greater still for 
the adroit bishop. 

The final event of outstanding importance was Pacelli's visit 
to President Roosevelt the day after his second overwhelming 
election. Out of the private conversation between the two great 
men grew the President's conviction first suggested by Car- 
dinal Mundelein that the United States ought to be repre- 
sented at the Vatican. Bishop Spellman was the trusted inter- 
mediary between the two states, and though the intemperate 
uproar of bigots prevented the full implementation of the plan, 
Myron Taylor went to the Vatican as the President's personal 
envoy, and Spellrnan for a time became a trusted adviser of 
the President and the first priest ever to offer Mass in the White 

With the election of Cardinal Pacelli to the papacy on March 
2, 1939, Bishop Spellman once more came into the spotlight 
The Diocese of New York had been vacant since the death of 
Cardinal Hayes on September 4, 1938, and Bishop Spellman's 
name was among those mentioned for the post. The news trou- 
bled the bishop; Pius XI had signified his desire that Spell- 
man should succeed Cardinal O'Connell as Archbishop of Bos- 
ton. Now, after six years of an active life in which he knew 
intimately every priest and problem of the diocese, the bishop 
felt that he could do a much better job in Boston. 

Besides, he knew he wasn't wanted in New York, for very 
obvious reasons. In all the long years since the creation of the 
diocese, the men who came to the direction of affairs had come 
up through the ranks of the local clergy. McCloskey, Farley 
and Hayes were all home-town boys, and it seemed incredible 
to New Yorkers that an outsider should be chosen, however 
glittering his talents. 

While the decision hung In the balance Spellman himself 
wrote to the Pope asking to have his name removed from con- 


It was with a sense of almost surprised alarm that Bishop 
Spellman received a letter from Apostolic Delegate Archbishop 
Cicognani, indicating that the news of his appointment was 
imminent in Rome. 

Once the news was public, Bishop Spellman, like a good sol- 
dier, prepared for the new tasks. His reception in New York 
on May 23, 1939, was tumultuous and cordial. When the fan- 
fare was over, the new archbishop discovered the size of his 
burden and headaches. 

The finances of the diocese were in anything but good shape; 
things had grown slack during the last six years of Cardinal 
Hayes' life during which he suffered from a heart ailment. 
There were $2 8,000,000 in mortgages on church property at 6 
percent interest. Archbishop Spellman approached financial 
friends in New York and Boston and was able to refinance the 
tremendous burden at a very low rate. By selling certain val- 
uable church properties, notably Cathedral College and the 
chancery office, at a very high price and buying other properties 
lower in price but much more suitable for their purpose, Arch- 
bishop Spellman displayed financial talents of the highest kind. 
With a considerable sum of ready cash at his disposal, the arch- 
bishop proceeded to put his entire house in order. A building 
commission and a buying commission were set up for the entire 
diocese. In future building and expansion, these bureaus were 
to save millions in time and money. 

Amid a welter of pressing duties, the archbishop found time 
to rehabilitate Bishop Broderick, who through no fault of his 
own had got lost in a confused ecclesiastical shuffle and was 
living as a private person in Millbrook, New York. 

It is impossible to give a complete survey of the archbishop's 
business accomplishments in a sketch of this length. They 
flowed out into innumerable schools, hospitals, colleges, homes 
for the aged, foundling homes, and protectories for the dis- 

Outstanding examples are the tremendous progress made 
at Fordham University in buildings, faculty and students, 
and the transfer of Manhattanville 'College from its valuable 

Francis Cardinal Spellman : 2/5 

but no longer suitable grounds on the rocky escarpment above 
Harlem to the spacious Whitelaw Reed estate at Purchase, New 
York. Condemnation proceedings brought in almost $9,000,- 
ooo. This sum provided the first buildings of a $14,000,000 
development plan for the future of this fine school. 

Equally important was the gradual reorganization of the 
diocesan seminary into three schools: Cathedral College for 
high school; St. Patrick's for four years of philosophy and the 
classics; St. Joseph's for theology. For this change and for other 
building plans, a drive for 835,000,000 was launched on 
October 7, 1960. By June of 1961, over $39,000,000 had been 

That there was nothing provincial about the archbishop's 
vision is apparent in his achievements for the Catholic Univer- 
sity of America. No other men in its history, except Cardinal 
Gibbons and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding, have done so 
much to forward its prestige and future, including a new edition 
of the Catholic Encyclopedia published by the McGraw-Hill 
Book Company under Cardinal Spellman's powerful patronage. 

He has been a leader in all the struggles to achieve justice 
in apportioning government aid to schools. In Canada and Eng- 
land, it is evident that just government aid to all schools is a 
good thing. That Catholics who believe in religious education 
for their children should be penalized for their belief is some- 
thing of a scandal in a country usually fair-minded about such 
things, especially in view of the fact that Catholics have con- 
tributed so much in the defense and service of the nation. 

It was Cardinal Spellman's outspoken conviction that led 
him to write a letter to Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt on July 21, 
1949. On several occasions, her widely syndicated column "My 
Day" had seemed to accuse the archbishop of unnecessarily 
stirring up trouble about auxiliary benefits such as lunches and 
bus transportation to Catholic school children. Mrs. Roosevelt 
was against these practices, though the Supreme Court had de- 
cided that the individual states were free to include Catholic 
children in the benefits if they wished. 

Finally the cardinal sent Mrs. Roosevelt and the daily papers 


a sharp letter of protest in which he pointed out her circum- 
scribed and uninformed attitude toward the whole question. 
His blunt letter shocked many people including "Catholic lib- 
erals" and led to bad publicity and a whispering campaign 
against him. A truce w r as patched up gradually, and while en 
route to a church dedication, the cardinal called on Mrs. Roose- 
velt at Hyde Park. 

Though the smoke of battle had settled, President Kennedy's 
1961 proposal to subsidize public schools and pupils to the tune 
of $9,000,000 brought Cardinal Spellman back into the fray. 
It seemed to him and to the entire Catholic hierarchy that to 
levy a heavy tax against Catholic citizens and then leave them 
and their children out of consideration in spending such funds 
was actually a penalization of all religious education. 

When he believes that he is right, Cardinal Spellman never 
hesitates to take an unpopular stand on all questions that con- 
cern moral and public welfare. He has spoken out plainly 
many times for the censorship of blasphemous or indecent 
films. He was equally clear in his stand on what he considered 
an unwarranted gravediggers' strike in 1948. Many, including 
Catholics, considered the cardinal to be antilabor, and he got a 
very bad press as a consequence, though he triumphed in the 
end. His victory, says Father Robert I. Gannon (his official 
biographer), did much to reveal Communist infiltration of the 
labor unions and was important in arousing the public in- 
dignation that forced a union clean-up. 

But in 1939, other matters seemed more pressing; the United 
States was on the threshold of the Second World War. As Amer- 
ica grew more and more involved Archbishop Spellman wisely 
prepared for the struggle by enlarging the military ordinariate 
and increasing its efficiency. Father John O'Hara, C.S.C., with 
his enormous knowledge of men and their problems, accumu- 
lated as spiritual director and then President of Notre Dame 
University, was brought in as military delegate to head the or- 
dinariate. The recruiting of chaplains was pursued with vigor, 
and the auxiliary Catholic services were strengthened inesti- 

Francis Cardinal Spellman : 215 

The military vicar guided and controlled every step of the 
reorganization. After Pearl Harbor, he proceeded to make his 
visitation to the far-flung battlefields of Africa and Europe. 
The cardinal's vision is world wide, but his patriotism is a 
white-hot flame. Completely unperturbed about his safety, he 
went by plane, train and jeep to every active front, saying Mass 
in the open, in all kinds of weather, visiting hospitals with an 
engaging thoroughness that impressed the patients and the 
entire world. How he found time to call on all the heads of 
state on his route, doing everything in his quiet power to ease 
the situation for prisoners of war and the unhampered func- 
tioning of the Church, is something of a miracle. His on-the- 
spot summation of situations everywhere was of great help to 
Pius XII in his titanic struggle for humanity and peace in the 
midst of a hating world, and it was largely through the mili- 
tary vicar's efforts that Rome remained an unbombed open 

What the military vicar did for Europe was duplicated in 
1945 by a thorough visitation of the camps and fighting fronts 
of the Orient. Once again the vicar endeared himself to United 
States fighting men around the world as he watched the war 
come to a close. Since that time his Christmas visits to our troops 
abroad has become an annual affair, dear to both the troops 
and the fatherly heart of the cardinal. 

On the morning of December 23, 1945, the news came over 
the wires to the United States that four new American cardinals 
had been named: Glennon of St. Louis, Mooney of Detroit, 
Stritch of Milwaukee and Spellman of New York. The New 
York Chancery was inundated with messages of congratulation. 

Imperturbable as usual, Cardinal Spellman spent the weeks 
in planning for the comfort of his family and friends who were 
to accompany him on the memorable journey to Rome. On 
February 11, 1946, two chartered planes with Cardinals Spell- 
man, Glennon and Tien, their families and friends, and a cargo 
of ubiquitous newsmen, left La Guardia for Gander, New- 

A stop was made in Ireland. Its government and people 


greeted their guests with frenzied enthusiasm. There was a trip 
to Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe, capped by a splendid ban- 
quet in Dublin. After a short visit in war-weary Paris, they 
took off for Rome, 

For Cardinal Spellman, the "great consistory" in which 
thirty-two cardinals were elevated to the sacred purple was a 
homecoming to that Holy Father he revered as a saint. Spell- 
man's return to New York was a triumph of affection and 
city-wide rejoicing marred only by the funeral of Cardinal 
Glennon, who had died in Ireland en route home. 

The new cardinal settled down to the old tasks. The burdens 
of schools and social efforts grew greater each year; the Korean 
War once more brought him into the news of the world as the 
military vicar visited his embattled sons scattered throughout 
the Orient. 

Despite his crushing burdens during the war years and their 
frenetic aftermath, the cardinal by dint of rising early and 
going late to bed wrote four outstanding books that reached 
millions of readers. In Action This Day and The Road to Vic- 
tory he realistically demonstrated his enormous sympathy for 
the human cost of war, and a patriotism of the highest order. 
In The Risen Soldier, hope and inspiration rounded out the 
earlier themes. In 1951, with the publication of a well-plotted 
novel, The Foundling, Cardinal Spellman revealed his crea- 
tive talents. This book reached an audience of over 500,000 and 
sparked a revival of interest in the cardinal's orphans and other 
charities. All of the royalties from his books were poured into 
the foundlings' home, which is very dear to his heart. 

With the death of Pius XII in 1959, an era closed for New 1 
York's cardinal. Pacelli had been his nearest and dearest friend, 
and in the cardinal's eyes he was a genuine saint and world 
father of the highest rank. 

Cardinal Spellman stayed on in Rome for the election and 
coronation of Pope John XXIII, and squared his shoulders for 
the ever-multiplying tasks of his diocese and his world-wide 
responsibilities as military vicar. Not one to live in the past, 
he moves in the main current of American affairs. His words 

Francis Cardinal Spellman : 2/7 

and presence lend eclat to any gathering of notables, and 

though he can assume an air of hieratic grandeur, his lively 
eyes betray his intense interest in everything that goes on about 

His Church and government have conferred upon him most 
of the high honors given their most distinguished sons. A cur- 
rent of praise has flowed in his direction for many years, but 
the cardinal has kept his simplicity, and he remains thoroughly 

A displaced retina kept him in darkness for several weeks in 
1961, but failed to slow him down or dim his world vision. Cre- 
ative imagination, executive brilliance and deep and abiding 
faith have made him the man he is. Those gifts flow out to the 
world in an ever-deepening tide of charity and personal service. 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre 

IN 1886, in the heat of a torrid day June 25 James Francis 
Aloysius Mclntyre was born in mid-Manhattan. He was the 
son of James Francis and Mary Pelley Mclntyre. The future 
cardinal's father was a native New Yorker, a member of the 
mounted police. His mother came from Kiitorma, Country Gal- 
way, Ireland. 

Their home was a modest one and the boy grew up in com- 
fortable circumstances. At the age of six he entered Public 
School No. 70 because there was no room for him in the over- 
crowded parochial school nearby. Despite a lack of the careful 
religious instruction he might have had from the Sisters, James 
Francis, wiio was of a deeply religious nature, became an altar 
boy early and served with great devotion and constancy. 

A run of bad luck hit the family when the father was thrown 
from his horse in Central Park and sustained serious injuries. 
Mary Mclntyre, undaunted, established a small dressmaking 
business which kept the family going. Their doctor recom- 
mended that Mr. Mclntyre spend as much time as possible out 
of doors, so he took a job as a trackwalker in upstate New York. 
This proved ill advised, as the severe winter caused complica- 
tions and Mclntyre became a complete invalid. 

When James was only ten years old, the greatest sorrow of 
his life came to him in the death of his loving and self-reliant 
mother. Fortunately a favorite cousin, Mrs. Robert Conley, 


James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 2 

lived nearby and with great charity took into her home James 
Francis, his younger brother and their invalid father. 

The Conley household was a comfortable one, Robert Conley, 
an attorney, specialized in real-estate law and was fairly suc- 
cessful in his profession. James Francis was a favorite of his 
and he enjoyed talking to the boy about his profession. James 
soaked up the talk like a ready blotter and with his fine mind 
and exceptionally good memory retained information that was 
to serve him well in his double career of broker and priest 

Young Mclntyre was thirteen when he finished public school. 
With a kind of Horatio Alger determination, he decided to 
seek a career in business instead of going on to high school; he 
eventually wanted to be able to support himself and his father 
and perhaps help to reimburse the Conleys for their generosity. 

On the morning of setting out to look for work in the ex- 
citing world of the stock market, young James was polished and 
neat. He wore a visored cap, short pants, a coat and black stock- 
ings the normal dress of all well-bred boys of his time. 

It was his intention to apply at all the Wall Street brokerage 
houses until he found a job. En route he ran into the old curb 
market at Broad Street and Exchange Place, which completely 
fascinated him. At that time the curb market was conducted 
in the street. The brokers milled about, trading with each other, 
signaling manually to men leaning out of the windows, tele- 
phones clutched in their hands. The atmosphere was both noisy 
and frenetic. It offered the kind of raw excitement bound to 
delight a boy of thirteen whose life had been on the rather quiet 

By applying here and there, James Francis found a job as 
errand boy with David Pfeifer, a curb broken The job de- 
manded that he move swiftly through the jostling crowd, ob- 
serve the prices posted on the blackboards, and then run to 
report major price changes to his employer. The workday was 
from 8 A. M. until dusk. The long hours of strenuous exertion 
called for strong legs and a clear and precise memory. 

James usually walked to the market on good days, but when 
the weather was bad he rode to work on the Third Avenue El, 


which was run by steam locomotives. The fare was 5 cents 
each way; he carried his lunch to work. 

Already, in those early teens, young Mclntyre had determined 
to become a priest. At Mass and Benediction he prayed hard that 
he might remain constant in his direction toward the altar. 
Despite the anguish of having to wait for the realization of 
his "call," he had a sense of duty which even then was one 
of his strongest qualities; this made him conscious that he was 
doing God's will in looking after his father, and the awareness 
of this duty well done gave him both satisfaction and pleasure. 

As a tall, straight-backed and handsome young man of sixteen, 
he moved from the curb market and took a job with H. L. Hor- 
ton & Company, an old-line brokerage firm in Wall Street. Now 
he was a runner, with a salary of six dollars a week twice what 
he had earned on the curb market. In addition, there were good 
chances for advancement. 

Like other "self-made" men of his time, young Mclntyre was 
not merely content to work. Ever since he had left grade school 
he had gone to night school; first in the public schools near at 
hand, and later at Columbia University and City College. In 
addition to his regular studies, he learned shorthand through 
the Munson System, This was "an all but extinct variant of the 
venerable Pitman System"; he has used it all his life to record 
telephone conversations, compose sermons, public addresses and 
his longer letters. 

Steady advance with Horton brought him both money and 
influence. Though only in his mid-twenties, he had become of- 
fice manager and found that older members of the firm deferred 
to his opinions. In 1914 when he was twenty-eight years old 
he was offered a junior partnership in the firm, with a higher 
salary and a percentage of the profits. The offer held no attrac- 
tion for him. His father had just died, his brother had a good 
job, and John Francis was free to realize the desire of his heart. 

He entered Cathedral College under special circumstances. 
He was half a generation older than the young men in his class, 
and Cardinal Farley decided that the special courses he had 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 221 

taken In the city schools, plus his business knowledge and expe- 
rience, had already advanced his education far beyond that of his 
classmates. There was one stumbling block his Latin was poor. 

James concentrated on the language with a fury, studying it 
in the daytime at the college and taking special night courses 
under an elderly Jesuit at St. Francis Xavier High School. 

After only one year at Cathedral College, he moved on to 
St. Joseph's major seminary. Normally, six years are required to 
finish the course, but once again Archbishop Farley intervened 
and reduced Mclntyre's required time to five years. As a student 
in the senior seminary, he was something of a legend because of 
his financial success, and something of an oddity because of his 
advanced age and serious outlook on life. 

Father Mclntyre was ordained by Archbishop Hayes in St. 
Patrick's Cathedral in 1921. His first assignment was assistant 
pastor of old St. Gabriel's Church on East 37th Street. This was 
the church where Cardinal Farley had laid the foundations of 
his eminence. It was also w r here Cardinal Hayes had been Far- 
ley's assistant. An assignment here meant a sure step to prefer- 

None of this was in the mind of Father Mclntyre. St. Gabriel's 
was dear to him because his father had attended school there 
in the early i86o's, and his one desire was to be a good parish 

Archbishop Hayes frequently came to St. Gabriel's and gradu- 
ally got to know Father Mclntyre. In 1923, Hayes invited him 
to become a member of his household and one of his assistant 
chancellors of the New York Archdiocese. 

As Cardinal Mclntyre himself says, "For the next twenty-five 
years I lived in the room that was assigned to me in the arch- 
bishop's official residence." During his stay in New York he 
occupied a desk in a corner of the big paneled chancery office 
one of a twin row of desks which stretched the length of the 
high-ceilinged room. During all those years he took his regular 
turn in the services of the cathedral. 

In 1934, after eleven years as assistant chancellor, he was pro- 


moted to the office of chancellor, with the title of Papal Cham- 
berlain (Monsignor). Within two years he became a domestic 
prelate, with the title o Right Reverend Monsignor. 

There were varying opinions regarding his personality and 
talents at this time: some said he was scrupulous; others that 
he was too great a stickler for protocol and hewed too closely to 
the letter of canon law; still others admired him for his financial 
acuteness and his complete information on the faults and virtues 
of the archdiocese and all its priests. One thing is certain, he 
was not a member of the inner circle that along with the Arch- 
bishop of New York made the policy of the great archdiocese. 

All this changed when Bishop Spellinan succeeded Cardinal 
Hayes as Archbishop of New York in 1939. As Spellman has 
said in his official biography, he knew he wasn't wanted in New 
York; we may believe that he found coolness and reluctant co- 
operation during his first days in his new archdiocese. 

Monsignor Mclntyre, however, responded with his customary 
punctilious sense of duty and respect for authority. As a con- 
sequence, the monsignor and the archbishop became good 
friends. Spellman was amazed to discover how completely Mcln- 
tyre knew the archdiocese and what had to be done to improve 
it. The result was that Monsignor Mclntyre was reappointed 
chancellor and elevated to the diocesan board of consulters. 

From this point Mclntyre's advance was rapid. As the United 
States moved closer and closer to the Second World War, Car- 
dinal Spellman very early saw that it would be necessary to free 
his hands for the tremendous job of military vicar in which he 
would be required to travel ail over the world, both as a courier 
and representative of Pius XII and chief bishop of the far-flung 
United States Chaplains* Corps. 

In preparation for the future, Monsignor Mclntyre was 
named Titular Bishop of Gyrene and Auxiliary of New York 
on January 8, 1940. He was consecrated the following January 
in St. Patrick's Cathedral with great splendor and a multitude 
of bishops in attendance. 

Further honors and responsibilities came in 1945, when in 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 223 

addition to his other duties, Mclntyre was made vicar-general. 
And in May 1946 he received the Grand Cross of the Holy 
Sepulcher. Two months later Pope Pius XII named him Arch- 
bishop of the Titular See of Paltus and Coadjutor Archbishop 
of New York. 

Just how much Mclntyre had helped Cardinal Spellman and 
how much Spellman owed him in the great things he accom- 
plished in his early days in New York may be seen in the tribute 
Cardinal Spellman paid Archbishop Mclntyre on his 2$th an- 
niversary as a priest. Speaking from his throne in St. Patrick's 
Cathedral, Spellman said: "I have never undertaken any im- 
portant matter without consulting him. In nothing have I gone 
contrary to his advice. He is outstanding as a man, as a priest 
and as a bishop." 

During the war years, when Cardinal Spellman was busy with 
world affairs and the proper functioning of the military ordinate, 
practically the entire burden of the New York Archdiocese fell 
on Archbishop Mclntyre. He played a tremendous part in reor- 
dering the financial picture in the diocese and pushed forward 
reforms of all kinds. Many of these were not too popular with 
pastors and others in authority. The archdiocese had always 
been run in an easygoing fashion. The tight rein of Archbishop 
Mclntyre irked many, and Jack Alexander, in an article in the 
Saturday Evening Post, said that many of New York's priests 
called the railroad cars that eventually transported the arch- 
bishop to Los Angeles the "Freedom Train." 

Archbishop Mclntyre had never been easy with himself. In 
the long years of patient sitting at his desk in the old chancery, 
he had done his work with thoroughness and a passion for per- 
fection that were admirable. No unasked advice had ever been 
offered by him. 

In the early morning he made his meditation and said Mass, 
devoting the remainder of the day to his various tasks as vice- 
chancellor. The only time he showed obvious annoyance was 
when visitors did not observe proper protocol or when pastors 
and those in authority failed to finish projects on time. To most 


visiting prelates from all over the world, he was the very soul 
o cordial hospitality; his manners were courtly in the old-fash- 
ioned sense of the word. 

Archbishop Mclntyre is tremendously patriotic. He loves his 
country deeply and is indignant at any attempt to water down 
the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. An ex- 
cellent example of this came in 1947 when an attempt was made 
to rush the Austin-Mahoney Bill, which innocently seemed to 
bar discrimination in education through the legislature. 

After carefully reading the bill, the archbishop said publicly: 
"The bill states that education is a function of the state. Educa- 
tion is not the function of the state. It is the function of the 
parent. If the statement that education is the function of the 
state is written into the law, it will permit further encroachments 
on the parental function of education/' 

Following this attack, The New York Times said, on March 
3, 1947: "Chances of adoption of the Austin-Mahoney antidis- 
crimination bill faded yesterday when Co-adjutor Archbishop 
Mclntyre put the Roman Catholic Church of New York on rec- 
ord as flatly opposed to it. The Archbishop denounced the bill 
as after a Communistic pattern/' 

With the war over and the elevation of Archbishop Spellman 
to the Sacred College of Cardinals, Mclntyre began to play a 
more important role in running the archdiocese. He was a re- 
sounding success as Coadjutor Archbishop of New York, but 
every assistant bishop, however great his power, yearns for a 
diocese of his own where he can shape things according to the 
desires of his own mind and heart. 

Such an opportunity came to Archbishop Mclntyre when on 
February 12, 1948, Pope Pius XII appointed him Second Arch- 
bishop of Los Angeles in succession to John J. Cantwell who 
had died on October 30, 1947 after a reign of thirty years. Every- 
one in the archdiocese had expected Bishop McGucken to suc- 
ceed Archbishop Cantwell, but in spite of their disappointment, 
welcomed their new archbishop with native warmth and enthu- 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 225 

Cardinal Spellman installed Archbishop Mclntyre in St. Vi- 
biana's Cathedral, characterizing him as "a human idealist and 

a divine realist." It was the Feast of St. Joseph March 19, 1948. 
Perhaps it was symbolic that the new archbishop was installed 
on that feast day, since the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had more 
problems than a porcupine has quills. Their solutions would 
require a shepherd of extreme devotion one who could work 
endless hours and drive matters through to conclusion over 
every kind of opposition. 

Archbishop Mclntyre had never been in California before, 
and his installation-day speech attempted to strike a personal 
note that might appeal to the emotions of his audience. He 
said, in part: "I stand before you and knock not at the city gate, 
not on the portals of this cathedral. I am knocking and continue 
to knock at the door of your hearts, now hallowed by comforting 
memories of my revered predecessor . . . The only force that 
will cause this mysterious door to open is the will, goodwill for 
the shepherd seeking admission. And the only power to loosen 
and open this door is love, the love that desires union and 
communion with the Shepherd, spirit with spirit." 

