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Boundlessness, consolidation, and discontinuity between generations: Catholic seminary studies in antebellum America.

Many years ago John Higham identified a transition in American culture "from boundlessness to consolidation," the beginnings of which could be traced to the 1850s. Among indications of a scaling back in the prevailing sense of unlimited openness were an incipient shift from romanticism to realism in the arts, and a movement toward tighter organization and centralization, often associated with the Civil War, which was already discernible in the prewar decade. In describing this shift, Higham said little about religion, observing only that the growth of professionalism reduced competition among Protestant denominations and "produced a more highly trained ministry, greater concern with the liturgical side of religion, and a decline of the crusading fervor of an earlier day." (1) Although he made no mention of American Catholicism, the concept of "boundlessness" seems sufficiently capacious to apply to the pioneering decades of Catholic development, and by midcentury a process of consolidation was definitely under way in that dimension of the national culture. My aim in this essay is to look more closely at boundlessness in one area of Catholic life and to call attention to a generational shift in outlook that accompanied the process of consolidation.

Among antebellum Catholics, the outstanding exemplar of boundlessness in its purest form was surely Isaac T. Hecker. A former transcendentalist and convert to Catholicism who was ordained a priest in 1849, Hecker aimed at nothing less than converting the whole country to his new faith. In 1856 he founded a religious community, the Congregation of St. Paul, to carry out that project. Nor did Hecker ever fully reconcile himself to the inevitable scaling back of expectations that attended the Paulists' corporate struggle to translate that goal into reality. (2) But Hecker was too much the semi-mystical visionary to be considered a representative figure. More typically, Catholics linked their soaring expectations to the boundless prospects of the nation itself. Thus in 1836 Simon G. Brute, the newly appointed bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, reviewed the record of prior Catholic growth and exclaimed as he looked ahead: "What a prospect! What an immense interest to activate and favor the development of the Church here.... What a future! What an appeal to our zeal." (3) Other observers, equally struck by the fabulous expansion going on around them, stressed the need to make hay while the sun shone, to seize once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Joseph Rosati, C.M., who was to become the first bishop of St. Louis, put the point succinctly in 1822: "We are in a new country: it is necessary to be energetic, otherwise nothing will ever be accomplished." Two decades later, Bishop John Hughes of New York made the same point: "This is the critical period for the Church of America ... [the time] for laying the foundations in every kind of religious establishments (sic) which will grow with the growth of this young American Empire." (4)

Keeping up with the "storm pace" of national expansion required improvisation, making do with whatever was at hand. As a result, the Catholic experience of Higham's boundlessness had a makeshift, rough-and-ready character. (5) Lacking Europe's "rich inheritance" of religious institutions, American Catholics had to build everything from the ground up, and it is not surprising that a loose informality prevailed through midcentury in regions newly opened to settlement. (6) However, a counter process of stabilization, a firming up of ecclesiastical structures, was by then well begun. The massive influx of Catholic immigrants in the 1840s and 1850s both exacerbated the need for consolidation, and at the same time furnished the manpower and resources that helped to make it possible. Existing ecclesiastical jurisdictions were subdivided, almost tripling the number of dioceses between 1840 and 1860. Catholic publications multiplied in the same era, and impressive cathedrals were erected in Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. (7) The cornerstone of the most imposing of all, St. Patrick's in New York, was laid in 1858, though construction continued for two more decades. In fact, the midcentury stabilization of the Church in the United States was such that two recent histories of American Catholicism take that period as their starting point. (8)

The whole story of consolidation from an earlier stage of relatively unformed boundlessness is too big and complicated to deal with in a short essay. The focus here will be restricted to Catholic seminary education, and my particular aim is to highlight a shift in generational outlook that accompanied consolidation in that area. The account begins with a sketch of the evidence for midcentury stabilization of Catholic seminary education and a review of contemporary writings critical of the existing state of affairs in that area. Then, to establish the historical context for interpreting that criticism, I look back in greater detail at seminary education in the pioneering era. Here we find plentiful evidence of the inchoate boundlessness that characterized American Catholicism in the first half of the nineteenth century. In conclusion, I return to the midcentury critique and argue that it should be understood in terms of a shift in generational perspective.


The works of Christopher J. Kauffman and Joseph M. White provide splendid overviews of Catholic seminary education in the United States. Kauffman's Tradition and Transformation traces the activities of the Priests of the Society of St. Sulpice, who founded the nation's first Catholic seminary, St. Mary's in Baltimore, in 1791. The Sulpicians were headquartered in Paris, and when the French Revolution sent more of them to these shores than could be usefully employed in seminary education, which was their specialty, they undertook ordinary pastoral duties as well Ten of their number were elevated to hierarchical rank, among whom were some of the most distinguished prelates of the pioneering era. The overall influence of the Society of St. Sulpice was such that Kauffman can justifiably speak of this epoch as one of "Sulpician dominance in the making of American Catholic culture." It is, indeed, a remarkable record. But when we consider that only thirty-five Sulpicians served in the U.S. between 1791 and 1852, it is also a record that testifies to the plasticity of the religious situation in the pioneer era. (9)

