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Behrens, Henry (16 December 1815–17 October 1895), Roman Catholic priest and religious administrator, was born in Münstadt, Hanover, Germany. His parents’ names are unknown, and he kept no record of his family or early years. In 1832 he entered the novitiate of the German province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland. He was ordained a priest on 7 August 1842....

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Brownson, Orestes Augustus (16 September 1803–17 April 1876), educator and philosopher, was born in Stockbridge, Vermont, the son of Sylvester Augustus Brownson and Relief Metcalf, farmers. His father died when Brownson was two, and he was placed with a nearby family. The couple reared him in strict Calvinist Congregationalism. At fourteen he rejoined his mother and twin sister in Ballston Spa in upstate New York, where he studied briefly in an academy before going to work in a printer’s office. He had no more formal education. In 1827 he married Sally Healy of Elbridge, New York; they had eight children....

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Burke, John Joseph (06 June 1875–30 October 1936), national Catholic leader, was born in New York City, the son of Patrick Burke, a blacksmith, and Mary Regan. Burke received his secondary and college courses from the Jesuits at St. Xavier in New York and then entered the Missionary Congregation of St. Paul the Apostle (Paulists) to prepare for the priesthood. He studied theology at the Paulist seminary on the campus of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., was ordained in 1899, and received the degree of licenciate in sacred theology in 1901. In 1903 he joined the staff of the Paulist journal ...

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Callahan, Patrick Henry (15 October 1866–04 February 1940), businessman and Catholic layman, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Cormac John Callahan, a livestock dealer, and Mary Frances Connolly. The son of immigrants, Callahan grew up in an Irish-Catholic parish in Cleveland. His father’s business brought him into contact with the city’s diverse population. He attended parish schools and a business college for one year and served briefly as one of industrialist ...

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Conboy, Martin (28 August 1878–05 March 1944), U.S. attorney and leading Catholic layman, was born in New York City, the son of Martin Conboy, a government worker and police officer, and Bridget Harlow. A graduate of Gonzaga College in Washington, D.C. (A.B. 1898, A.M. 1899), he simultaneously attended Georgetown Law School at night, earning his LL.B. in 1898 and his LL.M. in 1899. In 1900 Conboy joined the firm of Griggs, Baldwin & Baldwin as a law clerk. Admitted to the New York bar in 1903, he remained with the firm until 1929. In 1912 he married Bertha Letitia Mason, with whom he had four children....

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Crowley, Patrick Francis (23 September 1911–20 November 1974), Catholic layman and a founder of the Christian Family Movement (CFM), Catholic layman and a founder of the Christian Family Movement (CFM), was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jerome J. Crowley, a lawyer, and Henrietta Louise O’Brien. He received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1933 and a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago in 1937. In 1937 he married Patricia “Patty” Caron. Having passed the Illinois bar examination, he joined a law firm, working as a business lawyer and as a director and counsel to several companies, including Caron International, KAR Products, and the O’Brien Corporation. Eventually he became a senior partner of Crowley, Barrett, and Karaba. He and his wife had five children of their own and adopted one, and in the course of their married life they took care of more than fifty foster children who came from several countries....

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Dougherty, Dennis Joseph (16 August 1865–31 May 1951), Roman Catholic ecclesiastical leader and archbishop of Philadelphia, was born in Honesdale, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, the son of Patrick Dougherty and Bridget Henry, both refugees from the potato famine in County Mayo, Ireland. His parents’ occupations are unknown. Educated in a public school in Girardville, Pennsylvania, Dougherty entered Saint Mary’s College in Montreal, Canada, in 1879. Two years later, he transferred to Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, to begin studies for the priesthood. Dougherty was then sent to the North American College in Rome, where he excelled academically and formed a lifelong attachment to orthodoxy and the papacy. He was ordained in Rome on 31 May 1890 and sent back to teach at his alma mater in the United States....

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Kenedy, Patrick John (04 September 1843–04 January 1906), Catholic book publisher and real estate developer, was born in New York City, the son of John Kenedy, also a Catholic book publisher, and his second wife, Bridget Smith. John Kenedy emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1815 and lived in various cities, including St. Louis, where he married Ellen Timon, with whom he had six children. They eventually settled in 1826 in Baltimore, where Kenedy opened a small book shop and publishing firm. After Ellen’s premature death in 1835, John and his children moved to New York City, where he reestablished his bookselling and publishing firm. Because of the large number of publishing firms in the city and the growing Irish and Catholic immigrant population, Kenedy decided to specialize in publishing Catholic books. His store soon became a meeting place for exiled Irishmen....