Archbishop Mclntyre was soon in close touch with his most 
vexing problems. His large archdiocese covered four counties. 
They had seemed easy and roomy enough until after the war 
when thousands upon thousands of ex-servicemen and their 
families who had had a taste of California and liked it came 
back there to live. Many of them were Catholics. In addition to 
this, there were the Mexican problem, the Negro problem and 
the migrant worker problem. It is perhaps signiBcant that 
shabby old St. Vibiana's Cathedral is very near Skid Row. 

Before plunging into his many tasks, Archbishop Mclntyre 
strengthened his authority in the diocese by making it a corpora- 
tion sole. This move put everything in the archdiocese in his 
sole charge and freed his hands for the work of diocesan disci- 
pline and endless fund-raising. 

The first great project that engrossed his attention was the 
Youth Education Fund to build Catholic schools for his people, 
especially those in sub-slum districts. 


In announcing the drive for the Youth Fund, the archbishop 
did so in his usual straightforward fashion, declaring: "To 
have public education supported by local government is a privi- 
lege of our American citizenship. But that does not take away 
for an instant the privilege of American parents to educate their 
children in religious public schools. This is the higher right 
than the right of the state to supply education. The exclusion 
of either right would be a violation of the freedom granted in 
our Bill of Rights." 

It is interesting to note that among the first schools to go up ? 
17 were in the poorer sections of the archdiocese. In all, some- 
thing over $3,000,000 poured into the building fund, and in 
four years 26 new parishes, 64 parochial schools and 18 high 
schools were erected. Scores of other schools and churches were 
enlarged and renovated. The Cathedral was spruced up and 
beautified, but not replaced as many had expected. The enroll- 
ment of Catholic school children jumped from 52,000 to 90,000, 
but half the Catholic children of the diocese were still in public 

The total cost of the first four years' expansion was $15,000,- 
ooo, an extraordinary accomplishment for a diocese that had 
lived from hand to mouth and had occasionally been bailed out 
of its worst financial difficulties by gifts from a few multimillion- 

It is interesting to note that in the terrible thirties, while 
Mclntyre was chancellor, not a single parish in New York de- 
faulted on its debts. The same is true of Los Angeles where 
Archbishop Mclntyre is known as a tough financial bargainer 
with a businesslike approach to building costs. He and his coun- 
cil of pastor-consultants have worked out formulas for every 
type of diocesan structure, with such careful estimation of costs 
that the archbishop is able to evaluate construction bids down 
to the last nail. 

For the Catholics of California, the greatest work of the arch- 
bishop was his successful campaign to do away with the tax on 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 227 

Catholic schools. It had been in existence for many years and 
was obviously discriminatory; it had been sponsored and kept 
alive by narrow-minded bigots. 

The first move to abolish the tax was made in the state legisla- 
ture, which by an astounding vote of 108 to 3 exempted from 
tax all nonprofit, religious-sponsored elementary and secondary 

This law was soon challenged by the bigots, wearing the in- 
nocent mask of the "California Taxpayers Alliance/' The arch- 
bishop played his hand with great shrewdness. A prominent 
committee was formed to uphold the legislature's action. It 
contained the names of important military men and noted film 
stars who were the darlings of the American public. It was a 
remarkable achievement, because many of the committee mem- 
bers were not Catholics at all. From this top group all the way 
down to the neighborhood level, other committees were care- 
fully organized. Meetings were held, doorbells were rung, and 
friends and relatives were canvassed. 

The result was a complete triumph. The archbishop's work 
stood out prominently, since Los Angeles contributed a plural- 
ity of 178,000. 

Considering the archbishop's first five years in Los Angeles 
and his favor with Cardinal Spellman, few were surprised when 
on November 29, 1952, Archbishop Mclntyre was nominated 
to the Sacred College in Rome. 

At his press conference, he said humbly: "I have exalted the 
deep devotion to God and to the country of a wonderful people 
whose constant prayer is for peace and prosperity, which bless- 
ing can come only through walking with the Master." 

On January 7, 1953, at an early hour, the cardinal-elect 
blessed the giant Constellation which was to fly him and his 
party to New York. Flash bulbs popped constantly as he greeted 
the crowds of reporters with his usual urbanity and said: "The 
distinction that takes me to Rome is a recognition of the impor- 
tant place the southland of California has taken in the affairs of 
the world ... It is our hope and prayer that God's gracious 


providence will ever prevail over us and that we many be ever 
worthy of these favors/' 

The Constellation put down in Chicago in near-zero cold. A 
large OTOUD of priests, relatives and friends, led by Cardinal 
Stritch, greeted the cardinal-elect with enthusiasm and sent him 
off with cheers and good wishes. 

The same scene was enacted at La Guardia. The auxiliary 
bishops of New York were there to escort their old friend into 
the city. The following morning, after a Mass celebrating the 
twelfth anniversary of his consecration, the cardinal-elect visited 
his many friends until 2 o'clock, departure time for the trip to 
Rome from Idlewild. By this time the party of distinguished 
prelates and laymen had grown to such proportions that two 
Constellations were needed to carry the group. Among the 
passengers was an aged nun, Sister Anacletus, who had been a 
friend of Archbishop Mclntyre's family since the turn of the 

Because of bad weather and heavy fog at Shannon and the 
other landing fields of western Europe, the planes were forced 
to return to Gander. When they finally landed at Ciampino 
Airport in Rome on January 9, a large and enthusiastic crowd 
awaited them. The official greeting was voiced by Bishop O'Con- 
nor, Rector of the North American College, who was to be the 
cardinal's host. The other members of the party were driven 
to the Grand Hotel. 

The cardinal-elect spent most of the next day answering 
sheaves of telegrams and patiently submitting himself to being 
fitted for the elaborate costumes required by cardinals. 

The reception of the biglietto, in the assembly room of the 
North American College, was a distinguished occasion. After 
the biglietto had been read aloud by Bishop O'Connor, the first 
to congratulate the new cardinal w r as Cardinal Spellman, who 
had flown in that moaning after his Christmas visit to the Ko- 
rean front. He himself received a tremendous ovation from the 
glittering audience. 

In the remaining days of ceremony, Cardinal Mclntyre con- 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 229 

ducted himself with his usual grace and aplomb. Among the 
gorgeous and grave occasions so beautifully captured in pictures 

and writing in Monsignor North's booklet, "The Flight To 
Rome/' is a humorous and wonderful photograph that went 
around the world. It was taken at the conferring of the biretta 
on Cardinal Mclntyre. According to Monsignor North, the of- 
ficial photographer's flash bulb failed to go off and the Pope 
and cardinal obligingly re-enacted the ceremony, but they did 
so with wide smiles. Even the usually grave and stately Monsi- 
gnor Dante's face reflects the humor of the occasion. 

Among the notable receptions given in the new cardinal's 
honor was one by Ambassador Bunker at his magnificent home, 
the Villa Taverna. Cardinal Mclntyre was at his best in the 
rounds of visits with the members of the Sacred College. 

On Sunday, the cardinal took possession of his titular church, 
the ancient basilica of St. Anastasia. "It is at the foot of the 
Palatine Hill where a little valley opens out before the ascent 
of the Aventine." It is one of the most ancient churches of 
Rome, was greatly beloved by St. Jerome, and still contains the 
small canopied altar at which the saint loved to say Mass. St. 
Anastasia, an early martyr, is one of the few women saints whose 
name is to be found in the Canon of the Mass. 

After the entrance prayer and the sprinkling of Holy Water, 
the gorgeous procession moved up the aisle to the chant of Ecce 
Sacerdos Magnus, which had been set to new music by the choir- 
master of St. John Lateran as a special tribute to Cardinal Mc- 
lntyre. The pontifical decree assigning the ancient basilica to 
the cardinal was read by the ninety-year-old Archbishop Ca- 
rinci, and an address of welcome, warm in tone and historic in 
flavor, was delivered by Monsignor Verzoroli, an honorary 
canon of the basilica. 

The cardinal made a short speech of appreciation in which 
he paid warmest thanks to Archbishop Carinci and to Monsi- 
gnor Verzoroli. He also summed up his happy impression of his 
nine-day Roman stay and thanked Bishop O'Connor and all 
those who had made his visit so memorable. When the final 


prayer was said, the clergy of the basilica ceremoniously came 
forward to offer their homage. In conclusion the cardinal gave 
his solemn blessing. 

The following day, after lunch at the airport with all the 
cardinal's Roman friends, Bishop O'Connor blessed the plane. 
A few moments later the big jet roared off into the sky. Once 
again weather and fog made it impossible to land at Shannon, 
where an elaborate welcome had been planned. Unusually high 
winds made it imperative to take the southern route, by way 
of the Azores. The plane put down in Boston, where Archbishop 
Cushing and Cardinal Spellman awaited Cardinal Mclntyre and 
his party. 

Archbishop Cushing offered a Mass of thanksgiving for the 
cardinal's safe return and after reading the Gospel, turned to 
praise Cardinal Spellman as the most "illustrious son of Bos- 
ton." He also paid tribute to Cardinal Mclntyre as "one whom 
I have reverenced for twenty-five years as a great and simple 
priest, humble still with the honor of the cardinalate." 

The flight from Boston to New York was of short duration, 
and everyone took a much-needed rest before the formal dinner 
at the Waldorf given by the Knights of Malta in honor of the 
two cardinals. 

Los Angeles went all out to welcome her famous son in a 
series of dazzling dinners and receptions. At one banquet in 
honor of the new cardinal, Bob Hope was one of the speakers. 
With mock seriousness, Hope looked warily at Cardinal Mcln- 
tyre and began his speech with the following words: "Before 
I deliver my address, I should like to know if His Eminence has 
divested himself of his General Motors stock." This remark 
really broke up the crowd, and the cardinal laughed as heartily 
as anyone else. There had been much talk about members of 
President Eisenhower's cabinet getting rid of their stockhold- 

The cardinal accepted the enthusiastic homage of his city 
with humble grace. He was soon back at his desk, working for 
long hours, as he had all of his life. 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 231 

A comparison between the Catholic Directory of 1948 and 
that of 1962 gives plain and telling evidence of Cardinal Mcln- 
tyre's enormous accomplishments. To detail all o the vital 
statistics would almost take a book in itself, but a sampling of 
the most important will indicate how much was achieved. 

When Cardinal Mclntyre arrived in Los Angeles in 1948, he 
had 366 diocesan priests; the Directory of 1962 listed 580 clerics 
of the archdiocese. The number of parishes grew from 221 to 
297. The religious orders of women increased from 1,965 to 
3,735. The total of diocesan students in the seminary climbed 
from 312 to 536. 

One of the most astonishing growths was in the increase in 
the number of high schools from 13 to 34. Formerly the students 
totaled 5,164; the 1962 total was 23,288. At the same time, the 
number of elementary schools leaped from 1 1 1 to 243. 

In the social field, results were equally impressive. Among 
the most outstanding was the increase in the number of hospitals 
from 12 to 17; instead of treating 86,000 patients as in 1948, the 
hospitals treated 433,223 in 1962. 

One major achievement of Cardinal Mclntyre's reign was the 
building of the junior seminary of Our Lady Queen of the 
Angels in San Fernando. It was certain to increase and foster 
vocations. Another telling evidence of a spiritually alive diocese 
was the number of converts made: the 1962 Catholic Directory 
reported 4,555 for Los Angeles an amazing indication of spir- 
itual vigor. 

Cardinal Mclntyre played quite a prominent role at the Vati- 
can Council in 1962, being particularly active in defense of the 
Latin Mass. Along with Cardinal Ottaviani and his group, Mc- 
lntyre opposed any extension of privileges that might encourage 
Mass in the vernacular. 

James Francis Mclntyre, who had lived in a simple room 
and had never even had an office of his own in New York, had 
been amazed when he first arrived in California and saw the 
beautiful residence originally bought and occupied by Arch- 
bishop Cantwell which was to be his new home. 


The house is a Spanish design, is large, roomy and quite lux- 
urious, and stands in one of the most exclusive and wealthy 
neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The archbishop has converted 
some of its larger rooms into halls where meetings, small recep- 
tions and teas can be held. The house is staffed by an Irish 
housekeeper, a Filipino gardener and chauffeur, and a Chinese 
cook. The cook, it is said, finds the archbishop something of a 
trial because he eats whatever is placed before him and seems 
contented with any type of cooking. 

Today, at the age of seventy-seven, the Cardinal still puts in 
a long day. Meditation is followed by Mass in his private chapel 
at 6:30 A.M. After breakfast he drives or is driven to the chan- 
cery. His hours are from 9 to 5 P.M., but he often stays longer 
if important affairs demand it. Usually he eats dinner at 6, goes 
through more work at home, reads his Breviary and pauses for 
half an hour's meditation at 9:30 P.M. At 10 o'clock he has a 
glass of milk and watches TV or chats with the priests of his 
household. He retires between 10:30 and 12. In agreement with 
his nostalgia for the past, he wears a clerical frock coat and a 
Homberg hat. 

Cardinal Mclntyre is widely read and his view of history, 
especially the history of the Church, is far ranging. It was this 
interest which led him to encourage Father Joseph Brasher, S.J. 
to compile his monumental and scholarly volume, Popes 
Through the Ages. The cardinal gave further encouragement to 
Father Brusher by graciously contributing a brief foreword 
which said, in part: 

The author . . . has drawn upon the best sources to present a 
brief but adequate picture of the enormous impact upon hu- 
man history of the See of Peter. The vast drama of God's 
kingdom is, in its contact with the ever-changing face of human 
events in this brief work, vividly highlighted. 

The author has endeavored to present a completely objective 
account, seemingly realizing that the simple factual narrative 
is the greatest apologia for the spiritual, moral and cultural 
influence exerted by the successors of St. Peter in the shaping 

James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre : 233 

of not only Western civilization, but in the most remote mission 

The cardinal is widely admired for his sterling patriotism 
and sound common sense. He does not hesitate to speak his 
mind on all the important issues of the day. He has a rigorous 
view of what becomes a bishop and a great "high priest/' and 
he lives up to this conception with ideal simplicity. 

Richard Cardinal Gushing 

ON November 6, 1954, Archbishop Gushing of Boston 
published the following message in his official arch- 
diocesan newspaper, The Pilot: 


On November 8, 1944, the crozier of jurisdiction over the 
Archdiocese of Boston was placed in my hand. Ten years have 
since passed, years filled with work and responsibility,, disap- 
pointment and satisfaction, sorrow and joy. 

On this tenth anniversary and in this Special Supplement in 
its honor, which Monsignor Lally, Father Grant and the entire 
staff of The Pilot have prepared with great industry and affec- 
tion to mark the occasion, I offer to you, my own dear people 
and to all the people of the entire community, my fervent 
prayers for your peace and happiness. May you ever be con- 
scious of the loving guidance of your Heavenly Father, may you 
love Him above all else and because of Him live in the love you 
thus create between your neighbor and yourself. 

To God we offer our thanks that He has given us this anniver- 
sary. To God's representative on earth, His Holiness, Pope Pius 
XII, who appointed us your Archbishop, we give our love, 
loyalty and prayers. To you, dear people, I give you my life and 
service. The history of the past ten years is yours, not mine. To 
you, after God, be all its glory. 

We have done many things, as the pages of this Special Sup- 
plement show. Some of it is in new and shining construction, and 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 

in properties acquired and dedicated to the service of God and 
mankind. All o this has cost a great deal of money, every cent 
of which came from your open purses and your yet more open 
hearts. It has represented a willingness to sacrifice your own 
desires, even your own necessities, in favor of the poor and 
needy. It has spoken of great faith and of extraordinary good 
will. It has paid me the compliment of your trust in my judg- 
ment and in my desire to live for others. I thank you. 

Those of you who recall my words on the occasion of my 
installation as Archbishop know that I had no idea then of 
embarking on a great building program. No one was more 
astonished than I by the magnitude of the construction prob- 
lems which were lurking around the corner, waiting for me to 
pull out the chair behind my desk. But since not one cent of 
the tremendous outlay involved could I have supplied myself, 
why then, should I think of the program as mine? It is yours, 
my dear people of the Archdiocese, especially the modestly paid 
working men and women among you; it is yours, also, my 
friends not of my own faith. It has been an honor to formulate 
the details of its expenditures, the manner of its implementa- 

My own version of my apostolate was expressed in my motto: 
Ut Cognoscant Te, That they may know Thee, O Lord! It is 
the continuance of the mission that Christ gave to His Apostles: 
love one another as I have loved you. Unless we know God, we 
cannot love Him. This is a truism we all acknowledge. Through 
prayer, study, and an intensified Christian living of the com- 
mandment of love, we all grow in our desire for holiness, and 
in our earnestness to realize that desire. 

I could not be complacent about the attention I have given 
to material needs had I not the assurance that through the 
cooperation, good will and hard work of pastors and their 
priestly assistants, of nuns and brothers, and of the men and 
women of the laity young and old, Our Lord is better loved, 
better served today than He was ten years ago. On the pages 
of this Special Supplement, you will find the story of a more 
fervent parish life, of more young people among the faithful 
dedicating themselves to the poor and the needy, giving of their 
time, their service, their money, their love, their example of 


holiness giving, if not their very all, at least very nearly this, to 

Herein are the sources of my joy, and I take this opportunity 
of thanking you all, lay, religious and clergy. As for myself, let 
me continue with work and prayer and sacrifice the labor of 
restoring all things in Christ. With my heart full of love and 
devotion to everyone, with a special measure for the poor, the 
shutins, the handicapped, I thank you for your prayers, your 
good-will, your generous support. 

Let us go forward together, ever mindful that our sojourn 
here is but a pilgrimage, and our destiny the throne of God. 
Let us pray that in the time that remains to rne, and to you, that 
we will do our utmost to make God better known, more loved 
and served. 

Pray for me, as I pray for you. Ut Cognoscant Te. 

And thank you for ten years of happy leadership. God reward 
you all. 

This letter issued on the tenth anniversary of Archbishop 
Cushing's elevation to the See of Boston, has all the warmth, 
directness and virile grace which has marked Archbishop Gush- 
ing from the very days of his childhood. 

The section of South Boston where he was born was any- 
thing but a privileged section. But those who lived there, 
though they lacked the luxuries of life, were self-respecting 
people who loved God and tried to get along with their neigh- 

Patrick Gushing and his wife Mary Dahill Gushing had 
brought with them from Ireland a love of God and virtue that 
made their marriage ideal and brought them sincere and deep 
rejoicing on the birth of their oldest son on August 24, 1895, 
just three years before the Spanish American War, The child 
was baptized Richard James Gushing. 

The quick, open-faced boy entered the Oliver Hazard Perry 
Elementary School when he was six. A photograph taken some- 
time during the grade school years shows a young man of great 
seriousness, a good and deeply religious student. 

At Boston High School there was already in his mind a par- 
tial conviction that he had a vocation to the priesthood; this 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 257 

became a certainty after two years of study at Boston College. 
At the completion of his sophomore year, Richard Gushing en- 
tered St. John's Ecclesiastical Seminary in Brighton, to begin 
his studies fcr the priesthood. 

Cushing's fellow students soon grew to like his easy, open- 
hearted ways and broad sense of humor. He joined in their 
games, such as baseball, with the adeptness of one w 7 ho was a 
natural athlete. Despite his good fellowship and easy ways, stu- 
dents were also quick to note his concentration at meditation 
time and the reverent gracefulness he displayed when assigned 
as one of the assistants for the liturgy. 

It was not long before his classmates discovered his high 
qualities of zeal and leadership. Soon he was selected to be 
president of the Academia, a seminary organization that in- 
formed students on the needs of home and foreign missions 
and trained them in the best ways of satisfying those needs. 
Gushing devoured every book he could find on the subject, and 
so electric was his enthusiasm for the mission field that he left 
behind him a memorable record of fund-raising that was to 
have a profound effect on his future in the priesthood. 

Richard Gushing became a priest on May 6, 1921. Both his 
father and mother followed the ceremonies in the sanctuary 
of the Holy Cross Cathedral, with tear-misted eyes as Cardinal 
O'Connell anointed the hands of their son. It was a day 
of honor and religious joy for the family, a happiness they had 
all looked forward to during the long years of sacrifice. 

For about a year Father Gushing was a curate; first at St. 
Patrick's Church in Roxbury, and later at St. Benedict's 
Church in East Somerville. Then, to the surprise of no one, 
he was lifted out of parishwork and made assistant to the arch- 
diocesan director of the Propagation of the Faith. Six years 
later he took over the office of director. It was an assignment 
that called for humility, fine preaching talent and a humor- 
ous charm that persuaded both pastors and people to love the 
missions and support them with magnificent generosity. Soon 
Father Gushing was known in every parish of the diocese; his 
style of preaching, direct and sincere, was widely admired. 


Often enough he had to appear at several churches on Sun- 
day mornings. After his own Mass and thanksgiving, he would 
dash off on his round of preaching. Yet in spite of the pressure, 
he somehow found time to greet the Sisters and altar boys. Fre- 
quently he would dash into the kitchen for a quick cup of cof- 
fee and a joke or two with the housekeepers. Everyone looked 
forward to his visits, including the pastors; for even though 
they realized that Father Gushing' s sincere oratory was draw- 
ing goodly sums of money out of the parishes, they, too, were 
convinced that the missionary work of the Church depended 
upon his efforts. 

Gushing was particularly adept in making people realize 
how much missionary Sisters and priests gave up in leaving 
home to labor in sections of the world where, often enough, 
they endured acute discomfort, perpetual hatred and discour- 
aging ignorance. 

The Sunday morning safaris in search of funds were but a 
small part of his job. The paperwork in the office of the Propa- 
gation called for endless hours of labor. Gushing also had to 
decide which of the thousands of appeals were most pressing 
and worthy of support. 

Missionaries who came through Boston were sure to stop for 
a visit with the amiable director of the Propagation of the 
Faith. They were sure of a cordial reception and warm hospi- 
tality. They usually departed with a generous check for their 

How successful Father Cushing's efforts were may be seen 
in the thousands of mission stations that were furnished with 
chapels through his work among the wonderfully generous peo- 
ple of Boston. Almost as important was the organization of two 
missionary clubs; the Sen Fu Club for women, and the Father 
Jim Hennessey Club for men. The purpose of these two clubs 
had nothing to do with the actual raising of funds. They were 
media of instruction about the missionaries, their stations, their 
problems and their needs. For many people these clubs offered 
the first opportunity to learn that the missions are not some- 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 239 

thing romantic and faraway, but as close and pressing as our 
own anguishing problems, and as near as our own hearts. Also 
among Cushing's most notable achievements was his insistence 
and aid in the establishment of seminaries to train a native 
clergy and hierarchy in the Orient and Africa. 

The rewards for his work began to appear with the accession 
of Pius XII. In April 1939, l ^ c new pontiff elevated Father 
Gushing to the status of domestic prelate, with the title of 
Right Reverend Monsignor. Two months later, in June 1939, 
Monsignor Gushing received notice of his appointment as 
Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, in succession to Bishop Spellman, 
who had become Archbishop of New York. 

Cardinal O'Connell consecrated his tall slim protege on June 
22, 1939. Bishop Gushing then assumed the pastorate of the 
beautiful Sacred Heart Church in Newton. In addition to his 
pastoral duties, he was still Director of the Propagation of the 

Before America's entry into World War II, Bishop Gushing 
concentrated most of his assistance on the islands in the Pacific 
area. Later many servicemen had reason to be grateful to the 
bishop, because when shot out of the air or washed ashore on 
strange islands they found a friendly welcome from the natives 
who were grateful for the assistance and faith that had come to 
them through the efforts of Bishop Gushing. 

All during the war Bishop Gushing spent a great deal of time 
trying to help and encourage the servicemen. He was prodigal 
in providing them with small religious kits, each of which con- 
tained a good rosary. 

Cardinal O'Connell died of pneumonia on April 22, 1944, 
after a brief illness. He was in his 84th year. Archbishop Ame- 
leto Cicognani, the apostolic delegate, celebrated the Solemn 
Requiem Mass in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The sermon 
was preached by Bishop Gushing, who spoke warmly of the 
cardinal, citing his achievements as patriot, priest and scholar. 
He emphasized the administrative brilliance of the dead prel- 
ate, who had established the diocese on such a strong basis that 


it had survived the worst depression in history without appre- 
ciable harm. "It was," he said, "the churches, schools and chari- 
table organizations that were to be the cardinal's enduring 

Bishop Gushing was named administrator of the archdiocese, 
a position he held until September 25, 1944, when he received 
notice of his appointment as Archbishop of Boston. 