In his general history of diocesan seminary education in the United States, Joseph M. White characterizes the period up to the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) as one of "forming traditions." He points out, however, that a movement toward consolidation was under way by the middle of the century. (10) One indication was the sharp increase in the number of clerical students, which the Catholic Herald of Philadelphia hailed in 1850 as the most gratifying feature of Catholic growth in the preceding decade. (11) That trend continued--at St. Mary's in Baltimore, for example, eighty-eight priests were ordained between 1850 and 1860, a figure that represented almost half of the total number ordained there from the seminary's founding in 1791. (12) Other marks of change were the emergence of "freestanding" seminaries (that is, institutions not conducted in tandem with lay colleges), and the growing displacement of small seminaries in each diocese by larger freestanding institutions serving several dioceses. Thus White reports that twenty of the twenty-one dioceses formed up to 1843 made some sort of provision for clerical education locally, but only four of the twenty-three dioceses formed between 1847 and 1857 attempted local seminaries. (13) The opening in 1848 of the first successful minor (that is, preparatory) seminary likewise reflected a new level of stability. Still another new development was the establishment of European seminaries intended to provide priests for the United States--the most notable of these being the Missionary College of All Hallows in Dublin (1842), the American College at Louvain (1857), and the North American College in Rome (1859). (14)

These improvements did not satisfy contemporary observers who adopted a sharper tone in their commentary on the deficiencies that still existed. Their criticism found expression in the most highly respected Catholic publication of the day, Brownson's Quarterly Review, the journal founded, edited, and largely written by the convertintellectual, Orestes A. Brownson. From the mid 1850s, Brownson's thinking moved in an increasingly liberal direction, and the seminary critique reflected the shift in his Review's editorial stance. Other factors played a role in this development, but it took on a distinctly Americanist coloration as a result of Brownson's reaction to Know-Nothing nativism. (15) For though he stoutly rejected nativist attacks on Catholicism as a religion, Brownson, a Vermont-born Yankee, believed that the movement also represented an understandable concern for the preservation of American nationality, which the flood of immigrants threatened to overwhelm. Because Catholics constituted so large a proportion of the newcomers, the Church itself seemed a "foreign" body, and as long as that impression held sway, Brownson warned, the Catholic religion could never prosper in America. Hence he insisted that Catholics--particularly Irish Catholics--must learn to separate their religious faith from their inherited nationality and accommodate themselves as fully as possible to American ways in every sphere except the strictly religious. (16)

Expression of these views embroiled Brownson in controversy, not least because his "Americanizing" policy had obvious implications for Catholic education, which he clearly understood served ethnic as well as religious ends. Although he granted that religious prejudice made Catholic schools necessary in some cases, Brownson frankly opposed schools that "under [the] pretext of providing for Catholic education ... train up our children to be foreigners in the land of their birth." He was, in fact, sharply critical of Catholic education across the board, calling for thorough-going reform at every level. (17) That included clerical education, but Brownson himself touched only lightly on seminaries in his broader critique. He did, however, remark that they still bore a predominantly foreign cast, and they presumably shared the outmoded, old-world spirit of the Catholic colleges whose graduates, he said, seemed "misplaced and mistimed in the world, as if born and educated for a world that has ceased to exist." (18) Brownson also urged a structural reform that would affect seminaries, namely, abandonment of the "mixed" college-seminary system--that is, the arrangement whereby candidates for the priesthood not only attended the same institution as lay students, but also acted as teachers or prefects (overseers of student behavior). Getting rid of this system, he observed, would allow seminarians to pursue their studies more efficiently and might even result in improving the status and compensation of lay teachers in the colleges. (19)

As a layman, Brownson may have felt some diffidence about criticizing seminary education. That consideration did not apply to two priest-contributors to his Review, whose comments reflected, among other things, keen sensitivity to the issue of nationality. William J. Barry, the rector of Cincinnati's archdiocesan seminary, Mount St. Mary's of the West, led off with a general review of the subject in 1859. (20) After sketching the development of seminaries in church history, Barry turned to improvements needed in the United States. He urged the elaboration of a multistage system embracing preparatory and major seminaries in each diocese, provincial seminaries for each archdiocese, and a national institution for the country at large, as well as an American college in Rome. Such a plan would provide a more thorough intellectual and spiritual formation for priests, especially the abler candidates who were apparently to be sifted upward through the system. Barry also called for separating seminary from college, although he conceded that the pastoral experience seminarians gained by acting as prefects to collegians had some value. That benefit was, however, offset by the drawbacks of the arrangement, and he denied that practical necessity required the mixed plan, at least not in the same degree as in earlier years. In conclusion he stated that the church in America could no longer rely on European missionaries, but should concentrate on building up a "national" (that is, native-born) clergy, which the reforms he prescribed would presumably facilitate.

