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Davis, Thurston Noble (12 October 1913–17 September 1986), Jesuit priest and editor of America, Jesuit priest and editor of America, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Noble T. Davis, a sales representative for the Saturday Evening Post, and Rose Mary Carey. As a child Davis moved from Kentucky to Georgia to Ohio as a result of his father’s occupation, finally settling in Bloomfield, New Jersey. At the age of fourteen Davis commuted from Bloomfield to the Jesuit military high school, Xavier, in lower Manhattan. After high school (1931) he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), receiving a B.A. in philosophy from Georgetown University in 1937 and theological education at the Jesuits’ Woodstock College in Maryland between 1937 and 1942. He was ordained for the priesthood in 1942 and after two years of work in Jesuit educational institutions was sent to Harvard University where, studying under the classicist ...

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Duffy, Francis Patrick (02 May 1871–26 June 1932), Catholic military chaplain, editor, and teacher, was born in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, the son of Irish immigrants Patrick Duffy and Mary Ready. The third of six children who lived to maturity, Duffy received his early Catholic education from the Sisters of St. Joseph but had to leave school at the age of thirteen to work in a mill. At fourteen, however, he was thought to be too frail to work, so he returned to school. Duffy earned a teacher’s certificate from the Cobourg Collegiate Institute in 1888. Feeling a call to the priesthood, he attended St. Michael’s College in Toronto, studying with the Basilian Fathers and graduating with a baccalaureate degree in 1893. In 1894 he accepted a position at St. Francis Xavier College in New York City, where he earned a master’s degree and applied for formal entry into the seminary. Archbishop ...

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Finn, Francis James (04 October 1859–02 November 1928), Roman Catholic priest and novelist, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of John Finn, a civic official, and Mary Josephine Whyte. Finn, whose parents were immigrants from Ireland, grew up during the Civil War. His father served on the board of aldermen, was president of the board of health, was marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and on one occasion was the Democratic candidate for mayor of the city. While his prosperous parents were strong Unionists, under the influence of his tutor, Constance Condron, young Finn developed a sympathy for the South. Throughout his life he took the side of the underdog....

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Greeley, Andrew Moran (05 February 1928–29 May 2013), Catholic priest, sociologist, popular theologian, and novelist, was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Andrew T. Greeley, a businessman, and the former Grace McNichols, who worked prior to marriage and in widowhood as a billing clerk at Sears. His grandparents emigrated from Ireland. Raised in moderate comfort and interested from childhood in becoming a priest, Greeley entered Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago at the age of fourteen and attended St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in suburban Mundelein from 1947 until 1954, when he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Assigned initially to a prosperous parish in the city’s southwest corner, Greeley developed an interest in the affluent, highly educated Catholics whose numbers were growing rapidly in the 1950s. Their impact on what had hitherto been a predominantly working-class, immigrant church was the subject of his first book, ...

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Hudson, Daniel Eldred (18 December 1849–12 January 1934), Roman Catholic priest and magazine editor, was born at Nahant, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Henry Hudson, a fisherman, and Mary Hawkes, a domestic servant. The third of ten children, Hudson received his early education in public school. At fourteen he went to work at the Burnham Antique Boke Shop in Boston, a bookstore that stocked more than 500,000 books and pamphlets. The following year he found employment at the Boston publishing house of Lee and Shepherd, where he came into contact with several leading New England literary figures; ...

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LaFarge, John (13 February 1880–24 November 1963), clergyman, journalist, and civil rights advocate, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the youngest child of John La Farge, a painter and art critic, and Margaret Mason Perry, a granddaughter of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Growing up in this distinguished Catholic family, LaFarge was exposed to such famous people as ...

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John F. X. O’Conor Courtesy of John D. Alexander.

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O’Conor, John F. X. (01 August 1852–31 January 1920), clergyman, writer, and educator, was born John Francis Xavier O’Conor in New York City, the son of Daniel O’Conor, a builder, and Jane Lake O’Conor. Educated in New York City, he excelled in philosophy and in 1872 won the medal for the natural sciences at St. Francis Xavier College. He graduated with a B.A. that year. On 9 October 1872 he entered the Society of Jesus at Sault au Récollet, Canada. He continued his literary studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Roehampton, England (1874–1876), and pursued philosophy in the Jesuit College at the University of Louvain, Belgium (1876–1879). He began his academic career teaching classical and modern rhetoric and oratory at Manresa, West Park, New York (1879–1881), classical and Anglo-American poetry at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (1881–1883), and French at Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts (1883–1884). During his theological studies at Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Archbishop (later Cardinal) ...

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Price, Thomas Frederick (19 August 1860–12 September 1919), Roman Catholic priest, editor, and missionary, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, the son of Alfred Lanier Price, an editor and publisher, and Clarissa Bond. Alfred Price, editor of the Wilmington Daily Journal (1848–1872), converted from Episcopalianism to Roman Catholicism in 1866. Clarissa, at the price of ostracism from her family, had converted from Methodism to Roman Catholicism before her marriage....