The apostolic delegate installed Archbishop Gushing on 
November 8, 1944, with great pomp and ceremony. Crowds of 
bishops from all over the nation came for the occasion. The 
new archbishop had always been an active man of optimistic 
nature, but he must have been slightly perturbed when his 
first survey of the diocese roundly displayed the magnitude of 
the task before him. 

In assuming the rule of the diocese, Archbishop Gushing 
realized that it would have to undergo a tremendous building 
program. He loved his people and admired them for their gen- 
erosity, but he soon saw as he had in the mission field that 
there was a great deal to be done which would call for new en- 
thusiasm and enlarged generosity. 

One of his first acts was to provide funds to strengthen and 
refurbish the missions in the Pacific Islands. For this purpose, 
Bishop Feeney was consecrated and sent out to direct the work. 

At home, Archbishop Gushing began an active campaign of 
fund-raising that was to channel $40,000,000 into diocesan im- 
provements; these included chapels for workers in convenient 
parts of the city (including the airport and fishermen's wharf) 
the enlargement and modernization of older buildings and 
hospitals, and the creation of facilities for every type of social 

When he took over the rule of the archdiocese in 1 944, there 
were 1,292 priests, 325 parishes, 225 brothers, 4,054 sisters, 6 
hospitals, 3 colleges and universities, 2,552 students, 98,828 
youths under instruction, and the Catholic population of the 
diocese was 1,133,075. 

Within fifteen years, the number of priests had grown to 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 241 

2,623, there were 390 parishes, 272 brothers, 5,370 sisters, 13 
hospitals, 6 colleges and universities, 13,316 students, 364,093 

youths under instruction, and the Catholic population had 
grown to 1,582,677. 

This was accomplished because of the archbishop's subtle 
blending of intense spirituality and ceaseless activity. He rose 

early, as he had in the seminary. After Mass and thanksgiving, 
he ate a frugal breakfast, then quickly informed himself of 
the news of the day. After that he kept two secretaries busy with 
his huge correspondence and saw many people who came to 
him with their problems. It is symptomatic of his open heart 
that he saw people with or without appointments; and whether 
they were Joe Doe or Joe Kennedy, they all received the same 
courteous attention. 

It was lucky that Archbishop Gushing had a strong constitu- 
tion, because a glance at his schedule of meetings and ceremo- 
nies for a week make it hard to understand how he was able to 
keep up such a pace. This is all the more remarkable in that a 
second set of secretaries came on duty in the late afternoon 
when His Excellency might have been relaxing; the work 
sometimes went on as late as 10 o'clock at night. The arch- 
bishop's residence on Commonwealth Avenue, known as an 
exclusive place in the days of the old cardinal, was now a vi- 
brant center of hospitality and charity. 

In examining the life of this great prelate, it is hard to see 
which of his accomplishments is dearest to his heart. If ever a 
modern priest tried to be all things to all men like St. Paul 
Cardinal Gushing is that man. There are so many pictures of 
him in so many touching roles that the biographer is hard put 
to select his outstanding accomplishments. He worked well and 
lovingly in all he did, and as a result, there is near perfection 
in all his activities. 

Among the things he worked hardest for was an increase in 
vocations. The results were astounding. An unimaginative 
bishop with an abundance of priests at his command might 
have called a halt to the drive for vocations. Instead, Arch- 


bishop Gushing, with the full consent o the men involved, 
leased scores of priests to dioceses that were poor and short of 

Quite naturally, the seminary buildings had to be enlarged, 
including the chapel. A new research library was built, and the 
Cardinal O'Connell Junior College came into being. The arch- 
bishop loved his young aspirants to the priesthood, and took 
great pains to visit them often to gain an understanding of their 
problems and to increase their knowledge of the life they must 
lead in their zeal for souls. 

Many of the candid-camera shots of the archbishop are un- 
forgettable and utterly charming. We see him ladling the soup 
or carving the turkey for the aged on great feast days. His face 
wears a benign look above the capacious apron that covers his 
cassock, but the grins and complete hilarity of his guests show 
that he has been cracking many a joke with them. It is even 
said that sometimes on St. Patrick's Day the archbishop has 
danced an Irish jig or two, completely captivating his audience. 

Equally touching is his appearance with the young or the 
handicapped. It is typical of him to call the handicapped or 
subnormal children his ''exceptional children." He personally 
takes them on frequent excursions, and of late years has led 
them to Lourdes and Fatima, in the hope that some of them 
may be cured or at least consoled. 

The archbishop is as much at home with workingmen and 
women, as he is with kings and presidents. That was why one 
of his first innovations as archbishop was the installation of a 
chapel on the wharf, the airport and the railway station. This 
was no mere gesture; he frequently appears at these centers, 
and one of the most joyous episodes of the springtime is his 
blessing of the fleet in the full pontificals of his office. 

There is a danger for all bishops that they may become mere 
activists and expert businessmen. Such is not the case with 
Archbishop Cushing. As bishop, he chose for his motto Ut Cog- 
noscant Te (That they may know Thee). The mainspring of 
all his active charity and all his endeavors springs from Christ 
and the liturgy. Courses on the Mass and the liturgy are given 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 

in schools and colleges; the dialogue Mass is firmly encour- 
aged; evening Mass is a common occurrence. And by word 
and work the archbishop inspires interest and information in 

the Mass and the Sacraments. In carrying out the motu proprio 
of Pius X, young priests of musical ability are trained at the 
Pius X School of Liturgical Music and are instructing the chil- 
dren, and in some cases even the adults, to sing the Mass in 
Gregorian Chant. 

How thoughtful the archbishop is for even the least of his 
children becomes beautifully clear when we discover that he 
has arranged televised Masses for shut-ins, normally forgotten 
in most dioceses. 

From his earliest days, the archbishop had been truly de- 
voted to the Mother of God. Whenever he is at home, he finds 
time in his busy schedule to lead the Rosary twice a day on 
television for his people. His sermons on Our Lady's feast days 
are filled with illumination and poetry that clearly indicate his 
reverence and love. One of the finest examples is to be found 
in the beautiful prayer which he wrote to Our Lady of Boston: 

Glorious Mother of God and powerful patron of all human 
endeavors, protect with thy favor this City of Boston and all who 
dwell in it. Intercede with thy Divine Son to bless its blue bay 
and rising hills, to bless its ancient streets and historic monu- 
ments, to bless its newest arteries and its everchanging face. 

Within its boundaries beg Him to sanctify those who live and 
labor here, cause their works to prosper and bring happiness to 
those whom they love. Ask Him to give guidance to all who are 
called to provide leadership in this community and grant them 
an honest intelligence and a far-seeing \ision. 

For our City, O Holy Mary, be a Morning Star lighting the 
daybreak, a Tower of Ivory guiding those who wander, a House 
of God giving shelter to all who are troubled. As we pass 
through our fair city and elsewhere be for us all a Refuge of 
Sinners, a Comforter of the Afflicted and in our last hours, O 
Mary, be a Gate of Heaven through which we may pass to 
eternal life. 

Intercede with thy Son, our Redeemer, that His Providence 
may watch over Boston and its people; let His grace strengthen, 


guide, defend and protect its every venture old and new; and 
finally in all our aspirations and actions "as he was with our 
fathers, so may God be with us." Amen. 

In his writing, as in his preaching, Archbishop Gushing 
shows excellent talents; he is, in fact, so eminently quotable 
that one is hard pressed to know where to begin and where to 
end. The archbishop's sincere affection for men of all races and 
creeds is admirably shown in a speech given at the brotherhood 
dinner of the Lowell Hebrew Community on February 14, 
1956, where he said in part: 

My friends, I have broken bread with you this night, and 
have talked with you, as a fellow American neighbor and friend. 
But in this matter I voice no mere personal opinion, but with 
the consecrated authority of my holy office, as a bishop of the 
Roman Catholic Church, and priest forever according to the 
order of Melchizedek, I can declare to you that no Catholic can 
despise a fellow man and remain a true follower of his Lord 
and Savior, Jesus Christ, and an obedient son of his Church. 

Any Catholic who reviles or wrongs a brother because of the 
color of his skin, because of race or religion, or who condemns 
any racial or religious group, ceases in that condemnation to be 
a Catholic and an American. He becomes a disobedient son of 
Mother Church and a disloyal citizen of the United States. 

In a speech made to the C J.O. on April 6, 1956, he said: 

Everyone has a right to a life-work, and to a life-work which 
is a congenial form of making something, of producing some- 
thing. Such work is not just a job. It is life; the life of an artist 
painting a portrait on the canvas of time. I am not saying that 
we all ought to be poets or painters or authors or inventors. 
That is one of the weak things about society today; we think of 
makers as a very small group of painters, poets, musicians, and 
so on. But the artist is not a special kind of man; every man is 
a special kind of artist. And I am not insinuating that we all 
ought to be making pots and pans things with our hands. If 
we can sail a ship well, if we can cook a good meal, if we can 
drive an engine, plough a field, be a lawyer, a doctor, a street- 
sweeper or a businessman if we can do any of these things, we 
are makers. 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 

In another speech on June 3, 1959, the archbishop, in a sense, 
rounded out the depth and complexity of his thought with this 
statement about the uncommon man, which fearlessly lashes 
out at one of the great defects of our time: 

It is good when common men are given every means and 
opportunity to rise to greater heights of excellence and achieve- 
ment. But it is not good when the common becomes a norm of 
excellence and accomplishments, when the man of uncommon 
ability is resented and the person of uncommon performance 
is perpetually cut down to size. It is best for our traditions of 
faith and our institutions of freedom when citizens are inspired 
to seek uncommon heroism and uncommon stature, to avoid the 
merely common and to aspire after that which is more noble, 
more truly humane and more nearly divine, 

Due to his excellence In delivering speeches and writing, 
Archbishop Gushing Is very quick to discern these excellences 
in others. He has encouraged and helped young writers and 
has contributed many prefaces and introductions to many 
worthwhile books. 

His public activities have brought him many honors. Numer- 
ous universities have showered him with doctors' degrees, and 
governments have honored him with medals, but he is just as 
proud of his certificates as honorary 1 fireman or honorary presi- 
dent of the drum and bugle corps. 

In 1953, a good part of Boston went to its knees with the an- 
nouncement that Archbishop Cushing had gone to St. Eliza- 
beth's Hospital for two major operations. In January 1954, he 
returned to his residence, and In spite of his doctor's pleading, 
refused to take a vacation from his heavy schedule. 

In 1954, Gushing celebrated his first ten years as Archbishop 
of Boston. He seemed disposed to forget the fact, but priests 
and people showered him with gifts and praise. Xor did Pius 
XII forget the anniversary; in July 1954, His Holiness ap- 
pointed Archbishop Cushing, Assistant at the Pontifical Throne 
with the title of Count of the Apostolic Palace and Court of the 

This ancient title which ranks immediately below the car- 


dinalate and usually points to it dates back to the time when 
the pope lived at the Lateran Palace and his court was com- 
posed o these assistants. They usually took their turns in wait- 
ing on him. They were also closest to the papal throne on great 
occasions, and unlike lesser dignitaries who had to wear wool 
or cotton, were permitted to wear the silk. 

Most people were surprised when the Archbishop of Boston 
was not named a cardinal at the Great Consistory in 1946, in 
which thirty-two bishops were elevated to the purple. Totally 
unconcerned, Archbishop Gushing proceeded with the com- 
plete reorganization of every society in the archdiocese. 

In the Archdiocese of Boston, there are now the following 
Eastern Rites: Armenian, Byzantine Slavonic, Maronite, Mel- 
kite, Byzantine and Catholic Ukrainian. All are in a vigorous 
and thriving condition, due to the help and encouragement 
they received from Archbishop Gushing. 

He has also helped handicapped and subnormal children. 
Beginning with the Kennedy Hospital, which ministers to chil- 
dren with disabilities, a whole phalanx of the most modern 
homes for children came into being. 

Another significant change took place in the archbishop's 
thinking. He had hardly gone farther afield than the eastern 
seaboard, but after the war, all of this was changed when he 
led thousands of pilgrims to Ste. Anne de Beaupre, Lourdes, 
Fatima and the other shrines of Europe. 

"It goes without saying/' as Bishop John J. Wright of Pitts- 
burgh testifies, "that these religious pilgrimages in lands still 
bearing the evidences of war had their intended effect in help- 
ing to bring together the people of divided nations. In due 
course, the governments of France, Italy, Germany, Portugal 
and Ireland were to pay their tribute to the work of interna- 
tional friendship by which Archbishop Gushing had made his 
own people so proud.'' 

Archbishop Gushing has a manly and cavalier way of doing 
things that often completely surprises and enchants people. A 
sterling example of this was to be seen in June of 1951, when 
40,000 members of the Holy Name Society gathered in Fenway 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 

Park for a Holy Hour. Almost without warning, a torrential 
downpour began, A great many bishops would have canceled 
the meeting and their appearance as well. Instead, the arch- 
bishop appeared in full ecclesiastical pomp, wearing his cappa 
and followed by a trainbearer. He was greeted with a great 
roar of applause and laughter as he circled the entire park, 
drenched to the skin, gaily waving his biretta at the crowd and 
smiling like an amiable Buddha. It was only one of the occasions 
in which he had inspired the Holy Name Society. Actually, he 
has made the society a power in the archdiocese. 

Archbishop Gushing has not only strengthened the network 
of guilds founded by Cardinal O'Connell, but he has added to 
them all along the line. Among the many innovations is the crea- 
tion of a reading clinic that has done an immense amount of 
good for all those whose future was conditioned or imperiled 
by their inability to cope with the written word. The blind, 
the deaf, the handicapped and the troubled are all equally 
served and cared for. Nor does Archbishop Gushing forget the 
weak willed or misdirected. Every day some 700 men from skid 
row are given a hot meal. 

After the death of Pius XII on October 9, 1958, there were 
many changes made in the hierarchy throughout the world. 
Boston was jubilant on November 17, 1958, when banner news- 
paper headlines proclaimed that the Archbishop of Boston had 
been elevated to the Senate of the Church. With him were 
named Archbishop O'Hara of Philadelphia, and Archbishop 
Clcognani, who had served the Church so faithfully and well 
for longer than any delegate in the history of the nation. 

Everyone who knew and loved Archbishop Gushing was anx- 
ious to participate in the ceremonies attendant upon his being 
raised to the cardinalate. The list was finally cut down to a rea- 
sonable number, and on the loth of November four planeloads 
of officials, friends and the press took off for Ciampino Airport 
in Rome. 

The days of the consistories were a happy time for Cardinal 
Gushing and his friends. From the reading of the biglietto at 
the North American College until December 18 when he re- 


ceived the red galero in the splendid ceremony at St. Peter's, 
the cardinal and his friends lived in a current of happiness that 
showed plainly in all the pictures of the occasions that we have. 
The cardinal was particularly delighted with his titular 
Church, Santa Susanna, on the Via Venti Settembre. It is the 
American Church in Rome, staffed by the Paulist Fathers, who 
have long been special friends and enthusiastic helpers of His 

Upon his return to Boston, when the banquets and celebra- 
tions were over, Cardinal Gushing quickly returned to his 
work. Honors continued to fall upon him, including that of 
being the first cardinal to give the invocation at the Inaugura- 
tion of a President of the United States. 

With the calling of the Vatican Council in 1962, Archbishop 
Gushing played a prominent part in all those movements which 
will help to bring the liturgy especially the Mass closer to 
the people. 

Before the closing of the first session of the council, the car- 
dinal's health made it necessary for him to ask Pope John for 
permission to return to Boston. Time magazine reports an 
amusing exchange between the Pope and Cardinal Gushing at 
this final meeting. "Warmly sympathetic/' says Time, "the 
Holy Father recommended to the cardinal a little bicarbonate 
of soda before going to bed. 

" Tour Holiness/ " replied Gushing, " 'thank God you're not 
infallible when prescribing medicine. That's the worst thing 
you can take for ulcers/ " 

The joke is reminiscent of the famous story about Cardinal 
Gibbons, who upon his return from the first Vatican council 
was asked if the Pope was infallible in everything. "I don't 
think so," Bishop Gibbons replied, "he called me Mister Jib- 

In his own quiet way Boston's cardinal goes on working for 
the archdiocese and the whole world. A recent splendid ex- 
ample of his charity was the $1,000,000 ransom which he per- 
sonally raised for Cubans captured in the abortive Bay of Pigs 

Richard Cardinal Gushing : 

The message of Archbishop Gushing' s tenth anniversary, in 
1944, has been amply borne out and enlarged in the twenty 
years since that time. Especially true are the words: "To you, 
dear people, the history of the past ten years is yours, not mine. 
To you, after God, be all its glory." 

The cardinal's days have been filled with service, without 
counting the cost to himself or taking pride in himself. He 
exemplifies Gibbons' sentiment: "It is not the cardinal that 
ennobles a man; it is the man that ennobles the cardinal." 
There is no better-loved prelate in the land, and it is not only 
Boston that will say Amen to that. 

John Cardinal O'Hara 

JOHN O'HARA was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on May i, 
1888, the son of John W. O'Hara and Ella Thornton 
O'Hara. Looking back, it seems almost symbolic that he should 
have been born on the first day of Our Lady's month, because 
his life was in every sense a practical poem to her honor, and 
his high regard for her expressed again and again in so many 
moving passages of prose was summed up in the motto of his 
coat of arms, "Following her you shall not go astray." 

Most of John's boyhood was spent in Peru, Indiana, about 
midway between South Bend and Indianapolis, a scattered, 
slow-moving small city of about 6,000 on the banks of the Wa- 
bash River. 

John first attended St. Charles Borromeo Grade School, but 
there is no indication that he displayed any special aptitude at 
this time or later when he went on to the public high school 
in Peru. He loved sports, especially swimming. His friendly 
nature led him to participate in the varied social affairs with 
which the Midwestern boy of his time tried to brighten the 
unexciting rhythms of the year. 

The family circumstances were comfortable. John's father 
ran a small newspaper and was respected as a forward-looking 
man in community affairs and Republican councils. It was this 
modest eminence and thoughtful outlook that earned him en- 
try into the foreign service at a time when Teddy Roosevelt 


John Cardinal Q'Hara : 251 

was trying to strengthen the bonds between South America and 
the United States. 

Mr. O'Hara's first post was Montevideo in Uruguay, where 
he was American Consul from 1905 to 1907. John was seven- 
teen when, after the long sea voyage, he caught his first glimpse 
of the towering Cerro Light and entered the spacious harbor 
on the Rio de la Plata Estuary. 

The strangeness of the city intrigued him; the narrow streets 
of the "old city," containing the business district and the relics 
of colonial grandeur, culminated in the Plaza de la Constitu- 
cion, with its statue of the liberator Jose Gervasio Artigas di- 
rectly in the center. 

The soft phrases of the strange language pleased the young 
man. Soon he learned to handle its grammar and intonations 
with ease at the Colegio de Sagrado Corazon (College of the 
Sacred Heart), Montevideo's best school, staffed and directed 
by the Society of Jesus. 

Between sessions at the college, John served as secretary to 
the United States Minister to Uruguay, and had his first experi- 
ences with the routine that develops a successful executive. 

John had never been robust, and the moist, hot climate of 
Montevideo had a bad effect on his lungs, forcing him to take 
a year's rest in Argentina, where the healthier air cured him. 

In 1907, when his father was transferred to Santos, Brazil, 
John went with him to the coffee capital of the world. The per- 
petual aroma of coffee and the low-lying city with its gigantic 
sea wall proved unhealthy, so John returned to Indianapolis in 
1908, one year before his father gave up the foreign service to 
practice law in Indiana's capital city. 

In 1909, it was decided that John would finish his college 
course at Notre Dame University in South Bend. The cost of 
his tuition was small, because his experiences in South America 
enabled him to find a place on Notre Dame's faculty, teaching 
elementary Spanish. 

January snow lay on the wide fields framing the university 
when John arrived for the second term. The poet in him 
thrilled at the sight of the golden dome crowned with the 


statue of the Virgin, herself more pure than the dazzling white- 
ness mantling her demesne, 

The campus was still small; students and faculty were like 
one big family. The dorms huddled around the church were 
severe and barnlike; only Sorin, with its towers, had a preten- 
sion to French chateau style, as if looking toward a more opu- 
lent future. 

John found an appealing friendliness among the Holy Cross 
priests. They made him feel at home, and their active zeal for 
souls suited his own mentality and taste for doing things rather 
than talking about them. At morning Mass in the drafty ad- 
ministration chapel, he felt himself drawn ever closer to the 
religious life. When May came, the evening Rosary at the 
Lourdes Grotto under the splendid old trees kindled a love in 
him that was never to be erased. 

Outwardly he gave no sign; his jocose manner and quick 
repartee were in keeping with the spirit of the time and place. 
Classes were sometimes rowdy affairs, and every boy on the 
campus was fanatically interested in football. The early 
coaches were priests, who brought to the game a quiet ferocity. 
One of them is reputed to have said, to a young man who 
showed some timidity in getting into the melee, "Whaddya 
standing there for, doing nothing? If you see a leg sticking out 
of the pile, break it off." It was no atmosphere for sissies. 

John's students discovered an amiable toughness in their tall, 
slim, fair-haired teacher. They found themselves drawn to him 
because he seemed so near to them in time and spirits. 

The scant two years of study passed all too quickly. Almost 
before it seemed possible, the June of 1911 and the week of 
graduation were upon him. The band played on the high porch 
of the Ad building every night. Young men who had spent 
much time kicking against the strict discipline now found 
themselves nostalgic as they walked through the fragrant June 
dusk and spoke of departure. 

With his bachelor of philosophy degree behind him, John 
gave long hours of consideration to his future. Did he have a 
vocation to the priesthood? he asked himself. Was his health 

John Cardinal O'Hara : 253 

good enough to stand the novitiate of the Holy Cross Fathers, 

still informed with French piety and severity? 

For a year he tested himself by remaining at Notre Dame 
as a lay teacher, and at its close made up his mind quite humbly 
that Notre Dame was his future home and the place where he 
could do the work he loved best. The novitiate would be the 
active test of God's call. 

It proved to be just that. By nature, John was quick and 
inventive and did not find it easy to accept menial tasks and 
minute corrections laid down by rule and tradition. At last he 
saw through to the heart of the matter obedience was not a 
fact that concerned himself and his superiors, but himself, his 
superiors and God. He had long loved prayer, and after that it 
was easy. 

Studies came naturally to John, and he found a good 
natured bonhomie among his fellow novices. The physical 
exercise did him good, particularly the hours of swimming in 
the bracingly cool waters of the two small spring-fed lakes on 
the campus. 

There was the excitement of football too. It became a mad 
passion for everyone when little-known Notre Dame defeated 
the powerful Army team in November 1913. The defeat was 
made possible by the brilliant passing of two young men by 
the name of Knute Rockne and "Gus" Dorais. It was their ex- 
ploits and continuing fame which attracted many excellent 
students to the university and provided the current funds for 
the progress of the school a fact that some people seem in- 
clined to forget. 

The day of John's ordination by Bishop Chartrand, Septem- 
ber g, 1916, in the cathedral at Indianapolis, was a memorable 
one for him and his family. They bent their heads with a kind 
of awe for his first blessing, but once they were all at home, 
John's engaging grin and sly jokes made them content and 

John had creative ideas, and his superiors had a use for them. 
A year's study of history at the Catholic University and courses 
at the Wharton School of Commerce at the University of Penn- 


sylvania prepared him for the work he wished to do. In Sep- 
tember 1917, he returned to Notre Dame. Father John J. 
Cavanaugh was president at the time, and his undeniable schol- 
arship and brilliant skill as an orator had earned him the com- 
plete devotion of faculty and students. 

Two signs that Father O'Hara was a coming man were evi- 
dent in his appointment as faculty secretary and temporary 
head of the newly established school of commerce. It was a dif- 
ficult time for Notre Dame. The First World War disrupted 
campus life and all the old pieties. Young men of the Students 
Army Training Corps came to the school by the thousands in 
1918, and for a few brief months played havoc with the orderly 
beauty of the campus. Father O'Hara, who had also been ap- 
pointed prefect of religion, found himself at full stretch trying 
to take care of his motley crew. With the armistice on Novem- 
ber 11, 1918, everyone, including Father O'Hara, breathed a 
sigh of relief. Most of the student army had been released by 

The end of the war brought new opportunities for Notre 
Dame. Father O'Hara became dean of the College of Com- 
merce and journeyed to South America for the establishment 
of exchange scholarships with the noted universities of the 
southern republics, rounding out his work with the establish- 
ment of courses in South American history. 