Although he did not write again on seminaries as such, Barry repeated the main points of his critique in two biting assessments of Catholic education in general, and he told Brownson he was thinking of exploring the deficiencies of seminary education in the fictional form of "a clerico-academic romance." (21) In the meantime, Jeremiah W. Cummings, a confidante of Brownson and one of the most prominent priests in New York, took up the question. His "Vocations to the Priesthood" appeared in the October 1860 issue of Brownson's Quarterly Review and was one of the chief pieces contributing to what another Catholic publication called "the bitter, sarcastic, almost spiteful tone" the Review had adopted in discussing American Catholic affairs (22)

The points Cummings wanted to make were delicate enough; his manner in making them was gratuitously offensive. Even more strongly than Barry, he deprecated the reliance on foreign-born priests and emphasized the importance of developing a national clergy--a body of Catholic clergymen whose American birth and education would constitute the ideal preparation for pastoral service to an American flock. He stressed the need for minor seminaries as the principal means of overcoming the shortage of American vocations, and by quoting at length from the decrees of the Council of Trent and other ecclesiastical documents he seemed to imply that the American bishops had been negligent in regard to the whole matter of seminary education. Cummings quoted his authorities in Latin, which perhaps indicated an awareness of how explosive the implication of episcopal negligence could be, but his discussion of the native clergy issue was quite unguarded and tinged with nationalistic disdain. In the most objectionable passage, Cummings contrasted the priests most recently arrived from Europe to the "first rate men" who had come over in earlier years. Adapting "commercial parlance" to the traffic in newly ordained priests, he suggested that European bishops were "allow[ing] the cheaper brands to be exported and keep[ing] the prime article for home consumption." It was bad enough that the eighty or so priests sent to the U.S. from All Hallows did not come up to the standards previously maintained by seminaries in Ireland. Even worse, in Cummings's view, were unnamed continental institutions that "allow[ed] themselves to be turned into cheap priest factories on the principle that John or Thomas is not fit to be ordained if he is to stay at home, but he will make a good enough priest for America." Not surprisingly, John or Thomas was only too likely "to make an ass of himself before a sharp, intelligent Protestant community, and disgrace his character and religion." (23)

Cummings responded to the cries of outrage that greeted his October article with another on "Seminaries and Seminarians" in the next issue of the Review. While conceding that his commercial terminology might have been out of place, Cummings was far from repentant. (24) He denied intending to insult the foreign-born clergy and, as a gesture toward fairness, reproduced a letter in which Bishop William H. Elder of Natchez defended the missionary priests of his diocese against Cummings's charges. Cummings defended himself on the sensitive issue of nationality by denying that he shared the ultra-Americanism of the Know-Nothings, but he went on to warn against "the arrogant and impolitic contempt for this country which ... we may be permitted to style anti-Americanism"--an attitude that he (along with Brownson) detected among foreign-born Catholics. The real issue, he declared, was the need for a body of Catholic clergymen who understood American civilization and were sympathetic to the American character, and he insisted again that minor seminaries were crucial to meeting this need. Indeed, he stiffened his argument on the latter point by translating into English the official mandates on seminary training he had previously cited in Latin, and by hinting broadly that bishops who failed to establish minor seminaries were delinquent in their duty.


Cummings's critique was unprecedented in its harshness, but not in terms of the problems identified. Far from having neglected seminary education, earlier bishops had struggled mightily to provide it. They were fully aware of prevailing weaknesses and shared many of the goals set forth by Cummings and Barry. They had, for example, cherished the aspiration to develop a national clergy since the days of John Carroll, the first American bishop. In fact, Carroll made the establishment of a college (Georgetown) his first priority because he thought it would help recruit priests of the sort he wanted most, namely, those "accustomed to our climate, and acquainted with the tempers, manners, and government of the people, to whom they are to dispense the ministry of salvation." (25) Virtually identical language was used by many later bishops--White cites five instances from the 1820s through the 1840S. (26) The bishops also recognized, however, that it had to be a long-range goal because the number of native vocations fell far short of meeting the pastoral needs of the burgeoning Catholic population. The archdiocese of St. Louis, for example, did not begin to produce its own clergy until after 1860, and well over half of its priests were still foreign-born at the end of the century. (27)

A critical shortage of priests was, in fact, the most pervasive problem confronting the early American church. All its leaders could echo the lament of John England, bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, that "large numbers of our brethren in faith 'are crying for the bread of life and there is none to break it for them' ..." (28) Under the circumstances, they had no choice but to rely on clergymen from Europe--indeed, many newly appointed bishops set off immediately for Europe to recruit priests and seminarians. (29) That did not mean, however, that they were unacquainted with the kind of problem priests that Cummings seemed to regard as a novel phenomenon at midcentury. Even before his consecration as bishop, John Carroll complained of "missionary adventurers," many of whom "proved turbulent, ambitious" and self-interested. (30) Carroll's episcopal successors knew only too well what he was talking about. And though American Catholics today are painfully aware that lapses from clerical virtue can happen any time, the instability of the pioneering era undoubtedly contributed to the disciplinary problems of those days. Perhaps the most widespread, though far from the most serious, was the existence of "floaters"--priests who moved restlessly from one diocese to another. (31) How informally these moves might be undertaken is suggested by the case of an Iowa priest recently described as having left his diocese "because he found riding horseback bad for his health, had no cook, needed to live in a warmer climate, and wanted to save his own soul." (32) Yet the hardships of pastoral work in the early days--particularly isolation, loneliness, and the lack of priestly companionship--made clerical instability something of an occupational hazard. (33)