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Roseliep, Raymond (11 August 1917–06 December 1983), poet and Catholic priest, was born in Farley, Iowa, the son of John Albert Roseliep, a caterer, and Anna Elizabeth Anderson. When he was a child, Roseliep’s family moved to Dubuque, where he developed a lifelong love for the natural world while hiking about Dubuque’s hills. He also enjoyed drawing and painting. At Loras Academy his artistic interests evolved toward poetry....

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Rouquette, Adrien Emmanuel (26 February 1813–15 July 1887), Catholic priest and writer, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Dominique Rouquette, a wine merchant, and Louise Cousin. His early life was spent largely in St. Tammany Parish, north of Lake Pontchartrain, where his mother’s family were landowners. Rouquette grew up speaking French, and in the pine woods around his house he developed an intimacy with the Choctaws and their lifestyle. His formal education began in 1821 at the Collège d’Orléans, but he did not prosper there. About three years later he was sent to Transylvania College in Kentucky, where he learned English, lived with Protestants, and acquired some Latin. Rouquette’s father having died by suicide in 1819 and his mother having died during his years in Kentucky, his maternal relatives sent him in 1828 to a small French school in Mantua, New Jersey, outside Philadelphia, in which city his older brother Dominique was to read law. A year later he left for the Collège Royal of Nantes in Brittany, France. After some years in Brittany Rouquette passed his baccalaureate examination....

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Ryan, Abram Joseph (05 February 1838–22 April 1886), Catholic priest and poet, was the son of Matthew Ryan and Mary Coughlin, who came to the United States from Ireland sometime during the decade after 1828. They lived in Norfolk, Virginia, for a short while, then moved to Hagerstown, Maryland. A variety of dates have been given for Ryan’s birth, and claims to his birthplace have been made for Norfolk and several towns in Ireland. Yet certain church records, the baptismal certificate in Hagerstown, and an 1859 letter in which he states his age as twenty-one, all seem to substantiate that Abram Ryan was born on 5 February 1838, in Hagerstown....

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Henry Stanislaus Spalding Courtesy Marquette University Archives

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Spalding, Henry Stanislaus (10 January 1865–27 December 1934), educator, author, and clergyman, was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, one of eleven children of William Thomas Spalding and Isabella Ann Livers Spalding, founders and operators of a clothing business. The Spaldings were descendants of Thomas Spalding, who landed in St. Mary's County, Maryland, in 1657/58 and the family had migrated to Nelson County, Kentucky, after the Revolutionary War. Two of Henry Spalding's cousins, ...

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Tabb, John Banister (22 March 1845–19 November 1909), poet and Catholic priest, was born at “The Forest,” Amelia County, Virginia, the son of Thomas Yelverton Tabb, a gentleman, and Marianna Bertrand Archer. He studied with a private teacher, John L. Hood, until about 1859, when his eyesight problems put an end to his studies. Tabb’s poor eyesight also prevented him from joining the Confederate army, but he was appointed clerk to Captain ...

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Talbot, Francis Xavier (25 January 1889–03 December 1953), Jesuit priest and editor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Patrick Francis Talbot and Bridget Peyton. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1906, taking his early studies at St. Andrew-on-the-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, New York. His philosophical (1910–1913) and theological (1918–1921) training was completed at Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland, where he earned an A.M. in philosophy in 1913. Talbot taught English at Loyola School in New York City from 1913 to 1916 and was an instructor of religion and English literature at Boston College in 1917–1918. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on 29 June 1921....

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Varela y Morales, Félix Francisco (20 November 1788–18 February 1853), educator, writer, and pastor, was born in Havana, Cuba, the son of Francisco Varela y Pérez, a military officer, and María Josefa Morales. An orphan by age six, Varela was sent to live with his paternal grandfather, Don Bartolomé, military commander of a Cuban regiment stationed at St. Augustine in the Spanish colony of East Florida. Varela’s announcement at age fourteen that he wanted to be a priest was a disappointment to his military-oriented family, but he was sent to Havana, where he attended classes at San Carlos Seminary and the University of Havana. Varela earned his baccalaureate in 1806 and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1811. He was assigned to teach philosophy at San Carlos....

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Yorke, Peter Christopher (15 August 1864–05 April 1925), Catholic priest and social justice advocate, was born in Galway, Ireland, the son of Gregory Yorke, a fisherman, and Bridget Kelly. His father died when Yorke was six months old, and his mother remarried. Sometime in the 1870s or 1880s his mother and family immigrated to British Columbia and, after her second husband’s death, moved to San Francisco. Yorke, however, stayed in Ireland where he received most of his early education in Galway and Tuam....