Nearest to his heart was his job as prefect of religion, a posi- 
tion that he built up with enormous shrewdness. Many who 
had held the job before him had seemed more pious than real- 
istic. John O'Hara's long hours in the confessional had taught 
him that the boys he dealt with were anything but angels, 
but he was amazed and inspired at their capacity for good. To 
channel and use that good was the very essence of his task. 

The football team was a legend. On campus, the men in the 
leather helmets were almost completely idolized, and Knute 
Rockne's name was breathed with the hushed tone usually as- 
sociated with the mention of the saints. 

Obviously the place to begin the religious channeling and 
inspiration was with the team. Father John began to cultivate 

John Cardinal O'Hara : 255 

the players assiduously. With his completely manly qualities 
and casual sense of humor it wasn't too difficult, and his ap- 
pearance among footballers came to be welcomed whether they 
were at play or practice. The players found themselves clean- 
ing up their language, and it wasn't long before they were 
cleaning up their lives. Day or night, Father O'Hara was avail- 
able for advice or confession. 

The small mimeographed bulletin which he began to issue 
in 1921 did much to inspire team and students with the fervor 
for daily Mass and Communion. Father O'Hara didn't scruple 
to use either heavy sentiment or cliches, as long as they made 
his meaning clear and touched the generous hearts of the stu- 

Careful statistics were kept and quoted, and in time the habit 
of daily Communion became something of a crusade. From his 
bare room in Sorin Hall, not far from the tower room of 
Charlie Phillips one of the best-loved teachers of the time 
Father John kept his finger on the pulse of the university. 
Directness, simplicity, complete devotion were his watchwords, 
and whether among the faculty or students, his casual humility 
was memorable. Anyone who saw him at work could only mar- 

By 1933, when he became vice-president under Father Cava- 
naugh, he had brought about a more or less complete renova- 
tion in campus religious life which in turn paved the way for 
the intellectual future of Notre Dame. There were still occa- 
sional minor scandals and tragedies, but by and large the whole 
tone of student life was raised, with no sacrifice of the virile 
qualities Notre Dame prized. 

The influence was not felt on the campus alone; prefects oJ 
religion from other schools came to South Bend to stud 1 } 
Father O'Hara's methods, and his religious bulletin went oui 
to hundreds of schools and colleges. 

It was a boom period for Notre Dame. Many new donrii 
tories were being built and the student body was growing rap 
idly. It was more than a build-up of quantity. A new type o 
student hungry for learning began to predominate, and all th 


new currents of literature and art were discussed acrimoni- 

The tragic death of Rockne in 1931 brought an end to an 
era. Football would be played after him, sometimes making 
the old flashy headlines, but never with the same following 
among priests and students. The dedication of the new foot- 
ball stadium was the splendid realization of a long-cherished 
dream. News and sports celebrities came from all over the na- 
tion for the event which had all the glamour of a film premi- 
ere. The presence of G. K. Chesterton in the audience (he was 
oiving a six-weeks course of lectures at the time) and the uni- 
versal interest in him on this great night indicated the new 
trend in Notre Dame's life. 

When Father O'Hara was appointed president of Notre 
Dame in 1934, he understood every aspect of campus life. Un- 
der his administration the graduate school was strengthened 
and began to play a more important part in the tone of the 
school The emphasis on science under the distinguished 
Father Nieuland, who invented a base for synthetic rubber, 
was to grow and become more important during Father 
O'Hara's term of office. Though he now traveled with distin- 
guished authors and educators most of the time, Father O'Hara 
lost none of his simplicity. On early summer afternoons he 
could be found taking the sun and swimming in the midst of 
various student groups or alumni members back on the campus 
for a week's celebration. It was Father John's cheerful human- 
ity that knit ever closer the bonds between the old school and 
its graduates and moved them to give or promote gifts for its 

The erection of new buildings went on apace. Dormitories 
were all filled faster than they could be built. The science 
building and the Rockne Memorial were a big step toward the 
newly studious Notre Dame. 

Honors for the work he was doing came to Father O'Hara 
in abundance. President Roosevelt appointed him a delegate 
to the Lima Conference, which in turn led to an invitation by 
President Lopez Contreras of Venezuela to head a social-service 

John Cardinal O'Hara : 257 

mission to that country. On both occasions Father O'Hara used 
every minute of his leisure time in making a survey of the 
South American school system on all levels. 

The start of the Second World War, with the Polish blitz- 
krieg of 1939, warned Archbishop Spellman that American par- 
ticipation in the conflict was almost inevitable. That would 
mean an enormous enlargement of the military ordinariate 
and a competent staff of men to run its world-wide responsi- 

With canny shrewdness, Archbishop Spellman, who had long 
admired Father O'Hara, appointed him military delegate and 
Auxiliary Bishop of New York. The consecration of the lean 
bishop of Mylasa took place in Sacred Heart Church on the 
campus of Notre Dame on January 15, 1940. Cardinal Spell- 
man was consecrator, assisted by Bishops Chartrand and Noll. 
It was like a family affair; all the bishops were old friends, and 
students and Holy Cross nuns who knew and loved Father John 
packed the church. 

Bishop O'Hara soon fell into the rhythm of his new work. 
He brought to it a complete dedication and friendly outlook 
that established close personal relations between himself and 
American chaplains around the world. One of the secrets of his 
success with people was an exceptionally tenderhearted con- 
cern for those in trouble. Tears would mist his eyes, even 
though his approach to a problem was logical and practical. 
Every chaplain received a letter from the delegate once a 
month, and he asked them questions about their problems and 
how to solve them. Visits to the tremendous camps all over the 
country kept him constantly on the go. Though he drove him- 
self without mercy, baptizing, confirming, listening to gripes, 
his immediate approach to the endless responsibilities was easy 
and humorous, as though he had all the leisure in the world. 

Living quarters had been found for Bishop O'Hara at St. 
Caecelia's Church, staffed by the Redemptorist Fathers, on 
io6th Street. Children had always been a magnet to Father 
John. The jests he made with them and his imaginative under- 
standing made him as young as they were. St. Caecelia's was 


no exception, and when Bishop O'Hara found that the parish 
included a large number of Puerto Ricans, he somehow found 
time to chatter with the children in Spanish and to begin the 
work of instructing them and their parents. 

Everyone was pleasantly surprised when President Roose- 
velt appointed Bishop O'Hara to the board of visitors of the 
Naval Academy at Annapolis. It was the first time a Catholic 
bishop had been named to that job. 

As the war in Europe drew to a triumphant close in March 
1945, word came that Pius XII had appointed Bishop O'Hara 
to the Diocese of Buffalo, as successor to Bishop John A. 
Duffy, who had died a few months earlier. 

Cardinal Spellman installed his friend in St. Joseph's on May 
8, 1945. Outside the crowded church the lilacs were beginning 
to bud and people were shouting, dancing and acting more 
than a little zany, because it was V-E Day. 

The citizens of the lake city found the new bishop much to 
their taste. With his commanding presence and ability to see 
and define issues in direct and forceful speech, he graced any 
occasion. His jocosely serious treatment of feuds between the 
foreign minority groups in his diocese terminated many ven- 
dettas, and his humble way of treating priests and laity earned 
him universal affection. 

One of his forward-looking moves was the progressive elimi- 
nation of special schools and churches for Negroes. It wasn't so 
much integration as elevation through the recognition that 
color of skin has nothing to do with the complete equality of all 
the children of God. 

The bishop spent much thought and effort on the Catholic 
school system. New schools were built, old schools were mod- 
ernized and enlarged, a progressive plan for increasing the 
number of high schools was initiated. 

By the end of the first year, the diocese and the nation had 
already begun to appreciate the quality of their new bishop. 
His appeal for Catholic charities was so entirely real in its ap- 
proach that the large sum asked was oversubscribed and con- 
tinued to be each year that he remained Bishop of Buffalo. 

John Cardinal O'Hara : 

In 1946, Bishop O'Hara and Bishop Michael J. Ready were 
sent to Japan to make a report on the condition of the Church 
in that devastated nation. In the ruins of Nagasaki, once a 
prominent Catholic center, the bishop looked sorrowfully at 
the complete horror of modern war. 

Bishop Duffy had inaugurated the custom of bringing ba- 
bies from all parts of the diocese for an annual service of bless- 
ing at St. Joseph's Cathedral Bishop O'Hara continued the 
custom which he immensely enjoyed. In the midst of the coo- 
ing, gurgling and squalling, his red-robed figure went through 
the crowd with words of admiration and a wide smile for every- 

Honors and degrees continued to fall on his balding head 
through the Buffalo years, culminating in his appointment in 
1951 as vice-president of the permanent committee on the in- 
ternational eucharistic congresses, an oblique tribute to the 
ardent love of the Eucharist and his ability to make people 
share in that love. 

Four months later, news came from Rome that Bishop 
O'Hara had been elevated to the Archbishopric of Philadel- 
phia. Looking back, it all seemed like a dream; he had only 
wished to be a priest and serve God's people. The titles given 
him had meant very little, because he was anything but 
a proud man and he was skilled in seeing through glossy sur- 
faces to the universal lowliness of all mankind. Occasionally he 
had been ill and tired, and now at sixty-three he was taking on 
the responsibilities of one of the largest dioceses in the United 
States, after the thirty-three-year reign of a distinguished ad- 
ministrator. Squaring his shoulders, he prepared himself for 
the new tasks with the old staff of prayer. 

At the brilliant installation sendees in the massive basilica- 
style brownstone cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, he looked 
pensive and pale. When he rose to speak at last, after thanking 
Apostolic Delegate Amleto Giovanni Cicognani and his brother 
bishops who had come to honor him, Archbishop O'Hara spoke 
in words as simple as the Gospel and himself. 

"I have no program to announce, nothing to reach but the 


love of God. Recognizing my utter unworthiness to follow in 
the footsteps of such magnificent leaders as Cardinal Dougherty 
and his eminent predecessors, I only ask leave to second and 
encourage your efforts. If you will kindly tell me your needs, I 
shall do my best to meet them. I know no other way to serve. 
Working together with the assistance of God's grace, we can help 
one another save our souls/* 

The simple pronouncement was roundly appreciated in the 
City of Brotherly Love more astonishingly still, it was found 
to correspond with the ensuing reality. 

Cardinal Dougherty had been austere and distant on many 
occasions; the new archbishop was different. Almost always he 
cloaked the core of his profound depth and seriousness with a 
jocose and casual manner. Priests and laity who came with their 
problems went away from their visits encouraged and consoled. 

One of the first things the priests noticed was that the palace 
at 5700 City Avenue was now a home. If summoned there for a 
meeting, they were astounded to have the archbishop answer 
the doorbell and go to the door with them after the visit. He 
usually held their coats for them as they prepared to depart. As 
he had always done, he preferred to move men through per- 
suasion and liking, not through protocol and command. 

Priests and people came out to the cathedral in large num- 
bers on May 12, 1953, to see their archbishop receive the pal- 
lium symbol of his archepiscopal rank from the hands of 
Cardinal Spellman. 

In the modest chancery (with its austere walls and red car- 
pets) north of the cathedral, Archbishop O'Hara started to 
work on a survey of diocesan needs. Education was his first con- 
cern. He did not confine it to a mere paper approach, as was 
evidenced by his constant journeys to all parts of the diocese 
making friends as he went for a first-hand grasp of what 
needed to be done. 

What he found was vastly encouraging. Cardinal Dougherty, 
a genuine scholar and a man of vision, had built well. At his 
death he could boast that there were Catholic grade and high 
schools for every child in the diocese, in which the parishes as 

John Cardinal O'Hara : 261 

units bore the entire expense of the children's education. But 
over the years and with the explosive growth of Philadelphia's 
population at the close of the war, many of the schools urgently 
needed enlargement or renovation. What Archbishop O'Hara 
achieved in his almost nine-year reign Is nothing short of mi- 

Between 1952 and September 1961, sixty-one new schools 
were opened. Of these, seventeen were high schools. One of the 
outstanding high schools Is named for Cardinal Dougherty. It 
enrolls 3,000 boys and 3,000 girls. Their classrooms are in sepa- 
rate wings, but both are under the same administrative super- 
vision. It is probably the largest high school in the world. The 
enrollment of all the schools at the end of Cardinal O'Hara's 
reign was 894,000. In addition to the fabulous new buildings, 
older structures were enlarged. In 1961 alone, 222 new class- 
rooms were added to the existing structures. 

Nor did the archbishop forget to encourage higher education, 
a field in which he was an outstanding expert. Three new 
women's colleges were opened, and Villanova attained univer- 
sity status. In 1961, the eleven colleges and universities of the 
diocese had an enrollment of nearly 20,000 students. One of the 
most appealing pictures ever taken of the archbishop, at Im- 
maculata College graduation In 1956, expresses far more than 
any words could the complete Interest and delight he showed 
when in the midst of his children. 

Archbishop O'Hara, as an enlightened and practical edu- 
cator, was interested in more than the bricks-and-mortar aspects 
of his responsibility. In a series of vigorous editorials In The 
Catholic Standard and Times> he summed up his views of Cath- 
olic education vis-a-vis Federal aid and control. The editorial 
gave unblinking proof of the tremendous gift Catholics were 
offering public education In the United States, and adroitly 
spotlighted the injustice of the double taxation that would fall 
upon Catholics in the plans for any stepped-up aid to public 
schools which did not include all religious schools in Its think- 

Shortly after the archbishop came to Philadelphia, he inter- 


ested himself in the archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic 
Standard and Times, which was making a name for itself under 
the competent editorship of Monsignor Anthony Ostheimer. 
The paper was functioning in the basement of a very old build- 
ing. When the heavy, outmoded presses rolled, the whole struc- 
ture shook, and frightened visitors expected the worst. 

Archbishop O'Hara surveyed the plant and made his usual 
droll comments. A modern office and printing plant was built 
at 1818 Cherry Street. The facade is of particolored brick em- 
ployed in the modern manner which the famous Benedictine 
architect Dom Bellot had used with memorable distinction in 
Quarr Abbey. It's a strictly functional building, but no less a 
delight to the eye. Housed in its fine new quarters, the paper 
began w ith the powerful assistance of the archbishop a pe- 
riod of expansion and promotion which increased its circulation 
to over 100,000. 

The archbishop and the jovial editor worked in the closest 
possible harmony, witty badinage often characterizing their 
meetings. Monsignor Ostheimer, of solid German lineage, 
has a way of replying to priests or people who question him, 
"Well, as my Irish grandmother used to say . . ." concluding 
with some well-know saw. 

Apparently the archbishop heard of this, and on one solemn 
occasion as they were going into the cathedral Archbishop 
O'Hara leaned over and whispered to the monsignor, "By the 
way, how's your Irish grandmother?" Monsignor Ostheimer 
had a difficult time maintaining his gravity. People liked and 
respected the other archbishops of Philadelphia, says Mon- 
signor Ostheimer, but Archbishop O'Hara was loved. 

One of the strongest indications of the love that begets love 
is to be found in his work for mentally retarded children. Five 
special schools were founded for this, enrolling 685 children 
who were solidly and patiently grounded in the simple beliefs 
they could comprehend. In time, along with other training, this 
enabled them to receive the Sacraments with fervor and under- 
standing. To these children and those helped by the establish- 
ment, the St. Lucy's School for the Blind, and the enlargement 

John Cardinal O'Hara : 26} 

of the Archbishop Ryan School for the Deaf, Archbishop 
O'Hara was something of a saint. Watching him moving among 
them was a touching sight; patience, complete manly sympathy, 
tenderness and joy were mirrored on his expressive face in turn. 

As he had at St. Caecelia's in New York, the archbishop 
showed a fond regard for the Spanish emigrants who had come 
to Philadelphia, mostly from Puerto Rico. A center, Casa del 
Carmen, was founded for their religious, social and cultural 
activities. The newly ordained priests who were to work among 
them were sent to Puerto Rico for a year's training in the lan- 
guage, customs and mentality of their people. 

From his experience in Buffalo, the archbishop brought to 
Philadelphia the graceful custom of blessing the children dur- 
ing the month of May. In the cathedral and in certain large 
parishes of the archdioceses, children and their parents came to 
receive the blessing of their bishops and were drawn closer to 

The archbishop's loving concern for the family went far be- 
yond the picturesque days of blessing. A committee for Chris- 
tian home and family was carefully organized in every parish. 
When a new child was born, the parish women of the commit- 
tee called upon the mother, congratulating her in the name of 
Archbishop O'Hara and presenting the child with a medal. 

Every three months after this event until the child is three 
years old the ladies return with a leaEet outlining progressive 
religious training. Finally the mother is presented with a book- 
let for the further religious training of the child. The ladies of 
the committee, most of whom are mothers, keep themselves in 
good spiritual condition by frequent days of recollection and 

Archbishop O'Hara initiated another practical program for 
strengthening family life the premarital instruction program 
sponsored by the Family Life Bureau. In fall and spring, one 
night a week for four weeks, specially trained doctors and priests 
give instructions and answer questions on every aspect of mar- 
ried life. Over 55,000 couples have attended the lectures in the 
first eight years. For two years after marriage, the Family Life 


Bureau follows up the Initial instructions with a series of letters 
to newlyweds, giving practical pointers for a happy marriage. 

Archbishop O'Hara always loved God's house. He was quick 
to note that the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul had grown 
shabby and crowded over the years. He announced its renova- 
tion and enlargement in 1955. Funds poured in and the work 
started in 1955 and continued for almost two years. The splen- 
did interior of the cathedral today is enduring proof of Arch- 
bishop O 'Hara's loving care for every aspect of Christian wor- 

The archbishop ardently promoted daily Communion and 
frequent reception of the Sacraments. The results of his interest 
were soon apparent and brought great joy to a mind that had 
always seen through statistics to people and God. 

In promoting the charities of the archdiocese, Archbishop 
O'Hara truly achieved wonders. The first organized appeal in 
1958, which had a goal of $1,600,000, was oversubscribed by 
more than $300,000, and the two years following brought still 
more amazing results. 

There were no narrow boundaries to John O'Hara's charity. 
Missionaries from the whole world were received warmly, and 
the archbishop's friendly approval of their cause sent them back 
to the missions encouraged in heart and pocket. 

On November 16, 1958, word came from Rome that Pope 
John XXIII had named Archbishop O'Hara a cardinal. "How 
do you feel about it?" he was asked. 

The cardinal grinned. "The news makes me numb all over,'* 
he replied. On being first made a bishop, he had observed: 
"The only purple I ever expected was on my confessional stole." 
With characteristic self-deprecation, he admitted that his broth- 
ers and sisters, who still called him "Father John/' were as- 
tounded at the new honor. "After all they're sensible people," 
was the way he phrased it. 

When Bishop O'Hara came to Philadelphia, he already was 
a sick man. The heavy burden he assumed and his perpetual 
activities, in which he refused to spare himself If he could stand 
on his feet, had made him a gaunt specter of his former self. 

John Cardinal O'Hara : 265 

In flying to Rome for the ceremonies from December 15-18, 
he envisaged the possibility that the trip might mean his death, 
but he emplaned with the charming crooked grin that always 
meant he was laughing at himself. He went through the com- 
plex ceremonies in Rome like a good soldier, but between times 
he stayed out of the public eye and prayed hard to endure. 

The barriers were up in the square outside his cathedral when 
he returned on a cold, blustery day. Thousands had braved the 
weather to greet their leader. There was a smile on his pallid 
face and a warm light in his eyes as he waved to them and they 
all laughed at his simple summing up. "It's great to be home/* 
he said. 

In the two remaining years, the cardinal fought for his life 
and his people. Several operations and long months in Miseri- 
cordia Hospital kept him out of circulation but failed to dim 
his interest in being a good shepherd. From his sick bed, he kept 
his finger firmly on the pulse of the archdiocese by daily con- 
sultation with his secretary, the chancellor, and other officials. 

There were always flashes of the old humor. On one occasion 
when he was taking twenty-two different kinds of pills at varying 
intervals, he complained, with a broad smile, "I don't mind all 
the different kinds of pills, it's the mathematics involved that 
gets me down." 

On Saturday morning, August 27, 1960, word went out from 
the chancery to the 439 parishes that Cardinal O'Hara was 
gravely ill. Priests and people began to offer prayers for the 
man they loved. He died quietly the following morning at 3:06 
A.M. He had long known that his days were numbered, and he 
looked forward to release. 

Priests and prelates came from all over the United States for 
his funeral. Cardinal Spellman sang the final Pontifical Mass. 
The inspiring eulogy was delivered by Cardinal Mclntyre of 
Los Angeles. Both had known him closely in New York; both 
admired him and loved him as a friend. Messages by the thou- 
sands paid tribute to the dead cardinal. Admiration for his 
deeds were in all, but the chief accent fell on the fact that he 
was sincerely loved by all who knew him. 


In keeping with his simplicity of heart and dress, his will 
stipulated that he should be buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery 
on the grounds of Notre Dame. Though he had been the first 
priest of his community to be raised to the Sacred College, he 
had wished to rest inconspicuously under the greensward of 
the place he loved best, in the company of his old companions. 

His wish was not fully granted. Because of his high cardinal- 
itial dignity, Rome thought it more fitting that he should be 
buried in Sacred Heart Church. 

A tomb was hurriedly prepared in the chapel on the Gospel 
side of the main altar as he lay in state while Fathers and Sisters 
of the Holy Cross, professors and old friends, filed by. The final 
entombment took place on September 7, 1960. Archbishop 
Schultz of Indianapolis sang the Pontifical Mass and gave the 
final absolution. 

The school term had not yet begun, it was a quiet time on the 
campus. The last farewells were in keeping with Cardinal 
O'Hara's simplicity of outlook and devoted love of community 
and friends. The red hat, symbol of his exalted office, would 
hang in the cathedral in Philadelphia until it fell to pieces. That 
was all behind him now as he took his rest in the spot he loved 
and hushed voices spoke in praise of "Father John." 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench 

IT Is interesting to remember that Alolsius Muench, future 
bishop and cardinal of Fargo, North Dakota, was born on 
February 18, 1889, in the same year in which North Dakota 
became the thirty-ninth state to join the Union. It was also the 
year of the Oklahoma Land Rush, and the Johnstown Flood In 
which 2,295 people lost their lives. 

The comfortable Muench home where the future cardinal 
grew up was In north Milwaukee, at 2945 North Tenth Street. 
Aloisius' father Joseph was an employee of the Northwestern 
Store Equipment Company; his mother was a pillar of St. Boni- 
face Church and was noted for her deep piety, good cooking and 
sterling common sense. 

Though the Muenches spoke English, German was the first 
language of the family. They used It almost entirely in conversa- 
tion, prayers and songs at home, and on Sundays at St. Boni- 
face Church at West Clark and North Eleventh streets they were 
sure to hear a solid sermon In impeccable German. In fact, later 
on as Bishop of Fargo, Muench took some English 'essons in 
order to overcome the traces of his German sentence structure. 

St. Boniface School, to which Alolsius went In 1906, was 
staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Under their ex- 
cellent instruction, young Muench got a solid foundation In the 
three R's and was encouraged In his mother's piety which was 
both knowledgeable and sentimental. 



Aloisius was a sturdy boy. He loved baseball, fishing and hunt- 
ing, but all games and sports took second place to his love of 
religion and the Church. He declared his intention of becom- 
ing a priest early in life, and his mother skillfully encouraged 
him in a manner that at once moved him to humility and per- 

A picture of fourteen-year-old Aloisius, taken on his First 
Communion day in 1903, shows us a self-possessed young man, 
neat in dress and surrounded by all the romantic atmosphere 
of the occasion. Already the young man was taking extra lessons 
in Latin from Father Henry Niehaus, the saintly chaplain of 
Notre Dame's mother house. 

By the time Aloisius entered St. Francis Seminary in 1904, 
the family had grown to six children. He had two brothers, 
Frank and Joseph, and three lively sisters, Teresa, Dorothy and 

Muench was popular at St. Francis. His love of study, good 
marks and quiet ways endeared him to his professors, and among 
the students he was noted for his sly sense of humor and his in- 
terest in sports. 

In the spring of 1913, Aloisius prepared for his final exams 
and ordination, which took place in St. John's Cathedral on 
June 8. Archbishop Stephen J. Messmer was the ordaining 
bishop. Touches borrowed from the South German homeland 
were added to the official procession at his first Mass the little 
flower girls, and his sister Dorothy dressed as a bride, symboliz- 
ing the Church to which the young Levite was wedded. 

