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Blum, Virgil Clarence (27 March 1913–05 April 1993), educator, author, activist, and clergyman, was born in Defiance, Iowa, one of twelve children of John Peter and Elizabeth (Rushenberg) Blum, both farmers. His grade school and high school years were spent at St. Peter's school in Defiance. In 1932 he began college at Dowling College, Des Moines, Iowa, and the next year transferred to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. On 31 Aug. 1934 he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary at Florissant, Missouri, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Latin and English in 1938. (A brother, Victor Joseph, also became a Jesuit and became a professor of geophysics and seismology at St. Louis University). Virgil studied philosophy at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, continuing studies in the summer until he earned a master's degree in history and political science in 1945....

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Coughlin, Charles Edward (25 October 1891–27 October 1979), Catholic priest, radio personality, and political insurgent, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, the son of Thomas Coughlin and Amelia Mahoney, devout Catholics of Irish descent. Thomas Coughlin was the sexton of the Catholic cathedral in Hamilton; Amelia attended mass daily and dreamed of seeing her only child enter the priesthood. Throughout his youth Charles was surrounded by the institutions of the church. His family lived on the cathedral grounds, and he attended local parish schools. At age twelve he entered St. Michael’s, a secondary school and college run by the Basilian order and intended to prepare young boys to enter the clergy. Coughlin remained at St. Michael’s through college and in 1911 entered St. Basil’s Seminary to begin formal training for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1916, at the age of twenty-three. After teaching at Basilian schools in Canada for seven years, Coughlin left the order in 1923 and moved to Michigan to become a parish priest. Three years later he was assigned to a new parish in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, where he spent the rest of his life. He named his church the Shrine of the Little Flower, for the recently canonized Ste. Thérèse....

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Malone, Sylvester (08 May 1821–29 December 1899), Catholic priest and community activist, was born in Trim, County Meath, Ireland, the son of Laurence Malone, a civil engineer and surveyor, and Marcella Martin. He received his early education in a classical academy directed by two Protestant schoolmasters who catered to a mixed clientele of Catholic and Protestant students. As a result, Malone later boasted that, in contrast to many Irish Catholics of his generation, his “early life was toned by [congenial] associations with non-Catholics.” In 1838 Malone met the Reverend ...

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McGrady, Thomas (16 June 1863–26 November 1907), Catholic socialist priest and lawyer, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Hugh McGrady, a tenant farmer and day laborer, and Alicia (maiden name unknown). McGrady’s parents were refugees from the Irish famine who had emigrated to Kentucky in the late 1840s. In 1907 McGrady acknowledged the seething effect that stories of the famine had had on him: “Coming from a race that had been oppressed for generations in the old world, I have learned to hate injustice and oppression with a deathless hatred.” McGrady received his early education in St. Paul’s parish school in Lexington. Where he received his seminary education remains in doubt, but more than likely he went to St. Aloysius Seminary near Columbus, Ohio, where Nicholas Aloysius Gallagher (1846–1918) had been rector from 1871 to 1876. In 1887, after his seminary education, he was ordained a priest by Gallagher, who had become a bishop and the administrator of Galveston, Texas, in 1882. From 1887 to 1891 McGrady served parishes in Galveston, Houston, and Dallas. In 1891, because of poor health, he requested a transfer to his native diocese of Covington, Kentucky, where he became pastor of St. Paul’s in Lexington (1891), St. Edward’s in Cynthiana (1891–1895), and St. Anthony’s in Bellevue (1895–1902)....

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Walsh, Edmund Aloysius (10 October 1885–31 October 1956), Roman Catholic priest, educator, and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Francis Walsh, a policeman, and Catherine Noonan. His elementary education was in the city’s public schools and his secondary education in the preparatory division of Boston College. In 1902 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Frederick, Maryland. After a decade of humanistic studies and teaching, Walsh pursued private studies in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England, during the academic year of 1912–1913. Sent to Innsbruck, Austria, in the fall of 1913 to begin theological studies, he returned to the United States after the outbreak of World War I to complete his theological work at Woodstock College in Maryland, where he was ordained by Cardinal ...