The idea of establishing a "national" seminary (that is, one serving the whole country) that would, among other benefits, help produce a "national" (that is, native-born) clergy was advanced more than once before the bishops considered it at the First and Second Provincial Councils of Baltimore, held in 1829 and 1833, respectively. (34) It was stymied at both meetings, largely because of ethnic and ideological differences similar to those that formed an important background factor to the later Brownson-Barry-Cummings critique. When it appeared that St. Mary's in Baltimore was being proposed as the national seminary, Bishop England, who strongly favored having such an institution, withdrew his support because he considered the Sulpicians too deeply attached to French ways to be suited for the task of forming an American clergy. For their part, the Sulpicians regarded England, who was Irish-born, as too liberal in his thinking, unduly confrontational in approach, and personally ambitious. His own proposal on the subject, which envisaged cooperation with bishops in Ireland, was quashed, and England himself was treated so coldly that he never again attempted to exercise leadership on the national level. (35)

Besides these ethnic and ideological differences, considerations of cost and local control militated against the creation of a national seminary. It might seem self-evident that the widespread duplication of seminary facilities was the more expensive approach--even, to quote the eminent church historian, John Tracy Ellis, a "wanton dissipation of the Church's limited resources." (36) But the faithful were more likely to support a local institution than a distant one, and from the individual bishop's viewpoint, keeping his seminarians at home could well be the better option. The bishop of Bardstown, Kentucky, claimed he could educate four or five seminarians in his own diocese for what it would cost him to send one of them to St. Mary's in Baltimore. And after years of sending his clerical prospects elsewhere for their education, the bishop of Boston concluded that he too could do it more economically at home. (37) There was also the danger that seminarians sent away for their training might not return to their home diocese, and at least one bishop believed "general seminaries" would encourage the proclivity for "roving" that he considered a curse of the American priesthood. (38) Keeping seminarians at home also meant that the bishop could observe them more closely, form a better judgment of their character and abilities, and draw on their presence to enhance the dignity of liturgical celebrations in his cathedral church. (39) The early bishops were, of course, aware of the weaknesses of what England called their "embryo seminaries," (40) but taking into account the situation they confronted, a diocesan seminary seemed to them their best hope for recruiting, retaining, and preparing a national clergy. (41)

As for minor seminaries, which Barry and Cummings regarded as essential to the recruitment of a national clergy, the desire for them was likewise an old story. Indeed, the only novelty of the midcentury critique was Cummings's apparent belief that such institutions had not been established earlier because of indifference or neglect. In fact, virtually all the early churchmen would have preferred to educate clerical prospects in minor seminaries instead of mixed college-seminaries, but the shortage of money, clerical vocations, and instructional personnel put that option beyond the realm of possibility. The Sulpicians, to take the most obvious example, were strongly committed to strictly clerical education and did their best to isolate the seminarians in Baltimore from the lay students in St. Mary's College, which had been set up as an adjunct to the seminary in 1799. Yet the college constituted for many years their principal educational work and, as its historian reports, St. Mary's College "actually saved the Seminary by carrying it through the lean years." (42) The Sulpicians also made an abortive attempt to found a proper petit seminaire in 1806, but it almost immediately turned itself into a mixed college-seminary--Mount St. Mary's at Emmitsburg, Maryland--which, though founded under Sulpician auspices, eventually became a full-fledged competitor of the seminary in Baltimore and ended its affiliation with St. Sulpice. (43) In 1831, the Baltimore Sulpicians tried again to establish a minor seminary, this time on land donated by Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. But lack of resources delayed the completion of this project for almost two decades; not till 1848 did St. Charles College open in Ellicott City, Maryland, as the first successful Catholic preparatory seminary. (44)

The case of St. Charles underlines the point that until the middle decades of the century, Catholics simply lacked the human and material resources to support the kind of institutions--minor seminaries and freestanding major seminaries--that Brownson, Barry, and Cummings called for. Until that time, the mixed college-seminary was the dominant type, but before turning to it, a few words about an even more informal arrangement, the domestic or household seminary.

As the name implies, the household seminary amounted to nothing more than a bishop's taking one, two, or a handful of clerical prospects into his residence and giving them whatever instruction he could manage. Often the first expedient adopted in a newly established diocese, it was mainly used to complete the education of candidates brought over from Europe and allow them to adjust to American ways. (45) Thus Bishop John M. Henni of Milwaukee, who eventually established a freestanding regional seminary, relied on variations of the domestic system to train some three dozen candidates, virtually all European recruits, during the first ten years of his episcopate. How well it could be adapted to the most primitive conditions is revealed in an 1847 statement by the bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, who reported that "to promote the interests of religion in this poor diocese, I have for the last twelve months, with two seminarians whom I teach, cooked our own meals and made up our rooms; for my circumstances would not permit me to pay eight or ten dollars a month for a servant." (46) Though obviously far from ideal, the domestic system did bring a bishop into close contact with his clerical prospects, and we have one bit of evidence that the results could be quite positive. The testimonial comes from Cincinnati, where Bishop John B. Purcell took several seminarians into his residence during a temporary breakdown in other arrangements. Years later, one of them recalled that "when Borgess, Quinlan, Kreckel and myself formed the little flock of seminarians in his house, the Bishop not infrequently came upstairs to one of the little rooms in the attic. There he would preside at our spiritual readings and give us pious instructions. I thought he was a Fenelon or a St. Francis de Sales." (47)