Father Muench served as assistant to Monsignor Sebastian 
Bernard at St. Michael's from 1913 to 1917. It was with pained 
surprise that the young priest saw the emergence of a virulent 
anti-Germanism in Milwaukee during those years in which the 
United States drifted toward war. Fortunately for him, he was 
moved to an easier and better-informed atmosphere at the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin, in Madison, where he was assistant to 
Father Hengell, the vigorous chaplain of the Newman Club. 

The chaplaincy at St. Mary's Hospital was added to Father 
Muench 's work at St. Paul's Chapel. With his studies for his 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench : 269 

master's degree, his instructions and hospital duties, he was 
constantly on the go. Yet he was able to make frequent visits to 
his home and to the lakes and forests of Wisconsin, and even the 
briefest holiday was a delight. 

Archbishop Messmer was pleased when his student priest 
received his master of arts degree with high honors at Wisconsin 
in June 1919. Father Muench elected to go to the ancient Uni- 
versity of Fribourg in Switzerland in pursuit of his Ph.D. 

He found the climate of Fribourg much like that of Milwau- 
kee. His excellent grasp of German proved to be of tremendous 
value, both in the classroom and socially. Soon he was hard at 
work on his thesis, "Compulsory Health Insurance Projects in 
the United States/' 

In the early years of his priesthood Father Muench had been 
active in the Central Verein. As the midterm vacation ap- 
proached in 1919, he was asked to go to Munich as its represent- 
ative and to arrange for the distribution of relief supplies 
gathered in the United States for "starving Germany/* 

He found the usually gay city gloomy and in the midst of a 
panic in which Reichsmarks were worth less than the paper on 
which they were printed. 

In searching about for a guarantee that the central Verein's 
aid would be distributed justly, Father Muench went to the 
apostolic nunciature. There he met the tall ascetic nuncio Eu- 
genio Pacelli. The usually reserved nuncio warmed appreciably 
at the news Muench brought. They chatted away in German 
about details of the gift, and Father Muench departed with a 
fervent blessing. The encounter bore astonishing fruit years 
later when Germany lay in ruins and the Pope was looking for 
an American prelate who could handle the job of nuncio in 
occupied Germany. 

TW T O years of study at Fribourg were sufficient to complete 
work on the thesis. In his final oral examination, Muench ac- 
quitted himself so brilliantly that he was given a mmma cum 
laude citation. With his doctorate of laws safely achieved. Father 
Muench spent a further two years surveying advances in the 
social sciences at the Sorbonne and the Catholic Institute in 


Paris. He also attended a series of lectures by outstanding social 
theorists in London, in Louvain, Belgium, and at Oxford. At 
Oxford, particularly among the Dominicans and Jesuits, Father 
Muench found a lively dialogue on social subjects and came 
into close touch with the outstanding Catholic authorities in the 

However, theory alone did not engross the young student 
completely. At Basle, he assisted in the postwar reorganization 
of the International Association of Labor Legislation and also 
became a charter member of Pax Romana, a student organiza- 
tion to promote peace. There was still time to attend lively and 
sometimes acrimonious conferences on social and economic 
questions in Germany, Switzerland and France. 

After arriving in Milwaukee in the summer of 1922, Father 
Muench, who might have been a brilliant teacher of social sub- 
jects, found himself appointed to teach dogmatic theology at 
St. Francis Seminary. He spent long hours reviewing dogma, 
and it was with a secure mastery of his subject that he began 
to teach his courses in September. Somehow he found time to 
write an occasional article for America,, and he always found 
time to join in the sports activities at the seminary. Needless 
to say, he was one of its most popular professors. 

After seven years of teaching, Father Muench became Rec- 
tor of St. Francis Seminary. Those seven years had been filled 
with incessant activity he was spiritual director of several 
women's organizations, a judge of the archdiocesan matrimonial 
board, chairman of the board of examiners for the junior 
clergy, and treasurer of St. Michael's priest fund. As Rector of 
St. Francis, Father Muench became chairman of the Catholic 
Action Committee of the Wisconsin branch of the Central 
Verein, and took on duties too numerous to mention, among 
the most important of which were vice-president of the sem- 
inary section of the National Catholic Education Association, 
and membership in the legislative committee of the Wisconsin 
Credit Union League. 

Early in 1935, Father Muench was elevated to the prelacy 
with the tile of Right Reverend Monsignor and was invested 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench : 271 

with the purple on January 22. In August of 1935, Monsignor 
Muench received a letter from the apostolic delegate, telling 
him that the Holy Father, Pius XI, intended to appoint him 
Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota. Before making his decision, 
Monsignor Muench was perfectly free to discuss the matter with 
his Ordinary, Archbishop Stritch. 

At first Monsignor Muench was moved to refuse the honor; 
he was honestly convinced that he lacked the practical qualities 
for a bishop and felt he could do more as a seminary instructor 
in preparing young men for the priesthood. He told this to 
Archbishop Stritch, who heard him out with a smile. Then he 
said one sentence in his soft southern voice: "One does 
not say no when the Holy Father beckons/' Monsignor Muench 
needed no further persuasion; it was his duty to accept. 

On August 12 the news was out. The people of Fargo re- 
joiced in having such a scholarly man for their bishop. Fargo 
had just barely weathered the Depression to become part of 
the disaster area known as the Dust Bowl, and its people were 
aware of Bishop Muench's background in the field of economic 
and social questions. 

The new bishop was consecrated by Archbishop Stritch in 
St. John's Cathedral on October 15. A picture taken outside St. 
Boniface's Church on October 20, on the occasion of Bishop 
Muench's first pontifical Mass, shows a benign young bishop 
with a kind of homespun friendliness that is extremely attrac- 
tive. He was installed in St Mary's Cathedral in Fargo on No- 
vember 6, 1935. Because the cathedral seated only 800, most of 
its space had to be restricted to the bishop's family, friends, 
visiting bishops, and nuns and priests of the diocese. Outside 
a typical Fargo touch the weather was near zero, the ground 
covered with four inches of snow. 

It was an unfriendly welcome to the bishop's wide demesne, 
but the succeeding years gradually made up for it. In time 
Bishop Muench came to love the flat prairie lands of his diocese. 
The winters were long and bitterly cold and the wind howled 
perpetually, but in the spring, when the first grass blazed up 
spangled with wild crocus and red mallows and the meadow 


larks sang their plangent music, the prairies were beautiful. 
They were equally lovely in late summer; a sea of waving 
golden wheat to the far horizon. After the harvest came the 
duck and partridge shooting, and north in Canada the deer 
shooting. The bishop was a superb shot and loved the life of 
the woods, the hikes over rough country in the crisp weather, 
the open fires and sparse creature comforts. 

One of his first acts was a quick survey of his 34,000 square 
miles of territory. The years of poor crops had left nearly all 
the parishes saddled with debts and helpless to further parish 
development. Almost at once the bishop began the collection 
of the Catholic Church Expansion Fund of the Diocese of 
Fargo, which in Muench's eleven years there had financed the 
building of churches, schools, convents and rectories costing 
many millions of dollars. 

It was obvious to him that the fierce winter weather and bad 
roads made attendance at Sunday Mass practically impossible 
for many isolated families. Some radical new approach had to 
be found in teaching the people and their children the truths of 
their religion. With this in mind, the bishop organized the Con- 
fraternity of Christian Doctrine. It became such an active so- 
ciety that it soon embraced 11,000 members. Needless to say, 
the most active member was the bishop himself, who imported 
the Sisters of Service from Toronto to conduct correspondence 
courses in religion for the children in the most isolated sections. 

The widely scattered parishes were another source of worry. 
"We need more priests," the bishop said, "and we need more 
churches." A little inquiry led him to conclude that many voca- 
tions were lost because of poverty the sheer inability of fam- 
ilies to clothe, educate and do without the earning power of the 
one with the vocation. 

"We must provide help and scholarships to supplement the 
seminary collection/' he said. People smiled a little at the idea 
of ever being able to assemble a scholarship fund, but the bishop 
trusted in God and people. Slowly the fund grew as conditions 
on the farms improved with government aid and the life in the 
town quickened anew with the flow of ready cash. How well 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench : 273 

Bishop Muench built is amply evident. In the first ten years the 
number of vocations almost doubled and in the second decade 
it completely doubled again. 

The early years were not all work and no play. There were 
fishing and hunting during vacations, and in 1938 his silver 
jubilee of ordination took place in St. Mary's Cathedral Many 
bishops came, but best o all was the presence o his mother, his 
brothers and sisters and their children. 

In the same year, he played host to the national convention 
of the Catholic Rural Life Conference. The bishop grinned a 
little to think that a city boy like himself should be host to ex- 
perts in farming, but, as one of his biographers says: "The 
bishop was eager to learn, not so much the science of farming 
as the art of living on a farm according to Christian principles 
and ideals." A careful study of rural sociology and economics 
prepared him in mind and heart for advising his people. He 
was elected president of the conference twice. With the aid of 
Monsignor Ryan and Monsignor Mulloy, he compiled a 
"Manifesto on Rural Life/ 1 It is still one of the best expositions 
of Catholic rural philosophy. 

Another precedent was the convening of a diocesan synod 
in 1941. The bishop welcomed his priests with an engaging 
cordiality that was one of his finest qualities. All the problems 
of the diocese were discussed with good sense and humor and 
were summed up in a synodal book that attracted considerable 

The great plans for financing the parish expansion were 
halted by the Second World War, but it is significant that in the 
five years after the war the bishop's plans brought into existence 
7 hospitals, 49 new churches, 6 schools, 15 rectories and other 
smaller units. 

In 1946, Bishop Muench was invited to join the party of 
Archbishop Stritch, who was going to Rome for his red hat. 
Muench found Rome interesting and was prepared to enjoy the 
magnificent ceremonies to the hilt when suddenly he was given 
an astounding surprise. Monsignor Montini summoned Bishop 
Muench to the Secretariat of State and informed him that the 


Holy Father had selected him for a special mission to Germany. 
It would be his duty to make a complete visitation of the 
Church there and personally report his findings to the Holy 
Father. Apostolic Visitator was to be his title, and he could ex- 
pect to be absent from his diocese from eight to fifteen months. 

He was completely dumbfounded. Strangely enough, he was 
perhaps the only bishop in the world who could have carried 
out the duties he was asked to perform. He spoke English and 
German with equal facility, he was a man's man who knew how 
to make himself at home in rough circumstances, and his easy 
approach to people almost invariably led to friendship. Once 
again, from his memories of a young priest who represented the 
Central Verein in 1919, Pius XII had been inspired to select 
the man perfectly fitted for the task in hand. 

After the great consistory was over, Bishop Muench hurried 
back to Fargo to make arrangements for his absence in Germany. 
On June 27, 1946, he started back to Rome from Washington 
in an old Army plane that island-hopped to Paris by way of Ber- 
muda and the Azores. The bishop was entitled to government 
transport because he had just been given the title of 'liaison 
consultant for religious affairs to the military governor* ' a 
Pentagon triumph of circumlocution. 

Back in Rome, he spent two weeks in hectic conferences; he 
was carefully briefed on the details of his mission and the ex- 
tent of the task before him. Finally he was summoned to a pri- 
vate audience with the Pope, in which he learned in burning 
phrases how extensive the damage in Germany was, how piti- 
able the state of the Church and the condition of the German 
people. As a favorable introduction to his mission, the visitator 
was to head a large convoy of trucks carrying medical supplies 
from the Vatican to Frankfurt, Germany. The Pope graciously 
allowed himself to be photographed on the scene as the last 
trucks bearing the N.C.W.C. War Relief Services insignia were 
loaded and blessed. 

The bishop had need of every blessing in the book. The long 
trip had to be made over bombed-out roads and bridges. There 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench : 275 

were almost no supplies of gasoline, and no repairs except in 
car pools of the United States Army, 

By the time the long convoy had traveled through Northern 
Italy and over the Brenner Pass, Bishop Muench felt as if he 
had been on the road for years. He had used every ounce of his 
double authority as a bishop and liaison consultant. The Pope 
had envisaged Bishop Muench as an "angel of mercy"; the 
bishop only wished that the title had the wings that went with 
it. Western Austria . . . Bavaria . . . somehow the convoy 
lumbered through the endless ruins and arrived at Frankfurt. 

The visitator was by this time more than a little appalled by 
the magnitude of the task before him. Germany was one vast 
heap of ruins; churches, schools, convents and rectories had 
suffered immense damage. Yet almost at once he began a system- 
atic visitation of Western Germany. He had hoped to go to the 
Eastern Zone, but was refused permission to do so by the Rus- 

The written reports of the visitator and the laudatory letters 
written about him by German bishops to the Pope and the 
Secretariat of State impressed Pius XII so deeply that on Jan- 
uary 18, 1947, he was moved to issue to the German bishops the 
following rare letter in praise of Bishop Muench and his work: 

Our decision to send a special Apostolic Visitator to Germany* 
as well as the choice of the person fitted for this work, were 
determined by the conviction that the lack of a clear view of 
the irst postwar years and of the real and juridical complica- 
tions springing from it would lead to a situation in the religious 
field in which the presence of a far-sighted representative of the 
Holy See, standing aside and above the controversies of the 
day, would be conducive to the general good. 

With satisfaction We learn from your letters that the office 
itself as well as the person charged with it, and no less the man- 
ner in which he has conducted its affairs, have met with your 
undivided acclaim and esteemed approval. 

Furthermore, We know with what warm devotion and gen- 
eroushearted love the Apostolic Visitator, designated by Us, fol- 
lows the call to go to Germany. We know, too, with what 
zealous, objective, and benevolent impartiality he strives to 


enter into the purpose and duties of Ms important but also 
grave and at times thorny mission, and labors to rise to the hopes 
which Holy Mother Church and the Church of Germany place 
on his endeavors. 

In his visits throughout the ruined country, Bishop Muench 
impressed his hosts with his amiable energy and his ability to 
make himself thoroughly at home in any and all circumstances. 
During the winter cold he often slept in unheated rooms which 
were the best bishops and priests could offer him, shared their 
poor food, and often as not offered his Mass in partly ruined 

It was not until February that he got back to Rome. The 
warmth of his welcome amazed him. Even the usually reserved 
Pope embraced him while voicing sentiments of delight, and 
then listened to his report with extreme concentration. The 
private audience lasted well over an hour. 

At its close, Bishop Muench asked the Pope: "Holy Father, 
how long will I be asked to stay on in Germany?" 

The Pope smiled sadly. "Indefinitely, my son," he said. 

"But, Holy Father, I have a diocese in North Dakota that I 
must worry about." 

The Pope's reply was short and prompt. "The needs of the 
Church in Germany are more critical than in North Dakota. 
We have decided to appoint an auxiliary bishop in Fargo to 
administer the diocese during your absence." 

The next day, with a speed that amazed the already stunned 
visitator, Bishop Leo F. Dworschak, Coadjutor of Rapid City, 
was recalled to Fargo as auxiliary bishop. 

Bishop Muench returned to Germany completely convinced 
that his greatest life's work would be there for many years to 
come. It was fortunate for him and for Germany that he was 
capable of driving himself without mercy. As visitator, he ac- 
complished tremendous things, not the least was his infusion 
of a note of optimism in the minds of all classes of German 
Catholics by attending every important meeting, youth rally, 
religious anniversary and bishop's meeting, at which he usually 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench : 277 

spoke bringing messages of religious hope and practical com- 
mon sense. 

During the American occupation, the bishop was very busy 
with his job as liaison consultant for religious affairs. The bishop 
and General Clay worked with complete harmony, and the gen- 
eral discovered that his conferences with the bishop saved him 
a great deal of frustration and embarrassment in handling 
German Catholic affairs at a time when there was no responsible 

The reverse side of the coin as liaison consultant was his office 
as vicar delegate for American Catholics in the armed services, 
and later for their dependents. 

These three jobs, which Bishop Muench handled with great 
devotion, might have used up a stronger person, but he had 
another still more demanding. He was administrator of the 
Vatican Mission, originally founded by Monsignor Walter Car- 
roll, which, with the cooperation of General Dwight Eisen- 
hower, was attempting to sort out and repatriate the thou- 
sands of refugees who had been brought into Germany as slave 
labor during the last years of the war people who had survived 
unspeakable prison camps or escaped the horrors behind the 
Iron Curtain. It was a heartbreaking task that required a strong 
stomach and infinite patience. 

It is remarkable, if not outstanding, that the visitator should 
have become one of the most loved and admired personalities 
in Germany. We can partly understand this if we remember the 
engaging nature of Bishop Muench, his wide learning, and the 
ease with which he wrote and spoke the German language. An- 
other circumstance, which was quite accidental, was a tremen- 
dous help to him. In his Lenten pastoral for the Diocese of 
Fargo in 1945, he had chosen as his subject "One World in 
Charity/' In it he pleaded for a Christian treatment of our en- 
emies and roundly condemned the harsh Morgenthau plan of 
reducing Germany to a pastoral economy. Unknown to Bishop 
Muench, someone had taken this letter and translated it into 
German. Thousands of copies were made by mimeograph or by 
hand and were circulated widely throughout Germany before 


hie bishop ever came there as visitator. As a result, Bishop 
i uench found himself already famous and well-known when he 
rrived in Germany, and the Germans' love and admiration for 
iim grew the more they saw of him. 

We can gain some idea of his importance and popularity from 
he conversations which Bishop Dworschak had with Cardinals 
r rings and Faulhaber. Cardinal Frings was eloquent in his 
gratitude to Bishop Muench and almost lyrical in praise of his 
ccomplishnients. Bishop Dworschak said: "All of us in Fargo 
iave known from the beginning that the bishop is a great man. 
That is why we are all so anxious to have him come home soon." 
Cardinal Frings looked up in shocked surprise. "What! Back 
o Fargo! That is utterly unthinkable, Germany needs him/* 

Two days later, at the close of a Munich visit with Cardinal 
?aulhaber, the cardinal took Bishop Dworschak aside for a short 
nterval and spoke to him with great feeling of Germany's debt 
o the apostolic visitator. Bishop Dworschak repeated the same 
>raise of Bishop Muench that he had used in conversation with 
Cardinal Frings. Cardinal Faulhaber's reaction was even more 
emphatic: "No! No! Not back to Fargo ever! We have already 
made our wishes known in Rome that if and when Germany 
:an re-establish diplomatic relations, Bishop Muench will be 
appointed nuncio without delay/' 

In 1949, when the phenomenal progress of Germany made 
it evident that she could shortly look forward to independence 
from the occupying powers, Pius XII named Bishop Muench 
regent of the nunciature. In November 1950, in preparation 
for Germany's freedom, Pius XII conferred upon Bishop 
Muench the personal title of archbishop, as a preliminary step 
to naming him papal nuncio to the Bonn Government on 
March 6, 1951. 

As the Pope's representative, the nuncio was extremely active 
in his attendance at public meetings of every sort. We can get 
some idea of his popularity by recalling the public Mass which 
he celebrated in 1958 in Berlin's Olympic Stadium 125,000 
people filled the stadium to capacity. Before that, in August 
1956 at the Cologne Catholic Congress, Bishop Muench offered 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench : 27$ 

Mass before 500,000. He spoke the same afternoon, along with 
Chancellor Conrad Adenauer, to an overflow crowd of 800,000, 

In 1957, the Bonn Government showed its appreciation for 
the nuncio when Theodore Huess, President of the West Ger- 
man Republic, conferred upon him the Grand Cross of the 
Order of Merit. Now there was time to enjoy social affairs and 
visits of ceremony at the charming nunciature in Bad Godes- 
berg, and for the walks he enjoyed and democratic chats with 
children and grown people whom he met in the course of his 

With the death of Pius XII and the election of John XXIII, 
there were many changes in the Roman Curia and among am- 
bassadors of the Holy See throughout the world. No one was 
surprised when the Holy Father announced on November 16, 
1959, that on December 19 he would confer the cardinal's hat 
on Archbishop Muench and seven others. More extraordinary 
still, one of the seven was Archbishop Meyer of Chicago. It was 
a long time since their happy days as teachers at St. Francis 
Seminary in Milwaukee. 

Cardinal Muench found no difficulty in fitting himself into 
the Roman scene and his new function as a curial cardinal. He 
had always loved Rome and was no stranger to its life of cere- 
mony and splendor. Yet when the twenty-fifth anniversary of his 
episcopal consecration came around in 1960, it was to Fargo that 
he returned for the big celebration on October 15. It was a 
family affair, and genuine love and affection overflowed in a tor- 
rent of praise about the great "Prairie Bishop." 

In expressing his thanks, the cardinal said, in the Catholic 
Action "Bulletin": 

The Diocese of Fargo will always be of great interest to me. 
I shall watch the progress of the Church here very closely. The 
Bishop, the clergy, the religious, and the laity of this Diocese 
will always be in my prayers. I will ask Divine Providence to 
shower its richest blessings on you and yours in generous 
measure, and so long as I live I shall be grateful for the loyalty 
and the affection of the people of this Diocese which was demon- 
strated in such dramatic fashion this past week. 


Among the praise that came from afar was a warm letter 
from Pope John XXIII. In it the Holy Father said: 

We dare not permit this auspicious occasion to go by without 
giving expression to the fatherly benevolence We feel towards 
you. We extend to you Our best wishes and congratulations. As 
Bishop of the Church of Fargo, you gave ample evidence of love 
and faith in carrying out your pastoral work. Among other 
things, We admire especially your zealous charity for the 
workers and those of humble rank. Learned as you are in the 
social sciences, a watchful and prudent shepherd, you devoted 
yourself completely to a social order that would be enlightened 
by right doctrine and promoted by effective action. 

In meetings of Bishops, your opinion on these matters was 
always sought, and when for a number of years you were presi- 
dent of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, you 
accepted the challenge with noteworthy wisdom, diligence, and 
zeal. Later you manifested an even deeper concern for the 
needy and afflicted, when, after the last war, you were Apostolic 
Visitator and then Papal Nuncio in Germany. With your usual 
ingenuity and prudence in discharging heavy responsibilities, 
you lived up to the high expectations of the See of Peter, 

To those who were nearest and dearest to the cardinal, the 
occasion was tinctured with a certain sadness in that they could 
see that he was in poor health and not likely to be long spared 
to them. Their fears were borne out on February 15, 1962, with 
the death of Cardinal Muench in Salvator Mundi Hospital in 

Rome said her farewell on February 19, 1962, with appro- 
priate splendor in St. Peter's. Pope John presided at the Vatican 
rites and gave the absolution following the Mass. The central 
ecumenical council postponed its opening session so that all 
the Fathers could attend the funeral. Many members of the 
diplomatic corps also were present. 

Later the same day, the cardinal's body began its journey to 
the United States, accompanied by his secretary Father Ray- 
mond Lessard. On February 21, the body of Cardinal Muench 
reposed at St. John's Cathedral in Milwaukee. Archbishop 
William E. Cousins celebrated a Pontifical Requiem Mass. The 

Aloisius Cardinal Muench : 281 

following morning Bishop Leo F. Dworschak led the procession 
from the funeral home in Fargo to the cathedral and offered 
Pontifical Mass for the repose of the man he had admired so 

At 8 P.M. the Office of the Dead was recited by the clergy and 
then repeated in English by the lay persons who attended. The 
final Funeral Mass, celebrated by Joseph Cardinal Ritter, took 
place on February 23, in St. Mary's Cathedral. Archbishop Karl 
J. Alter, Archbishop of Cincinnati, preached the panegyric. 
Many bishops from Canada and the United States were in at- 
tendance, as well as leaders of the state and municipality. The 
cardinal was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery. 

Cardinal Muench might have had an ornate tomb in either 
Rome or Milwaukee, where he was so lovingly remembered. 
Instead, with a simplicity that characterized his whole life, he 
chose to rest in the spot he loved best in the world. 

To many people it seemed a strange turn of fate that the 
bishop of one of the poorest dioceses in the United States should 
in the end have outranked his metropolitan and achieved the 
highest honors in the gift of the Vatican. 

Actually there was nothing strange about it at all. Cardinal 
Muench was one of the most magnificently gifted and learned 
bishops in the world. It was a mark of his quality that he felt at 
home with popes and heads of government and equally at home 
with children and the simple-natured farmers of his huge dio- 
cese. Like Pius X, he preferred the quiet of a simple life, but a 
great intuitive pope lifted him out of it with a sure knowl- 
edge of his capabilities. 

