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Barber, Virgil Horace (09 May 1782–27 March 1847), clergyman and educator, was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the son of Daniel Barber, an Episcopal minister, and Chloe Owen Chase. He studied for the ministry at Dartmouth College (1801–1803), while teaching at Cheshire Academy, where he had begun his formal education. In 1805 he was ordained a deacon of the Episcopal church in Waterbury, Connecticut; two years later, upon ordination to the priesthood, he became its pastor. That same year he married Jerusha Booth; they had four daughters and a son....

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Maas, Anthony John (23 August 1858–20 February 1927), Jesuit priest and teacher, was born in Bainkhausen, Westphalia, the son of John Maas and Elizabeth Peetz. After attending private schools in Hellefeld and Stockum, Maas fled Germany to avoid military conscription and to ensure a quick entrance into religious life. He arrived in the United States in April 1877 and immediately applied for admission to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). After an interview with Charles Charaux, superior of the Jesuits in New York and Canada, Maas was admitted to the novitiate at West Park, New York, on 9 April 1877....

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Thomas Joseph Shahan. Right, with Archbishop Henry Edward Manning. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105926).

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Shahan, Thomas Joseph (10 or 11 Sept. 1857–09 March 1932), Catholic clergyman, educator, and church historian, was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Maurice Peter Shahan and Mary Anne Carmody, Irish immigrants. He grew up in Millbury, Massachusetts, where his father owned a shoe store. After attending public schools there, he went in 1872 to the Sulpician Collège de Montréal (a minor seminary) for his classical and philosophical studies and there was introduced to neo-Thomism. In 1878 he became a seminarian at the North American College in Rome and a student of theology at the Urban College of the Propaganda Fide, where one of his professors was Francesco Satolli, a promoter of the Thomistic revival; he was also strongly influenced by the expert in Christian archaeology Giovanni Battista de Rossi. He was ordained priest on 3 June 1882 for the Diocese of Hartford (Connecticut) and was awarded the doctorate in theology....

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Shields, Thomas Edward (09 May 1862–05 February 1921), Catholic priest and educator, was born in Mendota, Minnesota, the son of John Shields, an immigrant Irish farmer, and Bridget Burke. The year that Thomas was born, a Minnesota Sioux uprising forced the Shields to take refuge at Fort Snelling. In his early youth, Thomas was known as an “omadhaun,” a Gaelic term for fool or simpleton, because he was thought to be uneducable. Through the efforts of a parish priest, however, he learned to love reading and study....

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Sorin, Edward Frederick (06 February 1814–31 October 1893), Roman Catholic priest and educator, was born in Ahuillé, France, the son of Julian Sorin de la Gaulterie, a gentleman farmer, and Marie Anne Louise Gresland de la Margalerie. In early childhood Sorin displayed a ready wit, firm decisiveness, and loyalty to his Breton family’s Catholic faith. These traits remained with him for life. After a year of college in Laval, he opted for the priesthood and studied for a time at a small seminary in Precigné. From there he moved to the diocesan seminary in Le Mans, finishing his theological curriculum and receiving ordination in 1838. Two years prior to that, ...

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Verhaegen, Peter Joseph (21 June 1800–21 July 1868), pioneer Catholic educator and church administrator, was born in Haacht, Belgium, the son of John Joseph Verhaegen, a royal notary, and Elizabeth Cloetens. Verhaegen enjoyed the traditional classical education common at the time, judging from the facts that he wrote fluent Latin and that he taught at a minor seminary at Mechlin, Belgium, before he was twenty-one. He left for the United States in 1821 as part of a group of young Belgians, all aspiring to be Catholic missionaries....

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Zahm, John Augustine (14 June 1851–10 November 1921), Catholic educator and author, was born in New Lexington, Ohio, the son of Jacob M. Zahm and Mary Ellen Braddock, farmers. After elementary classes in an Ohio log school and also at Saints Peter and Paul School in Huntington, Indiana, Zahm enrolled at the University of Notre Dame in 1867. He received his A.B. in philosophy in 1871 and in that year also entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Holy Cross at Notre Dame. Two years later he received a master’s degree, and in 1875 he was ordained for the priesthood at Notre Dame....