One authority distinguishes the "college-seminary" from the "seminary-college," but this seems an over-refinement since both varieties combined lay students and clerical prospects in the same institution. (48) There was a continental precedent for the arrangement--the school at Douai in French Flanders, founded by English Catholics in 1568, was a combined college-seminary from the outset (49)--but practical circumstance was what made it the characteristic institution of Catholic higher education in the first half of the nineteenth century. Two background conditions were basic: the desperate need for priests, which disposed the bishops to encourage any institution that gave promise of producing them, and the tremendous popular enthusiasm for education, which meant that Catholic colleges had no trouble attracting students (including many Protestants), especially since these "colleges" offered instruction beginning at what we would call the middle-school level. The mixed arrangement fit the situation beautifully--the college not only generated income to support the seminary but also helped recruit vocations to the priesthood; the seminary in turn provided low-cost teachers and prefects for the college. The arrangement was thus symbiotic, "the two establishments being intended to support one another," as one highly knowledgeable bishop put it. (50)

Among the many college-seminaries, Mount St. Mary's could be considered archetypical. Founded in 1808, it is the third oldest Catholic institution of higher education in the country; it was the first to embrace the mixed arrangement in a purposeful way, and it has maintained its mixed structure to the present day--indeed, Mount St. Mary's did not even eliminate secondary-level instruction until the 1930s. (51) Its founder, John Dubois, who left the Sulpicians as a result of the competition with the Baltimore seminary and was named third bishop of New York in 1826, was probably the only member of the hierarchy who undertook to defend the mixed arrangement on principled grounds. He argued that having seminarians serve as college teachers acquainted them more thoroughly with the materials they had studied, thereby giving them "more experience [and] more steadiness." (52) Yet in appealing for funds to establish a seminary in New York he revealed the crucial consideration, explaining that he planned to unite college and seminary "so as to defray the expenses of the seminary out of the income of the college." (53)

From the viewpoint of bishops and religious superiors, the college-seminary system had two serious drawbacks. The first was religious, since the mixing together of lay students and clerical prospects distracted the latter, interfered with their spiritual formation, and endangered their vocations. Concern over these issues almost brought about the closing of a college-seminary run by the Vincentian Fathers in Missouri, and churchmen in Kentucky complained of the same problems. (54) The fact that many Protestants attended Catholic colleges in the first half of the nineteenth century only made matters worse. Bishop Peter R. Kenrick of St. Louis was particularly concerned to deliver his clerical prospects from "the dangers to which vocation, piety, and even faith itself are exposed in our nondescript Catholic-Protestant colleges." (55)

The second drawback was academic, since seminarians had a hard time combining their own studies with teaching and serving as prefects in the colleges. As early as 1818 the Maryland Jesuits considered closing Georgetown temporarily to avoid overburdening their scholastics (seminarians) with such duties. Thirty-six years later, William S. Murphy, the Jesuit superior in Missouri, explained to the Father General in Rome that the pressing need for manpower made it difficult to provide for the systematic formation of scholastics. Then he added this poignant comment: "I admire the virtue and devotion of so many Fathers and scholastics who grow old with no hope of being able one day to study. They agree frankly that there is no remedy for this state of things. In effect the first and second generations have been sacrificed in this respect." (56) Another Missouri Jesuit, Ferdinand Coosemans, provides a circumstantial description of how the system worked. Speaking of his early days as a Jesuit in the 1840s, Coosemans wrote:
 All the time I have been in the Society [of Jesus] I have been
 occupied with duties without having a single year free for study.
 During the second year of my novitiate I repeated my Rhetoric
 [a college-level subject]. While still a novice I was sent to a
 college where, completely immersed in prefecting as also in
 teaching some four hours a day, I studied philosophy for the
 space of two years. This study amounted to little more than
 copying out Father Martin's notes; we had no
 printed text of philosophy. Fortunately I did not have much to
 forget when Father Martin's system was prohibited in the Society. My
 study in moral [theology] was confined to Gury, which I studied for
 a year and a half without having time to consult other authors; I
 was at the same time prefect of the students and professors. For one
 year only did I study Dogma, but I failed in my examination partly
 for lack of talent, partly because of distractions occasioned by
 my prefecting and teaching. I was ordained priest that same year
 [1851]. (57)