Albert Cardinal Meyer 

IN 1892, Milwaukee was devastated by a great fire that burned 
over twenty-six acres and did some $5,000,000 worth of 
damage. At the turn of the century the new city that arose on 
the ruins of the old was a pleasant homey town noted for its 
beer gardens and the solid character of its citizens. 

The Germans especially took their religion with great seri- 
ousness; they learned the truths of the faith thoroughly, were 
practical Catholics devoted to their Church, prayer and the 
Sacraments, and held their priests in high esteem. 

Family life was close and affectionate and was tinged with the 
broad humor of South Germany and strong in its emphasis on 
character and respect for authority and learning. 

It was in this orderly atmosphere of city and home that Al- 
bert Gregory Meyer was born on March 9, 1903, the fourth of 
a family of five children, three boys and two girls. Albert's fa- 
ther Peter and his mother Mathilda Thelen Meyer were re- 
spected parishioners of St. Mary's Church. Peter worked for 
a manufacturing firm. The family income was modest, but the 
kindly, self-respecting atmosphere of their home was wonder- 
fully happy. 

Albert went to St. Mary's School, staffed by the School Sisters 
of Notre Dame, a community widely respected for its solid 
teaching methods and devoted piety, whose old mother house 
a great block of buildings on Wisconsin Avenue was a 
powerhouse of learning and religion. 


Albert Cardinal Meyer : 28} 

Albert, a tall lanky boy, was studious. The nuns soon singled 
him out as one to be pointed toward the priesthood. They gave 
him lacy holy cards as prizes and encouraged him in his devo- 
tions, especially love of the Blessed Sacrament and God's 
Mother. He was like a little bishop, they said as they watched 
him serving at Mass and benediction. 

First Communion and confirmation were prepared for with 
great thoroughness; it was considered a disgrace if a child was 
unable to answer any question the priest or bishop might ask 
from the Catechism. A retreat preceded both great occasions, 
which were carried out with the utmost precision and solem- 
nity after long hours of drilling and instruction. At home, too, 
First Communion and confirmation were great occasions cele- 
brated with solemnity and good cooking. By the time Albert 
finished the eighth grade, he was sure of his vocation. 

The times were filled with challenge and menace. The ar- 
rogance of the Kaiser was pushing the United States toward war 
as incidents against American rights and shipping mounted 
along with tempers. War was finally declared on April 6, 1917. 

It was a bad time for Milwaukee; a hatred of all Germans 
swept the country, and feelings were bitter. The war, with its 
long casualty lists, brought great sorrows to which an influenza 
epidemic added further tales of woe. Topping it all, in 1919, 
the Eighteenth Amendment making Prohibition the law of the 
land put many out of jobs in the beer capital of the United 

Two years spent at Marquette Academy under the expert 
guidance of the Jesuits prepared Albeit for early entry into St. 
Francis, the diocesan seminary where he distinguished himself 
as a student during the remainder of his high school and two 
years of college. 

Life at St. Francis had a Germanic thoroughness in its respect 
for discipline and study, but there was a kind of fraternal fam- 
ily friendliness among professors and students which commu- 
nicated a warm glow to seminary life, especially in the outdoor 
activities of baseball, tennis and hockey. 

Summers were spent at home in the warm circle of the family. 


Albert's two older brothers, Edmund and Norbert, were al- 
ready self-sufficient; his older sister was a member of their be- 
loved School Sisters of Notre Dame. 

So excellent was Albert's record at St. Francis that Arch- 
bishop Messmer decided that the boy should take his philosophy 
and theology at the North American College in Rome. 

Albert entered the North American College in 1922. Pius 
XI was beginning a brilliant pontificate that was to see the 
settlement of many vexing problems; Mussolini was "making 
the railroads run/' and blowing hot and cold on Church ques- 

At his classes in Propaganda, a whole new world opened up 
for Albert Meyer under skilled professors of the stamp of Cardi- 
nals Agagianian and Ruffini. Philosophy and theology provided 
many stranded paths into the complete understanding of God's 
world and the immortal democracy of the Church, Those les- 
sons were amplified in the prayer life of Rome which was 
summed up in gorgeous ceremonies in St. Peter's or in a hun- 
dred other splendid churches. What the eye saw and the ear 
heard in beauty were intimately brought home to the heart in 
the religious life of the college, beginning with meditation in 
the morning. 

Albert and the other students of his time were fortunate in 
having Monsignor Mooney as their spiritual director. Looking 
back from his own eminence later on in life, Albert would be 
able to say: 

"My recollection of Cardinal Mooney goes back to the days 
when I was a student at the North American College in Rome. 
He was the revered and greatly beloved spiritual director there. 
In this capacity he left an indelible mark on all the students, 
inspiring them with his great learning and his solid spiritual 

Rome and Italy were a fascinating object lesson of some ol 
the greatest moments in history, art, architecture and every out- 
standing achievement of man's genius. Everything came alive; 
everything intensified the interrelationships of all learning and 
the wisdom beyond it. Summers at the Villa Santa Caterina 

Albert Cardinal Meyer : 285 

were an added revelation of nature's splendors in blue lakes 
and snowy mountains. 

In July of 1926, Albert's life in the Holy City came to its 
climax of examinations, retreat, and at last the great day of 
ordination by Cardinal Basilio Pompilj in the ancient Domin- 
ican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. The body of Cath- 
erine of Siena is buried there; it was an added note of happiness 
for Father Meyer to be ordained in her church. 

His first Solemn Mass in Milwaukee brought him another 
kind of pleasure. In the happy faces of his family and friends he 
could measure how good the church had been and how lucky 
he was in the call God had given him. 

The aging Archbishop Messmer was pleased with the rec- 
ord Father Meyer had made in achieving his doctorate in 
theology. As a mark of his pleasure, the archbishop sent him 
back to Rome in 1927 for three years of study at the Pontifical 
Bible Institute, which was to bring him his licentiate in sacred 
scripture and an immeasurably deepened knowledge of the an- 
tiquities of Rome and the Holy Land. 

He was first assigned to St. Joseph's Church in Waukesha. 
Barely had he adjusted himself to his duties in the parish and 
school when, to the disappointment of all who were attracted 
to the dark-haired affable priest, he was assigned to teach in St. 
Francis Seminary in the fall of 1931. 

Father Meyer had been saddened by the death of Archbishop 
Messmer in the summer of 1930. The archbishop had been a 
real friend and benefactor, but the new Archbishop Stritch, 
who seemed so young on first meeting, was a noted alumnus of 
the North American College who demonstrated how shrewd his 
judgment was in moving Father Meyer to a professorship at St. 
Francis Seminary. It is some indication of the young professor's 
width of learning that he taught religion, Greek, Latin, and 
Biblical archaeology and later on dogma and scripture. 

The heavy teaching load might have cramped the style of 
one less energetic and extroverted. Soon after settling into his 
new quarters, Father Meyer took on the responsibility of look- 
ing after a group of Italian families in the district. They were 


happy to find a priest who knew their language and who was 
sympathetically at home in their culture and customs, Delight 
at finding such a man took concrete expression in a missionary 
chapel in which their religious life could be centered and fos- 

Father Meyer's speaking ability and his ease in applying the 
age-old wisdom of the Church to the practical solution of mod- 
ern problems brought him to the attention of the Milwaukee 
Catholic clubs. Among these, the Serra Club was delighted with 
the young priest and asked him to be its first chaplain and ad- 

One of the joys of being at St. Francis was the cordial friend- 
ship that sprang up between Father Meyer and the seminary 
rector, Monsignor Muench. They both loved learning and had a 
special interest in rural problems, literature and the liturgy, 
all of which they discussed with a spirit that kindled a heighten- 
ing of interest among the students. A further bond between 
them was a liking for sports and the outdoors. 

The first years of Father Meyer's professorship were depres- 
sion years; Milwaukee suffered severely. The year 1932 was 
the worst of all, but there was a glimmer of light as President 
Roosevelt took desperate measures to restore the shattered 
economy. Things began to improve, particularly in Milwau- 
kee, when Prohibition was repealed in 1933 in a great wave of 
celebration, and the big breweries went into full production. 

In 1935, Monsignor Muench became the third Bishop of 
Fargo, North Dakota. Professors and seminarians gave him a 
boyishly romantic torchlight farewell and with hardly less joy 
welcomed Father Meyer as their new rector in 1937. Further 
celebration came with Father Meyer's elevation to the rank of 
domestic prelate on March 15, 1939, with the title of right 
reverend monsignor. 

The multiple tasks of teacher, rector, club chaplain and pas- 
tor, did little or nothing to slow down the monsignor's studious 
pursuits. One of his outstanding achievements was the transla- 
tion and annotation of the Epistles of St. John for the new con- 

fraternity edition of the New Testament, sponsored by the 
United States bishops. 

Nor did the monsignor forget his family at any step of his 
career. He loved to go home for weekly visits with his father 
and mother and to family celebrations with even the more dis- 
tant members of the Meyer clan in Chicago. A marriage or a 
christening was sure to get a lift through Monsignor Albert's 
smiling presence. 

Archbishop Stritch was moved up to the greater responsibil- 
ities of Chicago in 1939, a ^d was succeeded by Bishop Moses 
Kiley of Trenton the same year. The new archbishop soon came 
to appreciate the gifted Monsignor Meyer who so warmly loved 
Milwaukee and so thoroughly understood its problems. 

As the United States drifted into war, and during the war 
years, both the archbishop and the Rector of St. Francis threw 
themselves into the complicated problems of those terrible 
times. All the priests in the diocese were heavily burdened be- 
cause of the large number of priests who were permitted to 
join the chaplain service and partly because of the huge number 
of Army trainees moving in and out of the bases in the Mil- 
waukee area. Monsignor Meyer was one of the most active 
priests during those years of perpetual motion and tragedy, 

No one in the Milwaukee area was really surprised by the 
news that Monsignor Meyer had been named Bishop of Superior 
on Washington's Birthday, 1946, At least they were going to 
keep him in Wisconsin for awhile. 

The Meyer clan assembled in force for the consecration 
of their favorite son in St. John's Cathedral on April 1 1 of the 
same year. Archbishop Kiley was the chief consecrator, as- 
sisted by Bishop Muench of Fargo and Bishop William P. 
O'Connor of Madison. Many midwest bishops were in atten- 
dance to honor a man they had come to admire for his humility 
and scholarly eminence. 

Fortunately it was not until the bright spring weather of May 
10 that the new bishop was installed in his Cathedral of Christ 
the King by Archbishop Kiley. The winter had been severe, and 


the cold wind coming in off the lake would have discouraged 
anything but fur-lined pageantry. 

The people of Superior liked their new bishop at once. His 
commanding presence in the celebration of the liturgy, fatherly 
interest and simplicity of manners were all commented upon. 

The bishop found his diocese vexed with many problems. 
Superior had seen great days when the iron mines of the Mesabi 
Range had poured streams of ore through Superior and its twin 
sister Duluth, across the bay, and the long knifelike ore boats 
were lined up in the bay like herds of elephants. Now, espe- 
cially after the desperate effort of the war years, the mines had 
practically petered out. There was no longer great wealth in 
the city. 

Bishop Meyer built where he could and as money and cir- 
cumstances allowed in the first years of scarcity after the war. 
With characteristic simple friendliness, he visited all parts of 
his large diocese, encouraged the building of schools, and quietly 
fostered missions and retreats that were instrumental in brino*- 
ing numerous converts into the Church. 

Winters were fierce and long, but the mild summers along 
the shore of the great lake were delightful. As an archeologist, 
the bishop took lively interest in the Apostle Islands off the 
coast near Bayfield. They had been a missionary center in the 
brave old days of Recollets and Jesuits who had explored the 
country and brought the faith to the Indians. 

The tall bishop had always enjoyed a good game of tennis, in 
which his height (6 ft. 2 in.) had given him an advantage. Now 
he succumbed to the lure of fishing in the lovely lakes of the 
diocese, and when asked about his interests in sports, always 
replied with wit: "I used to be fond of tennis but now I like 
fishing. It's the apostolic recreation, you know." 

In 1951, five years after his arrival, the entire diocese assisted 
Bishop Meyer in celebrating his silver jubilee with liturgical 
pomp and appropriate gifts. Orators spoke of his virtues and 
accomplishments, and these were obvious to all who loved and 
valued him and hoped that he would be their shepherd for years 
to come. 

Albert Cardinal Meyer : 289 

The Holy See thought otherwise. Soon after the death of 
Archbishop Kiley, Bishop Meyer was named Archbishop of 
Milwaukee on July 21, 1953. This time he would not have the 
pleasure of seeing his mother's face light up in welcome; she 
had died the preceding year. 

Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Cicognani installed Arch- 
bishop Meyer in his cathedral on September 24, and called at- 
tention to the tradition of youthful bishops who had ruled the 
see, notably Archbishop Stritch, who was only forty-three at the 
time of his elevation. At fifty, Archbishop Meyer was still in that 
tradition of youth, since bishops seldom become metropolitans 
before the age of sixty. 

Milwaukee received its new archbishop with the special en- 
thusiastic affection reserved for home-town boys. It stood 
loyally behind him in a vigorous building program that made 
his five years there as archbishop an outstanding achievement. 

The vigorous youth of the new archbishop was apparent. 
Though he had a relaxed manner of working and a half-shy 
way of avoiding the center of the spotlight if anyone else could 
be praised, Milwaukee began to find permanent evidence of his 
spiritual and executive forcef ulness. 

During his five-year reign, 34 new churches were built and 
13 others were in the planning stage. In addition to this light- 
ning expansion, 74 school buildings, 20 additional auditoriums 
and classrooms, 3 hospitals, 40 new convents and 12 rectories, 
as well as additions and expansions of older plants, were built. 

All the colleges in the diocese were encouraged to expand 
and build, which they did with alacrity, and St. Francis Semi- 
nary was enlarged and modernized at a cost of 3,000,000 raised 
in a little over a three-year period. 

Archbishop Meyer's religious and civic leadership was re- 
markable. Members of women's clubs and guilds found them- 
selves charmed and moved into important programs; the Holy 
Name Society, Catholic Youth Organization, and other men's 
clubs grew in numbers and influence; the retreat movement 
took on new fervor and importance. 

The archbishop also played important roles on the national 


scene as president general of the National Catholic Educational 
Association, episcopal chairman of the important educational 
department of the National Catholic Welfare Council, and 
Vice-Chancellor of the Extension Society. 

So outstanding was his achievement that few were amazed 
when he was chosen to be Archbishop of Chicago after the tragic 
death of Cardinal Stritch on September 24, 1958. Chicago gave 
Archbishop Meyer a neighborly welcome and Milwaukee bade 
him good-bye as if he was merely on loan to its bigger neighbor. 
Its citizens begrudged his going, because they knew his worth 
and admired his talents, but they took pride in a home-town 
boy's advancement. 

Archbishop Meyer's ceremonial entry into his new responsi- 
bilities was marred with tragedy sixteen days after his formal 
installation in Holy Name Cathedral in the flash fire at Holy 
Angels School, which took the lives of 87 children and 3 nuns. 

The archbishop, cut to the heart, outdid himself in spiritual 
consolation, and with a stern face began a crash program of 
school modernization throughout the entire diocese. 

He streamlined the diocesan matrimonial court so that its 
pending cases would be dealt with more speedily. Along with 
these improvements, the archbishop caused something of a stir 
by banning Bingo. His reason for the ban was a moral one. 
Bingo was illegal in Chicago, and the bishop didn't think it 
correct or moral for pastors and organizations to expect the 
police to wink at transgression of the law. 

He also stood out boldly for social justice in a statement pre- 
sented to the President's civil rights commission in May of 1959, 
in which he criticized racially segregated housing and appealed 
to all responsible members of the community to cooperate in 
solving the problem. 

A little over a year after Archbishop Meyer was installed in 
Chicago, Pope John XXIII nominated him to the College of 
Cardinals on November 16, 1959. Chicago rejoiced at the news 
in its usual robust fashion. 

The archbishop was personally pleased with the honor be- 
cause his old friend Aloisius Muench was raised to the purple 

Albert Cardinal Meyer : 291 

on the same day. It was a signal honor for St. Francis that two 
of her most noted sons were named cardinals at the same time; 
no other seminary in the United States could point to such a 
coincidental distinction. 

But the newly nominated cardinal whose whole career had 
been anchored with the deepest spirituality took this occasion 
to point up the meaning of the gift in the light of eternity: 

Our Holy Father, Pope John XXIII, has most graciously 
deigned to bestow a great honor on the Archdiocese of Chicago. 
In naming me to the Sacred College of Cardinals he has given 
a singular mark of His paternal benevolence to all of us. I am 
profoundly moved by the realization that this honor especially 
touches me and my position towards you as your Archbishop. 
In your name, as well as in my own name, I have expressed to 
His Holiness our sense of deep gratitude and appreciation. May 
I ask you to join with me in fervent prayer for His Holiness as 
we renew to Him our filial devotion and work with Him for the 
welfare of the Church and the cause of religion here in our 
beloved Archdiocese? 

I am confident that this new honor for Chicago will not 
prompt us to thoughts of vanity or pride. Rather, we will strive 
to realize that it represents a renewed challenge to devote our- 
selves even more unselfishly to the advancement of the Kingdom 
of Christ in our midst. Rightly we rejoice in the extraordinary 
vitality of Catholic life here in our great Archdiocese. We should 
not rest on our laurels, however, when so much remains to be 
done. When I came into your midst a year ago as your Arch- 
bishop, I earnestly asked you to give me the full measure of 
your cooperation as I pledged myself to spend and be spent for 
the welfare of your souls. As I renew this dedication of myself 
I ask you to join with me in the work that is mutually ours. In 
this we need above all the grace of God, which is given to us in 
full measure if we ask Him in humble confidence. 

I want to thank all of you for your many messages of con- 
gratulations. It is physically impossible for me to answer all 
these greetings personally. Will you please accept this expression 
of my profound gratitude for your wonderful spirit of coopera- 
tion during the past year, and the promises of your continued 
help expressed in your messages of good wishes. May we all 


continue to work together so that we may worthily carry these 
new honors for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. 
May the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary be with you all as 1 
again thank you most warmly and extend to all of you my 
blessing and the assurance of my prayers. 

The huge jet plane carrying the cardinal-elect, his lay and 
clerical friends and relations, left Chicago on December 10, 
1959. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people had gathered for the oc- 
casion. The League of Loreto presented the smiling cardinal- 
elect with a medal of Our Lady of Loreto, patroness of air- 
ways. He then blessed the block-long machine, and it soared off 
into the sky. En route over the ocean, the cardinal-elect spent 
the hours chatting and praying with his friends, among whom 
were his two brothers Edmund and Norbert and their wives, 
and his sister, Sister Mary Therese, C.S.A. 

The archbishop was met at the Rome airport by Cardinal 
Ottaviani and Bishop Muench. The two old friends clasped 
each other in a wide embrace. After assuring himself that all 
was in order for the comfort of his guests, Archbishop Meyer 
went to St. Mary of the Lake for some much needed rest, though 
he still appeared bright and refreshed. Cardinals-Elect Muench 
and Meyer received their biglietti of nomination at the splendid 
new North American College on the Janiculuin on December 
*4> 1959- 

The red biretta came to Cardinal Meyer from the hands of 
jovial Pope John XXIII in the Hall of Consistories on December 
16. The following morning, in the magnificent public consis- 
tory in St. Peter's, the red galero was placed on Cardinal Meyer's 
head. Later that afternoon at St. Mary's of the Lake, he received 
his red hat from a representative of the Holy Father, who ex- 
pressed the Pope's warm congratulations to the new prince. 

Visits of ceremony to the cardinal dean and other members 
of the Curia followed. Cardinal Meyer was pleased to receive 
St. Cecelia in Trastevere as his titular church. This fabulous 
church, which goes back to early Christian times, is supposed to 
be built above St. Cecilia's house, and the body of the saint 
rests behind the main altar. Many times remodeled and en- 

Albert Cardinal Meyer : 

ricfaed, the church Is a fascinating study for anyone interested in 
antiquity, architecture or holiness. 

Though the courtyard and inner church are beautiful, the 
outer wall of the compound is nudged by slum buildings usually 
festooned with strings of laundry. The Rector of St. Cecilia's, 
Monsignor Umberto Dionisio, a brilliantly learned man, is 
widely admired by Americans for his charm, humor and hos- 

In taking possession of his church, the cardinal found it 
decorated with festive brocades. Monsignor Dionisio, clad in a 
splendid cope, met his new patron at the door of the church, 
offered him holy water and the cross to kiss, after which to the 
triumphant strain of Ecce Sacerdos Magnus he was escorted 
to his throne, passing en route the crypt shrine of the saint, with 
its touching recumbent figure of St. Cecelia. 

The monsignor welcomed the cardinal with graceful words 
of praise; the cardinal replied with equal warmth and felicity. 
There were dinners and festivities celebrating the new honor, 
culminating in a private audience with Pope John for Cardinal 
Meyer and his entire party. Everyone was charmed with the 
jovial simplicity of the Pope, who embodied the qualities Car- 
dinal Meyer had particularly stressed throughout his life. "All 
honor must take second place to that of being good priests and 
pastors of souls." 

The cardinal's plane had been expected to land in Chicago 
on December 20, at 9:30 P.M. The airport was buffeted with 
gusts of high winds, snow and sleet, and those who had braved 
the weather some 400 men and women were genuinely 
worried as they waited in the brightly lighted lounge. Reassur- 
ing bulletins came from time to time. Finally after two hours 
the powerful jet put its wheels down on the slippery field. The 
waiting group milled about their new prince, kissing his ring, 
congratulating him, wishing him well. 

Cardinal Meyer offered his first public Low Mass on Decem- 
ber 22, at Columbus Hospital which had been founded by 
Mother Cabrini. The cardinal had always been devoted to this 
towering social saint; she had spent so many months of her busy 


lifetime in Chicago, and had died in Columbus Hospital in 

Holy Name Cathedral blazed with lights and flowers on 
Christmas Eve of 1959, in preparation for the cardinal's Solemn 
Pontifical Mass. The distinguished congregation was one vast 
smile of pleasure as the liturgical procession appeared to the 
thunder of the organ and it watched the cardinal's tall splen- 
didly clad figure walking down the center aisle to the high 
throne in the sanctuary. 

He was a prince indeed, but he had labored always to show 
people the spiritual beauty of life, and his motto, "Thy king- 
dom come," blazoned on the back of his throne, explained his 
belief that the power and the glory reflect on no man but on 
Christ the world's Saviour. As the Christmas liturgy unfolded 
with its notes of heavenly glory and divine humility, the watch- 
ers savored for a moment the full meaning of what the cardinal 
had sought to teach them. 

When all the amiable celebrations with their torrents of 
praise and commendation were over, priests and laymen were 
inspired by the devoted way in which Cardinal Meyer plunged 
into the work of his vast diocese, the largest in the United States. 
In the year 1960, over $10,000,000 were spent o charity alone, 
of which $5,000,000 went for the care of children in foster homes 
and ten institutions. 

Cardinal Meyer did not look on his diocese of 2,000,000 souls 
complacently. As he went about for confirmations and the 
dedication of five new schools and buildings, he constantly 
stressed the necessity of "mission mindedness, the practical ex- 
pression of the divine plan for the spread of Catholicism 
through human instruments." Catholics should be apostles in 
word and work, yearning for souls as Christ did when he com- 
manded the Apostles to teach all nations. 

One cannot go to Rome, even for a red hat, without feeling 
uplifted and moved by the democracy of the Church in action. 
The son of a peasant sat on the throne of Peter. Assembled 
around him were his distinguished sons in the Senate of the 

Albert Cardinal Meyer : 

Church, most of them coming out of circumstances as humble 
as the Holy Father's. 

In Chicago, the cardinal saw how different things were in 
the occasional explosions of religious hatred, particularly where 
Negroes were concerned. Perhaps it was with this in mind that 
His Eminence called a clergy conference for September 20 and 
31, 1960, to discuss outstanding race problems. 

The conference, attended by 25,000 priests, met in Resur- 
rection Auditorium at 5052 West Jackson Boulevard. Cardinal 
Meyer, in simple direct prose, gave the outstanding speech. It 
has since been published in pamphlet form under the title 
"Mantle of Leadership," and shows that the cardinal is still 
a great teacher. He told his priests that they and all Catholics 
should feel it a matter of justice to assist the Negro "in attain- 
ing his rights and equality in every way possible, not thinking of 
his conversion but of his human dignity." "The Mantle of Lead- 
ership" demands that we show all people that the church really 
loves them, as Christ loved and died for all humanity. Words 
are not enough; we must show our sincerity by deeds. 

