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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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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, ...