Coosemans' case may have been extreme, but it was not unrepresentative of the ragged informality that characterized seminary education under the mixed system. Two letters to Bishop Purcell illustrate the point, but also give evidence of a commendable spirit on the part of the seminarians who wrote them. Joshua Young, a twenty-six-year-old convert to Catholicism whom Purcell had sent to Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg for part of his training, reported that he was struggling through Cicero and Virgil "in company with the third Latin class," but his other studies were more informal and individualized. Thus he spoke of having "studied some Algebra, paid some attention to French, and since the residence of Prof. Baleke ... to German." He was critical of the neglect of English language and literature at "the Mountain," but he hoped to "find time to attend somewhat to this subject" after having gotten past "the duty of preaching a sermon [which] is now imminent." (58) The second writer was Peter McLaughlin, a thirty-four-year-old Irishman who had recently been admitted to the college-seminary in Cincinnati, having already studied philosophy and theology at Emmitsburg for a year or so. In 1839, he described his activities to Bishop Purcell:
 Besides my respective duties [in the college] I read daily twenty
 pages either of Liguori, or Peter Dens; during every three weeks I
 can take notes on one century of Church history; before retiring to
 bed I carefully gather the meaning of one of the Psalms from two
 good commentaries; and should leisure moments happily intervene the
 Spectator or Blair's Lectures claim them as unalienable possessions;
 to this course I am resolved to hold because it is profitable to
 myself, pleasing to my old Mountain companion Mr. J. Young, and I
 hope not displeasing to you Rt. Rev. Father. (59)

Though unsystematic, this kind of preparation was as much as many places could manage and was (as some, at least, believed) adequate to the pastoral needs of the pioneer era. The remarks of Father Murphy, the Jesuit superior quoted earlier, are revealing. Immediately after conceding that the first and second generations had to be sacrificed, he went on to argue that despite the limited training they received, the Missouri Jesuits were qualified to "meet every demand in respect to theology and belles-lettres." This was true because they were working among unsophisticated people and did not need elaborate theological preparation. "Unbelief and heresy are not erudite in this New World," Murphy maintained. One did not require expertise in ancient languages, in biblical studies, or in patristic learning in order to meet and overcome religious error. "The question only is how to justify [the Catholic] religion from a social, political, progressive point of view, to prove its compatibility with true liberty and the real welfare of the people. God be thanked, Ours [that is, members of the Society of Jesus] are not behindhand in this polemical arena. As to Moral Theology," he concluded, "it leaves nothing to be desired. We have the necessary men and books." (60)

Murphy seems to protest too much, but many other churchmen agreed that the situation they faced required adjustments in seminary training. John Carroll, to cite the most distinguished example, declared in the last year of his life, "The finishing of the education of Cath[olic] Clergymen ... is much too tedious for the exigencies of this country." Carroll had great respect for scholarship, but he had an even livelier sensitivity to the crying need for priests, and he thought seminarians should be hurried to ordination before completing the full course of theology. All they really needed, he believed, was an acquaintance with "the obvious and general principles of moral Theology," and a willingness to continue their reading and consult different authorities before deciding cases of conscience. (61) Carroll's second successor as archbishop of Baltimore, Ambrose Marechal, S.S., felt much the same. He advised an American seminarian studying in Paris not to bother with canon law, which was so little needed in the United States that its knowledge was "secondary and ornamental." The qualities really needed here were holiness of life, a priestly spirit, and an ability to preach "in a noble, simple, pious, and touching manner." (62)

Marechal was, to be sure, deeply imbued with the devotional spirit so intense among the Sulpicians, but the priorities he outlined commanded wide assent among Catholic churchmen of the time. The view that ministers of religion should be distinguished more for virtue than for learning had special force in those days because moral lapses among the clergy were more conspicuous and damaging than intellectual deficiencies. Consider, for example, the advice given by Bishop Francis P. Kenrick to the president of Mount St. Mary's, where he had sent some seminarians. Shortly after he took over the see of Philadelphia, which had been wracked for years by internal quarrels aggravated by rebellious priests, Kenrick wrote: "I need not tell you how much you should inculcate humility, disinterestedness, obedience, temperance, docility, and [sexual] purity, with zeal, charity, patience and all the train of virtues. On your exertions it depends in a great measure to redeem the character of the Priesthood which some unworthy men continue to degrade." (63)

Kenrick himself was a scholarly person, and in selecting candidates for study in Rome he specified "talents" as an important consideration, but he obviously regarded moral qualities as requiring greater emphasis. (64) To judge from the many complaints about alcoholism and avarice among priests, temperance and disinterestedness were virtues all too often lacking. The bishop of Covington, Kentucky, put the matter succinctly in 1855: "Money and drink seem to be the mania of many priests." (65) William J. Barry noted the same problems, and drunkenness and covetousness were likewise the faults most often ascribed to the American clergy in letters sent to the authorities at All Hallows College in Dublin. (66) Allegations of sexual misconduct were much less common, but by no means unheard of. They are, however, difficult to evaluate since so often associated with malicious whispering campaigns against ecclesiastics who were unpopular, or under suspicion for some other reason. Such was the case with Bishop Amadeus Rappe of Cleveland, whose conflicts with disaffected elements among the clergy led to his resignation in 1870. A few years later, New York's famous "rebel priest," Edward McGlynn, was accused of sexual transgressions; and in the controversy over Americanism in the 1890s, a slanderous rumor circulated that Archbishop Francesco Satolli, the first Apostolic Delegate to the United States, was the illegitimate son of Pope Leo XIII. The episode most closely studied in recent years involved Bishop John Lancaster Spalding of Peoria, but it is not clear how widely it was talked about at the time. (67)