Thoughts and deeds do provide convenient measuring sticks. 
Measured by both, Cardinal Meyer's life and works demon- 
strate his capacity of greatness,, enhanced by his approachable 
and attractive humanity. Priests and people admire him; more 
important still, they love him. Many observers are convinced 
that in learning, vision and executive brilliance, he is curial 
timber. Few would deny that conclusion, except in the interest 
in keeping him in Chicago. 

Joseph Cardinal 

THE town of New Albany, Indiana, nestles In a bend of the 
Ohio River, across from the industrial city of Louisville, 
Kentucky, famed for its whisky, tobacco and horse racing. In 
1892, the year in which Joseph Ritter was born on July 20, New 
Albany was a quiet town bowered in trees and largely in- 
habited by solid German families, self-respecting, pious and 

Benjamin Harrison was President of the United States, but 
before the year ran out he was to be defeated for a second term 
by Grover Cleveland and an Illinois lawyer named Adlai Ste- 
venson. The Gay Nineties were just getting under full steam; 
everyone was singing a bouncy, tear-jerking ballad, "After The 
Ball"; George W. J. Ferris had designed a new thrill known as 
the Ferris Wheel; and John L. Sullivan had lost his boxing 
crown to James J. Corbett. 

Joseph's father Nicholas was a baker of modest means. His 
mother, Bertha Luette Ritter, was of good German lineage 
and had the humorous motherly qualities and the placid house- 
wifely genius that make a happy home. 

Religion centered in the solid collection of buildings clus- 
tered about the round-topped steeple of St. Mary's Church on 
Eighth Street. It was there that the future cardinal was bap- 
tized, made his First Communion, and was confirmed. 

Gradually the roly-poly form of the boy lengthened out into 
the spare muscular frame of a young man of medium height. In 


Joseph Cardinal Ritter : 297 

the process, he experienced all the stimulation that goes with 
living on a great river in a community in which the bright face 
of nature and native ingenuity provide innocent and delightful 

Joseph's three older brothers, Harry, Frank and Edwin, took 
good care of him and taught him the manly, self-reliant outlook 
that distinguished even his earliest years. 

At an early age, Joseph demonstrated his fondness for every- 
thing connected with the Church and its services. As devoted 
altar boys, he and his best friend Herman Emlinger cheerfully 
got up in the gray dawns of winter to serve early Mass, and 
even enjoyed returning to the church on Sundays for the long 
slow rhythm of Vespers, culminating in Benediction of the 
Blessed Sacrament in which the light of the candle-lustered 
altar and glittering monstrance was reflected on their ecstatic 

In May, they made ornamental altars to the Blessed Virgin, 
and they looked up to her with delight as their patron and im- 
mortal Mother, powerful in everything. 

Both boys enjoyed the favor of the two parish priests: Father 
Faller, the pastor, had a dignity that went with his job and de- 
manded respect; Father Borries was younger and more hu- 
morous friendship with him was easy and rewarding. The 
direction of the boys' hearts was clearly evident in the fact that 
they often played at saying Mass, taking turns at being priest 
and server and emulating, quite without satire, the mannerisms 
and orotundities of their two heroes at St. Mary's rectory. 

So sure of their vocation were Joe and Herm, that in the 
seventh grade they told Father Borries of their desire to begin 
studies for the priesthood after they passed the eighth grade. 

The Ritters joyfully gave their permission to Joseph. It had 
been evident to Mrs. Ritter for many years that he was inclined 
toward the priesthood. She felt absolutely sure that the desire 
wasn't a passing fancy. Such a destiny was a high one, but he was 
a fine boy and the grace of God would do the remaining work 
of perfecting him. It would be the crown of her ardent belie! 
and many prayers. 


Herm's experience with his parents was quite different. 

They felt that he was too young to make up his mind about 
such a serious step. He would have to wait until he finished high 

The two boys graduated from grade school in 1906. (It was 
the year of the San Francisco earthquake, and many pious peo- 
ple were saying it was a judgment on the wicked city.) The Rit- 
ters sat through the long exercise with placid satisfaction de- 
lighted to see their slim blue-eyed son pointed out as an honor 

After a last happy summer, part work and part play, the two 
friends parted with reluctance when Joe took the train for St. 
Meinrad's Abbey at which he was to finish his high school and 
college work. 

The Benedictines at the Abbey received Joseph with the 
sincere but homely courtesy that distinguished St. Meinrad's 
at the time. The piety of the great house had a solid German 
weave; studies were serious and thorough, and discipline was 

Joseph had his moments of loneliness at first, but his inquisi- 
tive mind was soon intrigued with reading and study. And he 
had other rewarding experiences which were to influence his 
life in all the years to come. 

The first of these was a love of the liturgy. Assisting at Mass 
in St. Mary's Church had always been a moving experience to 
Joseph. This was intensified at St. Meinrad's, where the Mass 
and the Holy Office were mounted with a splendor he had 
never imagined possible; the rich flow of the chant, the beauty 
of lights and vestments, the sonorous measures of the Latin, all 
spoke to his impressionable heart with immortal beauty. 

Joseph also learned to appreciate the country and country 
life, and he came to understand why the monks said: "To labor 
is to pray," Even in its coarsest aspects, there was a purity in 
living close to the earth and a feeling of health and exaltation 
in the changing seasons as the earth renewed itself and as man 
watched and assisted in field and forest. 

Joseph Cardinal Ritter : 

Discipline was strict, but it was also informed with quick 
kindness, broad understanding and humor. There were picnics 
and sports for occasional relief, visits from the family, too, and 
interludes in the warm atmosphere of his home. 

All these were magnified when Herm, true to his purpose, 
arrived at St. Meinrad's in 1910. Joseph found an exciting hap- 
piness in showing his friend the sights of the abbey and the 
lovely countryside and in coaching him in the customs of the 

By 1911, Joseph had finished high school and junior college. 
Taft was President, but Teddy Roosevelt was threatening to 
run against him at the next election. Everyone was mad about 
speed and the new autos that were breaking all the old records. 

A complete and thorough grounding in the classics had 
prepared young Ritter for the study of philosophy, a field that 
fascinated him and opened his mind for the luminous truths of 

The last four years at St. Meinrad's, which now seemed like 
a second home to the young man, passed quickly. He was so 
eager to perfect himself for the priesthood that he learned every- 
thing with great thoroughness. When he began to practice say- 
ing Mass in preparation for the great day, he brought the same 
devotion to the rubrics that he had always given his studies. 
Only, in this case a little fear shook him in thinking of his ter- 
rible responsibility in calling down the Son of God each day. 

But it was completely without doubt that he gave himself to 
God in the subdiaconate. Like the young Samuel, he said: "Here 
I am, Lord/' 

On May 30, 1917, Joseph Ritter was ordained to the priest- 
hood in the abbey church. Bishop Chartrand anointed Joseph's 
hands, and then the newly ordained priest joined his fellows in 
co-offering Mass with the bishop. Father Ritter was so happy 
that he went through the first days in a sort of delighted trance: 
the first blessings for family and friends, the happy tears of his 
mother, his first Mass, the banquet at St. Mary's, the reception 
at home, all seemed part of a pleasant dream. What a fortunate 


man he was, doubly happy in the joy reflected in the faces of his 
parents, his four brothers and the baby sister Catherine they all 
loved so well. 

After a much-needed holiday, Father Joe received his as- 
signment as an assistant at St. Patrick's Church in Indiana- 
polis. He had hoped that he might have a chance to study in 
Rome, which his scholastic record merited roundly. Bishop 
Chartrand was unwilling to spare the young priest, and from 
what ensued it appears that the bishop valued him, urgently 
needed him, and had his own plans for his advancement. 

Father Ritter had hardly begun to find himself at St. Patrick's 
when he was moved up to be second assistant at the Cathedral 
of SS. Peter and Paul. Bishop Chartrand lived in the cathedral 
rectory with apostolic simplicity, and he soon noted the tonic 
effect of his new assistant. It wasn't only that he had a talent for 
making things run smoothly, his sermons were excellent and 
the religious life of the busy parish began to show the effect 
of his presence. In addition, the people liked him, and he had 
an easy, humorous manner in all that he did. 

When the first assistant, Father Alphonse J. Smith, later 
Bishop of Nashville, was sent to found a new parish, Father 
Ritter succeeded him as first assistant to Bishop Chartrand. 

Little by little, the bishop began to give Father Ritter a larger 
share in the control and governance of the parish. Wide powers 
were delegated to him in May 1924. Everyone rejoiced when 
Holy Father Benedict XV also made Father Ritter an honorary 
doctor of sacred theology in recognition of his studious emi- 
nence, and devoted labor in advancing the spiritual condition 
of the cathedral parish. The following year, Bishop Chartrand, 
in a further burst of generosity, relinquished his title of cathe- 
dral pastor to Father Ritter. 

The bishop, whose saintly life and devotion to the Blessed 
Eucharist were widely admired, had always preferred to rule 
the diocese as a father rules his home. This admirable quality 
had served well for many years, but with the increase of the 
Catholic population in the diocese and the social demands of 
the times, it was becoming increasingly difficult for any one 

Joseph Cardinal Ritter : 301 

man, however devoted, to look after the multifarious details 
that cried for attention and solution. 

In the eight years after Father Ritter was named pastor of the 
cathedral, the bishop found himself looking more and more to 
him for advice and quick decision. The times were distinctly 
out of joint. First, the Church came into violent collision with 
the Ku Klux Klan, which had its headquarters in Indianapolis. 
Bigotry and active violence were stirred up all over the coun- 
try; sheeted cowards and the ignorant marched, burned their 
crosses, and bullied until the time when public scandals exposed 
the kind of sorry rascals they were. 

Bishop Chartrand and Father Ritter had met the threat with 
prayer and careful instruction, but hardly had the Klan disap- 
peared from the scene when the Depression struck. 

Once more the two men betook themselves to prayer and 
scraped together every penny of personal and diocesan funds 
for use in active charity. By 1933, a new saood of hope had be- 
gun to take shape. Conditions were better. People were begin- 
ning to find jobs and incomes again. 

Many people had wondered why Father Ritter was not a 
monsignor. As if in answer to that universal question, the aging 
bishop asked Rome for an auxiliary. Father Ritter's name 
headed the list of possible candidates. 

There was wide rejoicing on February 3, 1933, when the news 
was released that Father Ritter was to be Auxiliary Bishop of 
Indianapolis. The phone in the rectory rang incessantly, mes- 
sages of congratulations poured in, modest gifts multiplied. 

The consecration took place in the cathedral, below the mas- 
sive Calvary group ornamenting the main altar. Bishop Char- 
trand was consecrator, assisted by Bishop Ledvina of Corpus 
Christi, Texas, and Bishop Alphonse J. Smith of Nashville. It 
was a homey affair. The new bishop's entire family proudly 
watched the long, slow ceremony in which their Joe became a 
recognized leader in the Church. It was the crown of Bertha 
Ritter's life. 

In keeping with the austerity of the times and conditions in 
the diocese, the banquet after the ceremony Cardinal Ritter 


recalls cost $1.25 a plate. This also included the cost of the 

Two days after the consecration, Bishop Ritter was ap- 
pointed vicar general of the diocese. It was obvious to all that 
Bishop Chartrand was nearing the end of his life. The new 
bishop was only forty-one years of age. Bishop Chartrand died 
in December 1933, making a bleak but busy Christmas for 
Bishop Ritter, who had long loved the saintly old man as a true 
father in Christ. 

Until March 24, 1934, Bishop Ritter ruled the diocese as 
administrator. On that day news came that the Holy See had 
appointed him to succeed Bishop Chartrand as Bishop of In- 
dianapolis. The announcement caused considerable surprise 
in ecclesiastical circles, because an auxiliary bishop seldom suc- 
ceeds to the rule of a diocese, though that had not been true in 
the earlier days of Church history in the United States. Arch- 
bishop John T. McNicholas, of Cincinnati, came to install the 
new bishop on his baroque throne in the cathedral on April 24, 


The initial task facing the young bishop was the reorganiza- 
tion of the diocese according to the needs and demands of mod- 
ern times. He proved to be an excellent executive. He was alert, 
brisk, readily delegated authority, and made instant decisions 
without losing his simplicity or sense of humor. The Catholic 
Charities were reorganized and made more efficient, and all the 
other diocesan bureaus were streamlined to give prompt service. 

With homespun realism, Bishop Ritter prepared the way for 
the closest possible cooperation between clergy and laity. Know- 
ing full well the driving power of good women, he organized a 
diocesan unit of the National Council of Catholic Women. With 
their help, the Legion of Decency began to exert its influence in 
such a fashion that it attracted attention all over the United 

The bishop did not forget the youth of the diocese. A unit 
of the Catholic Youth Organization was set up and became ex- 
tremely active, not merely in athletics but on spiritual, social 
and cultural levels of approach aimed at the whole man. 

Joseph Cardinal Hitter : 305 

In 1936, the financial condition of the diocese was so much 
improved that Bishop Ritter decided to finish the cathedral. 
Work on its classical fagade was begun at Easter and finished 
in time for the midnight Mass on Christmas morning, to the 
pride and joy of the entire diocese. 

With canny wisdom, Bishop Ritter also established a dioce- 
san home missions board which channeled funds from the 
wealthier parishes to those which were poor or in need. As an 
adjunct to this active and provident charity, he organized a 
street-preaching unit composed of priests and laymen. It was 
their task to go into the small or backward communities to 
spread the faith and bring back to the Church those weak sheep 
who through ignorance, sloth, or the pressures of modern life, 
had strayed from the fold. 

Bishop Ritter also played a prominent part nationally by 
his active participation in the liturgical and rural life move- 
ments. He was so busy and so available for any and all occa- 
sions that advanced the good of the faith and the good of souls 
that some wags in the diocese good-temperedly credited him 
with bilocation. 

There was promise, too, for the determined and careful way 
in which he attacked the diocesan debt. In this instance he con- 
sulted business experts and followed their advice humbly. 

A census taken by the Catholic Women's League showed that 
the diocese was growing swiftly and had a population of 173- 
463. This was reflected in more than a score of new parishes 
and schools organized and blessed in the years before the Sec- 
ond World War. Among the outstanding gains was a quiet inte- 
gration of the parochial schools. 

The year 1941 brought both joy and sorrow to the busy 
bishop. He blessed a new shrine in the cathedral. It was dedi- 
cated to the Blessed Virgin, and centered in the superb gift of 
Bellini's "Madonna of the Forest," presented by Mr. and Mrs. 
William Thompson of Indianapolis. Bishop Ritter also pon- 
tificated at the last Mass in the Church of St. Mary Magdalen. 
The United States Government had condemned the property 
as a part of the area set aside for the testing of explosives. The 


occasion was a sad one for all the Catholics of Indiana. St. Mary 
Magdalen had been established in 1830, and the church which 
was to be razed had been built in 1861, at the outset of the Civil 

A second sorrow, nearer still, touched him in the death of his 
mother on December 13, 1941. She had done much to inspire 
his life, and the bishop realized that never again would any per- 
son be as interested in his welfare and progress. 

The dedication of a Negro church, St. John's, in Evansville, 
in May, and the splendid new St. Thomas School in Indianapo- 
lis, rounded out the year. 

With the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, all 
building stopped as the United States girded herself for war. 
Within a year, Bishop Ritter had released twenty-three of his 
much-needed priests for service as chaplains in the armed 
forces. He vigorously participated in all the war drives and did 
his utmost to comfort his people as the long casualty lists be- 
gan to appear. 

Sorrow once again struck the bishop in the death of his fa- 
ther Nicholas; his long life and sterling virtues had helped his 
sons toward the realization of their best. 

The following year, on November 17, 1944, an exciting bit 
of news shared the war headlines. The Diocese of Indianapolis 
had been elevated to the rank of an archdiocese. Two new Indi- 
ana dioceses, Evansville and Lafayette, had been created. 
Bishop Ritter became the new archbishop and was installed 
with austere pomp and a minimum of celebration, in keeping 
with wartime regulations. 

June 1945 saw the archbishop at his smiling best in the ded- 
ication of the De Paul Center for the cultural and recreational 
activities of Catholic Negroes of Indianapolis. Confirmations 
were heavy, among them those of twenty-eight converts in the 
disciplinary barracks at Fort Benjamin Harrison, an occasion 
that touched the bishop deeply. 

As 1946 dawned, the archbishop might well have envisaged 
his entire tranquil future in the capital city of Indiana; he 

Joseph Cardinal Ritter : 505 

loved his state and was happy with his people, who responded 
with such generosity to his ministry and dreams. 

Everything pointed to his stability in his present post when 
on March 27 he was invested with the Sacred Pallium, his in- 
sigma of Metropolitan dignity, by the Most Reverend John F. 
Knoll of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Among those present on the 
occasion were the two bishops of the newly created dioceses, 
Bishop Gummelsman of Evansville, and Bishop Bennett of 

In April, Archbishop Ritter was tremendously pleased with 
the response to his appeal for the Bishop's War and Emergency 
Relief Fund. Almost $20,000 was collected, and that tidy sum 
was inestimably augmented in May with the opening, under 
the direction of the Propagation of the Faith Office under the 
direction of Victor Goosens of a mission salvage bureau, the 
second of its kind in the United States. 

In the following month, with its crowded schedule of con- 
firmations and commencement exercises, the archbishop an- 
nounced the formation of three new parishes In Indianapolis: 
St. Anthony's, Holy Spirit and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

In whatever free moments presented themselves, Archbishop 
Ritter drove out to Lake Maxinkuckee, where he had a modest 
refuge offering him the joys of fishing, boating and sun. His 
old love for the country was still enshrined in his heart, and he 
was never more happy than in the midst of the simplicities of 
sky and water. 

On Sunday, July su, 1946, the day after the archbishop's 
fifty-fourth birthday, he drove through the wilting heat to the 
chancery at 128 West Georgia Street. Entering the warm quiet 
of his office, he unlocked the box that held his private mail. On 
top of the pile of letters was one from the apostolic delegate In 
Washington. It informed Archbishop Ritter that Pius XII had 
selected him to succeed Cardinal Glennon as Archbishop of 
St. Louis. 

There was time to pray about It, and the bishop did, fully 
realizing that it would wrench his heart to depart from the 


homespun atmosphere and the people he loved for a larger 
diocese where his responsibilities would be multiplied enor- 
mously. Yet the Pope had honored him and selected him it 
was inconceivable that he should refuse the heavier burden. 

The public announcement of his appointment was given to 
the press by the apostolic delegate on July 26. The people were 
sorry to lose their bishop. He had paid off over $3,000,000 of 
diocesan debts, and they could see and feel the vigorous force 
of the Church in every aspect of their lives a tribute to the 
bishop's zeal, spiritual inspiration and hard work. 

The priests of the diocese were even sorrier. The bishop had 
never stood on ceremony with them; he was quick to praise, 
slow to blame, and if they were sick or in trouble, he was the 
first to give them encouragement and practical help. Priests 
and people felt it significant that his last act among them was 
the closing of the Forty Hours Devotion at the cathedral, at 
which he was the celebrant. 

In St. Louis, the announcement of Archbishop Ritter's ap- 
pointment led to considerable activity among the newspapers. 
Journalists found nothing whatever about Bishop Ritter in the 
morgues of the local papers, and at first considered it strange 
that the Holy Father had selected for the venerable See of St. 
Louis a prelate whose entire education had been obtained on 
the Indiana prairies where he had spent his entire life. 

Starting with his arrival at Union Station, the welcoming 
throng of Church and civic dignitaries began to find practical 
evidence of the Pope's wisdom in selecting Archbishop Ritter 
for the new post. 

The smiling prelate apologized to Mayor Kaufman for com- 
ing to town at such "a busy time" the opening of the world 
series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red 

The archbishop went on to tell the assembly: "I am happy 
to be here and I hope God will bless my work among you . . . 
my job, as I see it, is to do my best to advance the cause of reli- 
gion and the civic and social welfare of the community." 

Next morning Archbishop Ritter was formally enthroned in 

Joseph Cardinal Ritter : 307 

his splendid new cathedral by the apostolic delegate, the 
Most Reverend Amleto Cicognani. The great cathedral was 
crowded, and many priests and visiting prelates were present. 

Some Monday-morning quarterbacks later found it prophetic 
that the archbishop's first public appearance after his enthrone- 
ment was at a conference on Negro welfare held on October 16 
in the Visitation School, the only integrated school in the dio- 

For almost a year Archbishop Ritter studied the records and 
prayed for guidance. Cardinal Glennon had begun the work 
of integration cautiously, with a letter to certain pastors, ask- 
ing them to start the work of enrolling Negroes in their schools. 
So far, only the Visitation had completely complied with the 

With the approach of the school term in 1947, Archbishop 
Ritter issued a directive to all the schools of the diocese, order- 
ing them to end segregation at once. There was an immediate 
flare-up of animosity and resentment in various communities. 
A committee of laymen was appointed to oppose the move. It 
went first to the archbishop. In his quiet way, he explained that 
the Church makes no distinction between men because of their 
color; it is the positive duty of all Christians to agree with the 
mind of the Church in this matter, which is based on the Bible 
and moral and logical principles, not on feeling or prejudice. 

The committee did not agree, and next took its case to the 
apostolic delegate, who sided with Archbishop Ritter, giving 
sage advice but no satisfaction. 

News broke that the committee would now seek a court ban 
against the bishop's order. This information was relayed to 
Archbishop Ritter in Perryville, where he had gone to confirm 
a large group at Assumption Church. The archbishop at once 
telephoned to the chancery in St. Louis, and dictated a letter 
to be read in all the churches of the diocese at all Masses on the 
following Sunday, warning those who threatened civil action 
that execution of such measures would merit automatic excom- 
munication from the Church. 

The law of the Church (canon law on which all civil codes 


were originally based) forbids Catholics to institute civil suits 
against their lawful superiors, and Archbishop Ritter was well 
within his rights in calling this to the attention of the commit- 

The letter was read on September 21, 1947. As a result, the 
committee dissolved itself and integration took place. Six and 
a half years later, the Supreme Court ordered segregation 
ended for the whole United States. Archbishop Ritter had 
proved to be an important pathfinder for social justice. 

Equally in advance of his times was his creation of an arch- 
diocesan expansion fund in an Easter Letter of 1949, which 
directed that the unusually large collection on that day, for- 
merly retained in each parish for expenses, was to be sent to the 
chancery to help poor parishes and build schools, churches and 
other institutions. 

Some idea of the magnitude of this move can be estimated 
by looking at the amount spent on the diocesan building pro- 
gram from 1950 to December 1955 the astonishing total of 

As a tribute to Archbishop Ritter's leadership, he was asked 
to give the midterm baccalaureate address at Notre Dame Uni- 
versity. He was given an honorary degree of doctor of laws at 
the graduation exercise, along with a solemn-faced young Sena- 
tor named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 

The catholicity of the archbishop's mind also made news. 
The Archbishop Ritter World Mission Exhibition in May 
1953, was a bombshell to the parochial-minded by its revela- 
tion of the extent and diversity of the Church's missionary ac- 
tivity the world over. The differing rites, colors of the partici- 
pants, and the splendid sampling of the Church's works of 
mercy, art and education, were a revelation to many in and out 
of the Church. 

As a practical corollary to this demonstration, the archbishop 
sent a group of six carefully prepared priests of St. Louis to 
La Paz, Bolivia, for work in the missions. 

As had happened in Indianapolis, it fell to Archbishop Rit- 
ter to finish the decoration of his cathedral in St. Louis, one of 

Joseph Cardinal Ritter 

the largest and finest cathedrals in the United States. The 
golden mosaics in the vestibule, paying tribute to the life of 
the great St. Louis, find artistic amplification in the lovely 
Beatitude mosaics in the nave, and in the dome over the altar 
in which the Twelve Apostles cluster with some o the splen- 
dor to be seen at Ravenna in the Church o Sanf Apollinare 

Yet the challenge of decorating a cathedral he did not build 
is not the real test of Archbishop Ritter 's esthetic subtlety; it 
is rather to be found in the new chancery next door to the ca- 
thedral rectory on Lindell Boulevard. 

The cathedral is a massive edifice in which the dome is the 
outstanding feature. In building the modern chancery, the 
chief problem was to select a form that would harmonize with 
the domal character of the great church. 

