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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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Damien, Father (03 January 1840–15 April 1889), Roman Catholic priest, was born Joseph de Veuster in Tremeloo, Belgium, the son of François (also called Frans) de Veuster, a Flemish farmer, and Anne Catherine. His mother taught him a little at home, and he helped a local laborer who was both a blacksmith and a gravedigger. His father wanted him to become a merchant and sent him to an academy at Braine-le-Compt in the province of Hainault to learn French. But Joseph was eager to follow his brother Auguste, who after serving his novitiate in Paris was transferred to Louvain. In 1859 Joseph began to train there to become a lay brother. Calling himself Damien, he was transferred to the novitiate of Issy, near Paris, where he studied Latin and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in 1860 as a brother of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He served and studied in Paris and Louvain. When his brother contracted typhus and was unable to fulfill his ambition to become a missionary in the Hawaiian Islands, Damien asked for and was given the assignment. He began his voyage from Bremerhaven in October 1863, went around Cape Horn, and docked at Honolulu in March 1864. In May he was ordained deacon and priest....

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Flanagan, Edward Joseph (13 July 1886–15 May 1948), Roman Catholic priest and founder of Boys Town, was born in Leaberg, County Roscommon, Ireland, the son of John Flanagan, a farm manager, and Honora Larkin. His first formal education was at Summer Hill College, a boarding school in Sligo, Ireland. Flanagan was inspired as a teenager by his older brother Patrick, who had graduated from a Dublin seminary and been ordained a priest. He planned to attend the same Dublin seminary but instead ventured to the United States in 1904 at the age of eighteen. Prompting his decision to immigrate was his sister Nellie, who had returned to visit him in Ireland after spending several years in America. She enthralled him with stories of life there and convinced him of the many advantages America held for his vocational training....

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Guthrie, Joseph Hunter (08 January 1901–11 November 1974), Roman Catholic clergyman and philosopher, was born in New York City, the son of Jacob Francis Guthrie and Mary Ross. He excelled at Fordham Preparatory School and continued his classical studies after entering the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, New York, on 30 July 1917. At Weston College (Mass), he pursued science and philosophy, and he earned his A.B. (1923) and M.A. (1924) in philosophy from Woodstock College in Maryland. He taught and coached drama at Vigan Seminary and then at the Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines. His ...

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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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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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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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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, ...