The letters to All Hallows also confirm the point that the qualities most desired in missionary priests were preaching ability, solid piety and virtue, and good knowledge of the correct manner of performing religious rites. (68) These characteristics would certainly have gone a long way toward meeting the criteria John Hughes somewhat humorously laid out in 1832. Hughes, later to become bishop, then archbishop, of New York, but at the time a simple pastor in Philadelphia, said the priest he was looking for as an assistant should be:
 A man of sound, but not enthusiastic piety; mild in his temper;
 honest, open, and sincere in his disposition. As to his learning, I
 should not think it an objection if he resembled Sir Roger de
 Coverly's chaplain in some respects, provided always nevertheless
 that he is capable of writing and pronouncing well his sermon--and
 does not, as the New England critic in pulpit oratory has it, think
 himself privileged to "talk nonsense in the name of the Lord." (69)

If such expectations as to learning were modest, they were in keeping with the available resources. For most of the antebellum period, seminary faculties numbered only one or two professors who relied heavily on a limited number of theological manuals, with moral theology receiving the most attention since it was the most directly relevant to pastoral work. (70) Francis P. Kenrick, who was a seminary professor in frontier Kentucky before becoming bishop of Philadelphia, wrote multivolume works of dogmatic and moral theology, but they were never widely adopted. (71) Simon G. Brute, later bishop of Vincennes, taught theology at Mount St. Mary's for many years, was regarded as very learned, and exerted a deep influence on a whole generation of priests--yet we know almost nothing about what he taught. (72) One charming vignette does survive in the notes of a seminarian. It gives us a glimpse of Brute holding forth in his animated way on a technical detail concerning the proper manner of administering the sacraments for the dying, explaining the differences between European and American practices on this point, and digressing to tell the story of an old gentleman who was reconciled to the church on his deathbed after having fallen away from the faith when he could not make up his mind which faction to support in one of Philadelphia's many trustee conflicts. (73)


As a summarizing case study of the pioneering era, seminary education in Cincinnati is particularly relevant since that is where William J. Barry presided as rector when he published his critique. The story begins in 1829 when Cincinnati's first bishop, Edward Fenwick, O.P., purchased a lot next to his crude cathedral on which he undertook construction of a college-seminary. (74) This institution opened only a year before Fenwick died of cholera in 1832, but it was continued by his successor, John B. Purcell, who was president of Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg when he was appointed to Cincinnati to begin an episcopal reign that lasted almost a half century. (75) In the first ten years of its existence, the seminary conducted in combination with the lay college had no fewer than nine different rectors. A journal kept by Purcell during the early years of his episcopate shows that the seminary caused him much concern, not least because he considered two of the priests associated with it on his arrival overly fond of drink and the theater. Other entries reveal that he himself had to teach classes in philosophy, theology, and Scripture when the rector was dispatched to New Orleans to recruit students for the college and to check on the activities of another priest who had gone there earlier. (76)

Experiences of this sort made Purcell eager to turn over the college half of his mixed institution to the Jesuits, which he did in 1840. Two years later he engaged another religious community, the Vincentians, to take over the seminary, which was then located at a rural Catholic settlement some forty miles east of Cincinnati. That arrangement began well, but did not last long. In 1845, the Vincentian superior, John Timon, brought it to an abrupt conclusion by recalling his men at the seminary. Purcell, who had expressed strong approval of the Vincentians' performance only a year before, was no doubt shocked by this action, which the seminary priests had requested. Their reasons for doing so remain obscure, but they complained that Purcell was unsympathetic to religious communities (and his closest advisers even more so) and failed to give them adequate support. They were also made uneasy by his talk of bringing the seminary back to Cincinnati, an arrangement that would subject them to many "inconveniences"--which probably meant they feared he would try to micromanage their activities. (77) In any case, the Vincentians left, and the handful of clerical prospects returned to the city where they were briefly entrusted to the Jesuits. But that too proved unsatisfactory, and Purcell was soon back at square one, with the seminarians living in the upper storey of his residence. (78)

In view of these ups and downs, it made sense for Purcell to send some of his clerical prospects to Emmitsburg for their training, but by midcentury the situation began to improve. No longer preoccupied by the construction of a new cathedral (completed in 1845), Purcell could turn his resources to other projects. The increasing wealth of his flock also played a crucial role: donations of land and money from two families of Irish immigrant background enabled Purcell to erect a substantial four-story structure, and a newly instituted annual collection for the seminary put it on a more secure financial basis. Things looked even brighter when, in 1855, "Mount St. Mary's of the West" was designated the major seminary for the ecclesiastical province of Cincinnati, which had become an archdiocese five years earlier. However, the other bishops of the province did not support the seminary consistently, and within a year Purcell went back to the mixed system, opening a lay college in conjunction with the seminary. The college started well, but had to be eliminated when the Civil War cut severely into attendance. The seminary, which by 1862 had forty-six students and a library of almost fifteen thousand volumes, not only survived the war (and a damaging fire) but enjoyed unprecedented growth and stability in the postwar decade. (79)