The archbishop elected to build his chancery on the land 
adjoining the massive gray stone cathedral rectory. It is a grace- 
ful circular building with a generous basement and two spa- 
cious stories. The delicate arches that support the frames for 
the wide panels of glass are as modern as a building by Frank 
Lloyd Wright. Inside, the visitor enters a semicircular hall 
terminating in a long wall against which a receptionist's desk 
stands. The entire floor is paved with delicately pink-flecked 
white marble, and the eye is carried up two stories to the domed 
ceiling of stained glass in jeweled blues and reds. 

The wall behind the receptionist's desk marks off the begin- 
ning of the cardinal's office which is the center of the building. 
Surrounding it is the outer curve with the chancellors' offices 
on one side and a board room and reception rooms on 
the other. The second floor contains offices and reception rooms 
for the auxiliary bishops, and the basement has a small theatre 
for large meetings, and ample filing facilities. 

Some idea of Archbishop Hitter's endless activities may be 
seen in the constant school expansion plan in the opening of 
new parishes, in the $5,000,000 Glennon Hospital for children 
and the new $14,000,000 St. John's Hospital Yet the general 
welfare of his city and all its people has been well served by 


his endorsement of public school bond issues and his active co- 
operation in the civic work of neighborhood rehabilitation. 

If this general sampling of his activities is set in its proper 
frame of meetings, confirmations, speeches, and personal ap- 
pearances, one can see at a glance how much he has accomplished 
and how hard he works for his people. 

The archbishop's worth is recognized widely outside his own 
diocese. On November 11, 1956, Pius XII named him assist- 
ant at the pontifical throne, an honor that gives him a place in 
the Pope's household and ranks only a step below the cardinal- 
ate. In 1952, he was named president of the National Catholic 
Educational Association. The following year he was appointed 
a member of the governing board of the Catholic Welfare Con- 
ference. In 1958 he headed the new liturgical apostolate, and 
in 1959, became head of the N.C.W.C/s legal department. 
These are but a few of his responsibilities in the nation and the 

The busy archbishop found a letter from Pope John XXIII 
in his mail of Wednesday, December 14, 1961. It informed him 
that he was to be made a cardinal, but enjoined secrecy until 
the announcement was made in Rome on Friday, December 

The news caused genuine excitement in St. Louis and the 
nation. Reporters were given their due at an hour's conference 
in the cardinal-elect's library at 4510 Lindell Boulevard, in 
which he answered questions patiently and allowed himself to 
be photographed from every angle. 

The visitors, the messages and the necessary preparations 
took endless hours, but the archbishop went through every item 
on his regular schedule, despite the new demands. It is pleas- 
ant to record that on his last Saturday in St. Louis, before go- 
ing to Rome, he presided at the cathedral choir boy's party, 
and with warm words and many jests, presented each boy a pin. 

On the following morning, January 8, 1961, he pontificated 
at the annual meeting of the Holy Name Union. As he walked 
through the emblazoned banners of the Holy Name units lin- 

Joseph Cardinal Ritter 

ing his way from the cathedral rectory to the entrance of his 
cathedral, the beaming smiles of the men were reflected on his 
own happy face. 

The chartered jet was blessed by the cardinal-elect and took 
off on January 10, 1961, with his friends and relations, among 
whom were his sister, now Sister Mary Catherine, S.C.N. The 
cardinal's oldest surviving brother Harry, a Louisville physi- 
cian, was unable to make the trip. 

After a safe journey lasting twelve hours and three minutes, 
the plane arrived at Ciampino, Rome's airport. The cardinal- 
elect and his secretary Monsignor Adrian Dwyer took up their 
quarters at the North American College; his guests and entou- 
rage were quartered at the Grand Hotel where the cardinal had 
dinner with them almost every evening. 

He received his biglietto of nomination under the gaily 
painted ceiling of the college refectory on January 16. Over 400 
people were present. Speaking in Italian, which he had learned 
quickly at the Berlitz School in St. Louis, where he had also 
learned to speak Spanish, the cardinal paid graceful compli- 
ments to the Pope and the people of St. Louis. There was con- 
stant applause. Calls of ceremony of distinguished cardinals of 
the Curia filled out the day. 

The reception of the red biretta of his rank took place at 
the semipublic consistory of January 18. In a public consistory 
the following day, Pope John conferred the red hat on Cardinal 
Ritter, who thanked the Pope in his own behalf and that of the 
other cardinals raised to the sacred purple with him. 

On Sunday the cardinal took possession of his titular church, 
the Church of St. Alphonso, on the Via Merulana, which con- 
tains the original and fabled picture of Our Lady of Perpetual 


St. Louis welcomed her distinguished resident in a series of 
brilliant ceremonies. The new cardinal was careful on all occa- 
sions to refer the honor to the Pope's benignity, the people of 
the diocese, and the merits of his predecessor, Cardinal Glen- 


Once the ceremonies were over, he settled back into his sim- 
ple life of work and the never-ending round of consultations 
and personal appearances. 

Most of the time he lives quietly at his small country place 
at Creve Coeur, on the lakes of the Illinois, where in an old 
windbreaker and beat-up hat he works on his grounds and in 
his greenhouse. He takes long walks, too, and has the full 
swinging stride of one who enjoys walking. It is said the car- 
dinal has a green thumb for both flowers and vegetables and 
is particularly proud of the home-grown tomatoes displayed on 
his table at Christmastime. Occasionally he goes to baseball 
games; he now has a double reason to root for the St. Louis 

He knows that as America's seventeenth cardinal he is a 
symbol as well as a busy archbishop. Though he has kept his 
simplicity, humor and modern outlook, he carries himself with 
superb dignity and alert kindness. He has constantly demon- 
strated his intelligent liberalism at the Vatican council. 

Recently a journalist went to St. Louis to secure material 
for writing a profile of the cardinal, having arranged the pre- 
liminary details by telephone with the amiable assistant chan- 
cellor, Father MichalskL 

While waiting in the extraordinary lobby of the chancery 
with its beautiful stained-glass ceiling, the journalist had an 
unexpected meeting with His Eminence. Father Michalski 
emerged from his office, and seeing the two men in animated 
conversation, was momentarily thrown off stride. "He's here/' 
he said of the journalist, "to get the clippings on Your Emi- 
nence's canonization." Obviously he meant the cardinal's eleva- 
tion to the Sacred College. 

A ripple of merriment spread over the cardinal's expressive 
face as he asked, with a hearty laugh, "Aren't you a bit previ- 
ous?" His Eminence gave the journalist a broad wink. 


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The Catholic News, New York City, N.Y. 
The Catholic Standard and Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
The Catholic World, New York City, N.Y. 
The Fargo Forum, Fargo, North Dakota. 
Life, New York, N.Y. 

The Michigan Catholic, Detroit, Michigan. 
The Minneapolis Star, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
Newsweek, New York, N.Y. 
The New World, Chicago, Illinois. 
The New York Times, New York, N.Y. 
The Pilot, Boston, Mass. 
The St. Louis Review, St. Louis, Missouri. 
The St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Jack Alexander, Sept, 12, 1955. 
The Tidings, Los Angeles, California. 
Time, New York, N.Y. 


Addams, Jane, 127 
Adenauer, Conrad, 279 
Agagianian, Cardinal, 284 
Agliardi, Cardinal, 88 
Aglipay, Father Gregory, 107 
Alexander, Jack, 223 
Alter, Archbishop Karl J., 281 
Anacletus, Sister, 228 
Anderson, Bishop, 202, 205 
Antonelli, Cardinal, 40, 52 
Aquinas, St. Thomas, 123 
Astor, John Jacob, 22 
Atkielski, Father Roman, 192-93, 194* 

Bayley, Archbishop James Roosevelt, 


Bellot, Dom, 262 
Benedict XV, Pope, 96, no, in, 113, 

114, 146, 147, 148, 190, 300 
Bennett, Bishop, 305 
Bernard, Monsignor Sebastian, 268 
Biondi, Archbishop Fumasoni, 114 
Bisleti, Cardinal, 204 
Bonzano, Archbishop, 112, 131, 148 
Borries, Father, 297 
Brady, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas, 207 
Brady, Thomas, 22 
Breitenbeck, Monsignor, 184 
Broderick, Bishop, 212 
Brown, John, 84 
Brownson, Orestes, 46 
Brasher, Father Joseph, 232 
Brute, Bishop, 24, 25, 29 
Buchanan, James, 84 
Bunker, Ambassador, 229 

Burke, Bishop Maurice Francis, 155 

Butler, Dr., 27 

Byrne, Bishop, 188, 190 

Cabrini, Mother, 133-34, 293-94 

Cahensly, Peter Paul, 58 

Cantwell, Archbishop John J., 224, 231 

Carinci, Archbishop, 229 

Carroll, Father James J,, 106 

Carroll, Monsignor Walter, 277 

Cavanaugh, Father John J., 254, 255 

Chartrand, Bishop, 253, 257, 299, 300- 
01, 302 

Chesterton, Gilbert K., 256 

Cicognani, Archbishop Ameleto Gio- 
vanni, 212, 239, 247, 259, 289, 307 

Cisca, Monsignor, 90 

Clark, Charles, 45 

Clay, General Lucian, 277 

Cleveland, Grover, 120, 140, 167, 296 

Cody, Monsignor, 163, 164, 165 

Collins, Father, 93 

Colton, Bishop Charles Henry, 110 

Concannon, Archbishop Luke, 21, 79 

Conley, Mr. and Mrs. Robert, 218-19 

Conroy, Father, 36 

Cook, Father Edgar W., 106 

Corbett, James J., 296 

Conigan, Archbishop, 57, 74, 75, 142 

Coughlin, Father Charles, 176, 179, 210 

Cousins, Archbishop William E., 280 

Cullen, Cardinal, 41 

Cullen, Dr., 28 

Curley, Mayor, of Boston, 95 

Gushing, Father, 98 

Cushing, Mary Dahill, 236 



Gushing, Patrick, 236 

Gushing, Richard James Cardinal, 230, 

Czernock, Cardinal, 191 

Dante, Monsignor, 229 

Dengel, Dr. Anna, 117 

De Valera, Prime Minister, 163, 164 

Dickens, Charles, 50 

Dionisio, Monsignor Umberto, 293 

Dolan, Father James, 49, 51 

Donnelly, Bishop, 184 

Donovan, Bishop, 184 

Dorais, "Gus," 253 

Dougherty, Bridget, 100 

Dougherty, Dennis Cardinal, 100-18, 

260, 261 

Dougherty, Patrick, 100 
Downes, Father, 29 
Drexel, Mother Catherine, 117 
Dubois, Bishop, 22-23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 
Duca, Archbishop Borgogini, 204, 206, 

207, 209 

Duffy, Bishop John A., 258, 259 
Dworschak, Bishop Leo F., 276, 278, 

Dwyer, Monsignor Adrian, 311 

Egan, Ellen, 138-39, 140, 141. *4 ^ 

i45 15 

Egan, Jim, 138, 141, 142, 143. *45* 1 5 
Elliot, Father Walter, 62 
Emlinger, Herman, 297, 298 
Emmett, Dan, 84 

Falconio, Cardinal, 79 

Faller, Father, 297 

Farley, Edward, 67 

Farley, James, 163 

Farley, John Cardinal, 67-83, no, 143, 

144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 150, 204, 211, 

220, 221 

Farrelly, Catherine Murphy, 67 n. 
Farrelly, Bishop John P., 168 
Farrelly, Philip, 67 n. 
Faulhaber, Cardinal, 278 
Feeney, Bishop, 240 
Fenwick, Father Benedict, 21 
Ferris, George W. J., 296 
Fink, Bishop Louis Mary, 155 
Finn, Brendan, 67 
Flesch, Cardinal, 29 
Flynn, Catherine, 160, 166 

Ford, Henry, II, 182 
Frings, Cardinal, 278 

Galeazzi, Archbishop, 207 

Gallagher, Bishop, 175, 176, 184 

Gannon, Father Robert I., 214 

Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 72 

Gasparri, Cardinal, 170, 207 

Gavin, Father Patrick C., 64 

George, Henry, 75 

Gibbons, Bridget, 46 

Gibbons, Bridget Walsh, 44, 45-46, 47 

Gibbons, James Cardinal, 38, 43, 44-66, 
79, 90, 96, 102, 104, 111, 113, 136, 
159, 160, 162, 166, 187, 213, 248, 249 

Gibbons, John, 46, 47 

Gibbons, Thomas, 44, 45 

Gill, Bishop, 54 

Gilroy, Norman Cardinal, 166 

Glennon, Catherine, 152 

Glennon, John Cardinal, 152-66, 180, 

Glennon, Matthew, 152 

Goebbels, Paul Joseph, 134 

Grant, Father, 234 

Grant, Ulysses S., 120 

Griffith, Bernard Cardinal, 166 

Gross, Father Mark, 51, 54 

Guercke, Father Daniel J., 106 

Guest, Edgar, 181 

Guidi, Archbishop, 106 

Gummelsman, Bishop, 305 

Halifax, Lord, 173 

Harrison, Benjamin, 58-59, 296 

Hayes, Daniel, 138 

Hayes, Patrick Joseph Cardinal, 78, 81- 

82, 119, 130, 137-51, 211, 212, 221 
Hayes, Rutherford B., 55 
Hearn, Edward, 206, 207 
Hecker, Father Isaac, 33, 46, 62, 63 
Heeney, Cornelius, 22, 27 
Hengell, Father, 268 
Hickey, Monsignor, 181 
Hirohito, Emperor, 1 16 
Hitler, Adolf, 134 
Hoch, Heinie, 180, 181 
Hogan, Bishop John, 152, 153 
Hope, Bob, 230 
Horstmann, Bishop, 168 
Horton, H. L., 220 
Huess, Theodore, 279 

Index : 

Hughes, Archbishop John, 24, 32, 33, 
34> 35 37 38 

Insull, Samuel, 129 

Ireland, Archbishop, 57, 58, 59-60, 61, 
102, 104, 136 

Jackson, Andrew, 44 
John XXIII, Pope, 185, 216, 248, 264, 
279, 280, 290, 291, 292, 293, 310, 311 
Johnson, Andrew, 50, 137 

Kain, Archbishop, 153, 155 

Kanzler, General, 70, 72 

Karey, Father Arthur M., 184 

Katsura, Prince, 93 

Katzer, Archbishop, 59 

Kaufman, Mayor, of St. Louis, 306 

Keane, Bishop, 57, 61, 62, 64, 159 

Kelleher, Louis F., 203 

Kelly, Bishop Francis Clement, 134 

Kennedy, John F., 214, 308 

Kennedy, Joseph P., 241 

Kennedy, Bishop Thomas Francis, 188, 

189, 203 

Kenrick, Bishop Peter, 27, 49, 57 
Kiley, Archbishop Moses, 287, 289 
Killian, Father John A., 172 
Kilmer, Joyce, 146 
Klein, Father Felix, 62 
Knoll, Father John F., 305 
Kohlmann, Father Anthony, 21, 30 

Laetitia, Madame, 29 

Lafayette, Marquis de, 23 

Lally, Monsignor, 234 

Lauri, Cardinal, 208 

Lavelle, Monsignor, 151 

Ledochowski, Cardinal, 89, 90 

Ledvina, Bishop, 301 

Leo XIII, Pope, 42, 56, 58, 60, 61, 63, 

6 4> 74> QO> 9*> 102, 103, 123, 154 
Lepidi, Alberto, 63 
Lessard, Father Raymond, 280 
Lewis, Colonel, 186 
Lincoln, Abraham, 40, 100, 119, 138 
Logue, Cardinal, 79 
Lopez Contreras, President, 256 
Louis Napoleon, Emperor, 70 

MacGuigan, James Cardinal, 166 
MacMahon, Commodore, 163, 164, 165 
Madison, James, 19 

Magnien, Abbe Charles, 63 

Mai, Monsignor Angelo, 28 

Malou, Father, 22 

Manera, Father, 29 

Manning, Cardinal, 57 

Marechal, Bishop, 23 

Marefoschi, Count, 41 

Mary Catherine, Sister, 311 

Mar> f Joseph, Sister, 158 

Mary Theresa, Sister, 292 

McCloskey, Elizabeth Harron, 20, 21, 


McCloskey, Father James B., 106 
McCloskey, John Cardinal, 19-43, 5f>> 

70,72, 74, 77, 80, 211 
McCloskey, Mary, 33 
McCloskey, Patrick, 20, 22 
McDonnell, Bishop, 120, 121, 124, 135 
McFarland, Father, 35 
McGerry, Father John, 26 
McGinley, Father John B,, 106 
McGlynn, Dr., 61 
McGucken, Bishop, 224 
McGuigan, Cardinal, 182 
Mclntyre, James Francis Cardinal, 183, 

Mclntyre, Mar)' Pelley, 218 
McKinley, William, 75 
McNicholas, Archbishop John T., 302 
McNierney, Father, 73 
Mears, Monsignor, 168 
Mercier, Cardinal, 112 
Merry del Val, Rafael Cardinal, 79, 92, 

94, 96, 123, 125, 189 
Messmer, Archbishop Stephen J., 191, 

268, 269, 284, 285 
Meyer, Albert Gregory Cardinal, 279, 


Meyer, Edmund, 284, 292 
Meyer, Mathilda Thelen, 282, 289 
Meyer, Norbert, 284, 292 
Meyer, Peter, 282 
Michalski, Father, 312 
Milmoth, Mrs., 21 
Monk, Maria, 44 
Monroe, Harriet, 126 
Montini, Monsignor, 273 
Mooney, Edward Cardinal, 164, 167-85, 

Mooney, Sarah Heneghan, 167, 168 
Mooney, Thomas, 167-68 
Morgan, Thomas, 96, 166, 179, 181 
Morris, Bishop John, 187, i88 s 190, 194 


Muench, Aloisius Cardinal, 267-81, 286, 

287, 290, 292 
Muench, Dorothy, 268 
Muench, Frank, 268 
Muench, Joseph, 267 
Muench, Joseph, Jr., 268 
Muench, Mary, 268 
Muench, Teresa, 268 
Mulloy, Monsignor, 273 
Mundelein, George William Cardinal, 

119-36, 141, 149, 192, i93> *94* i95> 

197, 211 

Mundelein, Francis, 119 

Mundelein, Mary, 119 

Murphy, Governor, of Michigan, 175 

Murphy, Patrick, 67 

Murray, Archbishop John Gregory, 

208, 210 

Murray, Phil, 182 
Mussolini, Benito, 208, 284 
Mutsuhito, Emperor, 93 

Napoleon 1, 19, 29 
Neri, St. Philip, 72 
Niehaus, Father Henry, 268 
Nieuland, Father, 256 
Noll, Bishop, 257 
Nono, Pio, 39, 40 
North, Monsignor, 229 

O'Brien, Bishop William, 134, 193, 195, 

i9 6 > 199 
O'Connell, Brigid Farley, 84, 85-86, 87, 

O'Connell, Monsignor Denis, 57, 60, 62, 

64, 102, 122 

O'Connell, John, 84, 85 
O'Connell, William Cardinal, 79, 84- 

99, 102, 122, 203, 204, 205, 206, 208, 

O'Connor, Bishop Martin J., 184 
O'Connor, Bishop William P., 228, 229, 

230, 287 

O'Donnell, Father, 88 
O'Hara, Ella Thornton, 250 
O'Hara, John Cardinal, 214, 247, 


O'Hara, John W., 250-51 
O'Hearn, Monsignor, 203 
O'KeUy, Sean Thomas, 164, 165 
O'Reilly, John Boyle, 97 
O'Ryan, Archbishop, 76 

Ostheimer, Monsignor Anthony, 262 
Ottaviani, Cardinal, 231, 292 

Pacelli, Eugenio Cardinal, see Pius 

XII, Pope 
Palmer, Potter, 129 
Parrochi, Cardinal, 103 
Patrizi, Cardinal, 72 
Perrone, Father, 29 
Pfeifer, David, 219 
Phillips, Father Charlie, 255 
Pierrepont, H. B., 20 
Pise, Father Constantine, 24, 31, 32 
Pius IX, Pope, 34, 39, 40, 42, 46, 52, 

70-71, 72, 76, 81 
Pius X, Pope, 36, 64-65, 76, 78, 79, 80, 

92, 93> 94> 95' 9 6 > 116, 125, 128, 145, 

146, 149, 161, 189, 190, 243, 281 
Pius XI, Pope, 114, 115, 130, 133, 134, 

149, 171, 174, 193, 207, 208, 209, 211, 

Pius XII, Pope, 151, 162, 180, 181, 182, 

183, 197, 200, 207-08, 209, 210-11, 

215, 2l6, 222, 223, 224, 234, 239, 245, 

247, 258, 268, 274, 275, 276, 278, 279, 
305, 310 

Pizzardo, Cardinal, 207, 209 

Pompilj, Basilio Cardinal, 285 

Pound, Ezra, 126 

Power, Dr., 26 

Prendergast, Archbishop, in 

Purcell, Archbishop John, 24 

Quigley, Archbishop, 125, 127 

Rampolla, Cardinal, 63, 64 

Raskob, John J., 207 

Ratti, Achille Cardinal, see Pius XI, 


Raymond, William, 46 
Ready, Bishop Michael J., 259 
Reisach, Cardinal, 35, 39 
Resphigi, Cardinal, 168, 189 
Reuther, Walter, 182 
Ritter, Bertha Luette, 296, 297, 301, 


Ritter, Edwin, 297 
Ritter, Frank, 297 
Ritter, Harry, 297 

Ritter, Joseph Cardinal, 281, 296-312 
Ritter, Nicholas, 296, 304 
Rockne, Knute, 253, 256 
Rooker, Bishop, 108 

Index : 

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 213-14 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 134, 135, 210, 

211, 256, 258, 286 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 75, 250, 299 
Rossi, Count de, 71 
Ruffini, Cardinal, 284 
Ryan, Archbishop Patrick John, 101, 

102, 103, 104-05 
Ryan, Monsignor, 273 

Sandburg, Carl, 126 

Sarto, Cardinal, see Pius X, Pope 

Satolli, Francis Cardinal, 60-61, 62, 64, 

88, 92, 102, 105 
Scalzi, Cavalieri, 40 
Schrembs, Bishop, 169 
Schultz, Archbishop, 266 
Selvagianni, Monsignor Marchetti, 170 
Seton, Mother, 21, 23 
Shahan, Bishop, 159 
Sheil, Bishop Bernard, 133, 135, 193, 

*95 *9 8 
Sheridan, Father Michael A., 101 

Smith, Alfred E., 119 

Smith, Bishop Alphonse J., 300, 301 

Spalding, Bishop John Lancaster, 36, 

Spaulding, Archbishop Martin J., 49- 

5' 5*>55 

Spellman, Ellen Conway, 201, 202 
Spellman, Francis Cardinal, 96, 163, 

180, 182, 183, 184, 199, 201-17, 222, 

223, 224, 225, 227, 228, 230, 239, 257, 

258, 260, 265 
Spellman, Helene, 202 
Spellman, Honora Hayes, 201 
Spellman, John, 202 
Spellman, Marian, 202 
Spellman, Martin, 201 
Spellman, Patrick, 201 
Spellman, William, 201 

Stevenson, Adlai, 296 

Stritch, Catherine Malley, 186, 187, 188 

Stritch, Garrett, 186, 187 

Stritch, Samuel Cardinal, 180, 182, 183, 

186-200, 215, 228, 271, 273, 285, 286, 

289, 290 

Sullivan, John L., 296 
Supple, Father, 93 

Tabb, Father John Bannister, 87 
Taft, William Howard, 65, 107, 299 
Tallon, Julia Teresa, 149 
Tardini, Cardinal, 207 
Tashereau, Cardinal, 57 
Taylor, Myron C., 135, 211 
Thompson, Mayor, of Chicago, 128 
Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. William, 303 
Tien, Cardinal, 163, 182, 215 
Timon, Bishop, 36 

Ubaldi, Dr., 41 

Valdoni, Dr., 200 
Van Rossum, Cardinal, 170, 172 
Vannutelli, Cardinal, 79 
Verzoroli, Monsignor, 229 
Victor Emmanuel, King, 39, 70 
Villa, General Pancho, 146 

Walsh, Father James A. 98 

Walsh, Father James J., 67, 78 

Walworth, Father, 46 

Weld, Cardinal, 28 

Williams, Archbishop, 87, 88, 90, 94 

Wilson, Charles E. T 182 

Wilson, Woodrow, 126, 146, 160, 190 

Wright, Frank Lloyd, 126, 309 

Wright, Bishop John J., 246 

Zaleski, Bishop, 184, 185