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Meade, George (27 February 1741–09 November 1808), merchant and Roman Catholic layman, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Meade, a merchant, and Mary Stretch. The father was born in county Limerick, Ireland, lived in Philadelphia from about 1732, and had commercial interests in St. Croix and Barbados. George Meade was privately educated by his maternal uncle, George Stretch, in Barbados and was resident there in 1754 when his father died in St. Croix. By 1761 he entered into a business partnership with his elder brother in Philadelphia. The firm of Garrett and George Meade imported rum, sugar, and slaves, usually small groups of girls and boys, from Barbados and other West Indian ports. Enslaved Africans were employed as skilled and unskilled laborers by local farmers, artisans, merchants, and urban householders. Both Garrett and George Meade signed the Non-Importation Agreement of 1765 in opposition to the Stamp Act. Since the firm was not engaged in trade with Great Britain, nonimportation had little or no impact on their business, while opposition to the stamp tax was politically popular....

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Mulry, Thomas Maurice (13 February 1855–10 March 1916), charities leader, was born in the city of New York, the son of Thomas Mulry, a successful contractor, and Parthenia Crolius. Mulry was raised in a deeply Roman Catholic family. Of the fourteen Mulry siblings, four brothers entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and a sister joined the Sisters of Charity. Mulry was educated at Catholic parochial schools, De LaSalle Academy, and Cooper Union. In 1872, at the age of seventeen, he entered the family excavating business, Mulry and Son, located in lower Manhattan. That same year he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a voluntary association of lay Catholic men dedicated to charitable works. Mulry’s association with the Vincentians was characterized by extraordinary energy, probity, and geniality, and it earned him local and national leadership positions in the emerging area of charity administration....

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Preston, Thomas Scott (23 July 1824–04 November 1891), Catholic priest, administrator, and apologist, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Zephaniah Preston, an insurance agent, and Ann Canfield. Preston was of English ancestry and was baptized an Episcopalian. Multilingual and exceptionally talented, Preston gave the valedictory address in 1843 at Hartford’s Washington (now Trinity) College in Greek. He enrolled in the General Theological Seminary in New York City and was soon caught up in the American version of the British Oxford movement. Preston’s High Church sympathies were so pronounced that he was refused ordination to the Episcopal priesthood by the bishop of New York. After securing ordination in 1848 from another bishop in western New York, he served for a brief time as a curate at St. Luke’s Church in New York City. However, his sympathies and intellectual bent led him to the Roman Catholic church. With his brother William and Dr. John Murray Forbes, rector at St. Luke’s, Preston was received into the Catholic church by another convert, Father ...

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Rudd, Daniel (07 August 1854–04 December 1933), newspaper editor and Catholic lay leader, was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, the son of Robert Rudd, a slave on the Rudd estate, and Elizabeth “Eliza” Hayden, a slave of the Hayden family in Bardstown. He was baptized a Catholic when an infant. Although little information exists about his early life, it may be conjectured that his Catholic upbringing was due chiefly to his mother who acted as sexton in the local church for more than sixty years. After the Civil War, he went to Springfield, Ohio, where an older brother had already established himself, to get a secondary school education. There is little information about Rudd until 1884 when he began a black newspaper, the ...

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Shea, John Dawson Gilmary (22 July 1824–22 February 1892), historian of American Catholicism, was born in New York City, the son of James Shea, an educator, and Mary Ann Flannigan. Called by many the “father of American Catholic history,” Shea was educated first at the Sisters of Charity school, then at the Columbia Grammar School, graduating in 1837. After working in business, Shea studied law and was admitted to the New York bar in 1846. That same year he became a member of the New-York Historical Society, having written several articles about Catholic martyrs in the United States....

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Shuster, George Nauman (27 August 1894–25 January 1977), educator and Catholic layman, was born in Lancaster, Wisconsin, the son of Anton Schuster, stone mason, and Elizabeth Nauman. (Shuster later changed the spelling of his surname.) He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1915. He served with U.S. Army Intelligence in France during World War I (1917–1919), taught English at Notre Dame for five years, and in 1924 married a former student, Doris Parks Cunningham....

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Ward, Maisie (04 January 1889–28 January 1975), Catholic writer, publisher, and social activist, was born in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, England, the daughter of Wilfrid Ward, the editor of the Dublin Review, and Josephine Mary Hope, a novelist. Baptized Mary Josephine, but always known as Maisie, she was a child of Victorian gentry that had Oxford Movement converts on both sides of the family. She grew up in an atmosphere where religion was pervasive; according to her son, Wilfrid Sheed, an essential key to understanding his mother was that her family lived and breathed in a Catholic culture in which being an “ardent, devout Catholic” was “taken for granted.”...