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Barbelin, Joseph-Felix (30 May 1808–08 June 1869), clergyman and educator, was born near Lunéville (Meurthe-et-Moselle), France, the oldest child of Dominic Barbelin, Secretary of the Treasurer General for the region of Lunéville, and Elizabeth Louis. The Abbé Joseph L'hommée, his granduncle and godfather, was an early mentor. Barbelin completed preparatory studies at the College of Lunéville where another granduncle, the Abbé Pierre L'hommée, taught. Dreaming of missionary work with Native Americans, Barbelin entered the major seminary at Nancy, France....

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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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Dennis J. Comey. Photograph by Zamsky Studio, used by permission of Sarony Studios Inc. Courtesy of Francis F. Burch.

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Comey, Dennis J. (26 May 1896–14 October 1987), Roman Catholic clergyman and labor arbitrator, was born Dennis Joseph Comey in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Dennis Joseph Comey, an iron worker at the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and Catherine Veronica Reagan Comey; the parents had been farmers who emigrated from Timoleague, County Cork, Ireland. The oldest of thirteen children, he excelled in studies and athletics at St. Joseph's College Preparatory School in Philadelphia. On 30 July 1914 he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, New York, and continued his classical studies. He earned his A.B. (1920), M.A. (1921), and Ph.D. (1929) in philosophy from Woodstock College, Maryland; he first taught Latin at Boston College High School (1921–1922) and then Latin, Greek, Spanish, and rhetoric at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (1922–1925). He pursued theological studies at Woodstock College, where he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on 20 June 1928. A year's concentration on ascetical theology at St. Beuno's College, Wales, preceded his solemn profession of his Jesuit vows in Rome, Italy, on 15 August 1931. In 1931 the Gregorian University in Rome named him a doctor of theology and in 1932 ...

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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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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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Raynor, John Patrick (01 October 1923–14 November 1997), educator, university president, and clergyman, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, one of ten children of Walter V. Raynor, an investment banker and bond salesman, and Mary Clare (May) Raynor. From 1938 to 1941 John attended the Jesuit high school Creighton Prep in Omaha. He joined the Society of Jesus on 17 August 1941 at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri....

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Gerard Smith. Marquette University Archives.

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Smith, Gerard (25 April 1896–06 September 1975), clergyman, teacher, and philosopher, was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of Willett Thurber Smith, a life insurance salesman, and Sara Montgomery Smith. Both of his parents were immigrants and naturalized citizens, his father from Canada, his mother from County Armagh, Ireland....

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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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Van de Velde, James Oliver (03 April 1795–13 November 1855), Jesuit educator and Roman Catholic prelate, was born near Dendermonde, Belgium. Although the names of his parents are unknown, his family was prominent in political and social position. He spent much of his youth in the home of an aunt in the village of St. Amand, where he was tutored by a Catholic priest who had left France because of the French Revolution. In 1810 he was placed in a boardingschool near Ghent, where he distinguished himself in the study of languages. He taught both French and Flemish at Puers for a short time and then at the seminary at Mechlin. In 1813 he entered the seminary to study theology....

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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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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 ...