Having struggled so long to bring clerical studies to this level of stability, Purcell might understandably have felt some annoyance when the young rector of his seminary burst upon the scene as a critic of the activity as previously carried on. I have seen no evidence that such was the case, but Purcell had to have known about the negative reaction to Barry's and Cummings's critiques, especially on the part of Archbishop Hughes, an old friend from their time together as seminarians at Emmitsburg. (80) Another of Barry's episcopal critics made his feelings known to Purcell in a scolding letter that reflected a sharp difference in generational perspectives. The writer was Henry D. Juncker, whose seminary studies began in his native Lorraine and were completed in Cincinnati, where he was ordained by Purcell in 1834--the same year William Barry was born in that city. After more than two decades of pastoral work in a half dozen Ohio localities, Juncker was consecrated bishop of Alton, Illinois, in 1857. To this veteran organizer of parishes, it was obvious that Purcell had "spoiled this young American gentleman by kindness and by putting him at once in high and fat positions." Although not personally acquainted with Barry, Juncker considered him the kind of "delicate and puffed up gentleman" who would have been less ungrateful and less critical if he had begun his clerical career on the missions, forming congregations, building churches, and confronting the need to put food on his own table. (81)

Juncker's sputterings against the young whippersnapper are amusing and might well be considered anti-intellectual. Yet his outburst deserves careful attention, for it reflects the bruised feelings of an older generation of Catholic leaders. Juncker, Hughes, and Purcell knew from personal experience how laborious and at times overwhelming had been the task of laying the first foundations, recruiting missionaries and communities of sisters, and of establishing seminaries, colleges, and parochial schools. They were not unaware that "the tone of ecclesiastical education is not as elevated in this Country as it is in some others," as Hughes himself conceded. But did that justify speaking scornfully of the existing institutions, or implying that the bishops had neglected their duties? Not at all. Deficiencies were inevitable given the resources available and the tasks at hand. "There is too much work to be done, and too few priests for its accomplishment," wrote Hughes. "It is only where the supply of the Clergy is greater than the wants of the mission that these desirable and important studies can be prosecuted to a point of eminence, which it has not been possible for the Bishops of America to aim at with success." (82) The experience of Archbishop Peter R. Kenrick of St. Louis confirmed Hughes's point. Kenrick knew the weaknesses, stating in 1855, "With all our boasting, we are far behind the age, in our provision for Clerical Training." But after almost two decades of trying to operate a seminary of his own, he had to give up the struggle and send his clerical prospects elsewhere for their training. (83) Kenrick's reaction to the Barry-Cummings critique is unknown, but men of his generation might justifiably have resented it, for it seemed to imply that they had simply failed to perceive an obvious need, or perceiving it had failed to take appropriate action.

Whereas Hughes and Kenrick frankly acknowledged shortcomings in seminary education, Barry and Cummings--particularly the latter--were harshly critical, failed to make due allowance for earlier obstacles, and implied that existing problems pointed toward past failures of episcopal leadership. What accounts for this shift of outlook and the asperity with which it was expressed? Though one cannot answer such questions definitively, one can plausibly suggest several considerations. There was, first of all, the intensity of the moment itself, for the seminary critique emerged in the context of national crisis--the slavery controversy and Civil War. Catholics had in addition just been through a religious crisis brought on by nativist hostility that featured the charge that their religion was irredeemably "foreign." (84) As we have seen, this charge set off a bitter intra-Catholic controversy over issues relating to ethnic loyalty and "Americanization," (85) which no doubt made the critics particularly sensitive to the native-clergy issue. But matters of individual temperament and personal experience were also involved--particularly the difference in generational perspective.

Take the case of William J. Barry. He was only twenty-five years old, three years a priest, and seminary rector for less than a year when he emerged as a critic. (86) Barry could hardly help seeing things differently from men like Juncker and Hughes. He had come of age when phenomenal growth was making Catholicism the largest religious denomination in the country. As he surveyed the religious scene, he was not impressed by the progress that had been made or by the newness of the Catholic institutions taking shape around him--to him these were the familiar landmarks of his adult life. Cincinnati's beautiful Greek Revival cathedral was, for example, completed when he was a boy of eleven. Entering upon his career as a dedicated young priest and educator at a moment of critical transition, Barry was struck instead by the inadequacy of existing institutions to meet the demands of the day--to say nothing of the future. Hence he called for more of the consolidation that he hardly seemed to realize had begun to displace the makeshift arrangements of the pioneer era.

Jeremiah W. Cummings was an older man (thirty-seven in 1860), but his exceptional personal history made him something of a newcomer to the American Catholic scene at midcentury and shaped his outlook in other ways as well. Marked out at an early age as "very talented," Cummings was sent to study in Rome when he was only eleven years old. (87) He spent the next fourteen years of his life in the Eternal City and earned a doctoral degree in divinity. Shortly after his return to New York in 1848, Bishop Hughes called upon the young Roman doctor to form a new parish in a city whose Catholic population was increasing by leaps and bounds. Cummings discharged this responsibility with eclat, quickly making St. Stephen's one of the most fashionable churches in the city. (88) Cummings also entered into correspondence with Orestes Brownson and was one of the chief promoters of Brownson's move from Boston to New York in 1855. He was in addition a central figure in a small group of priests and laymen who met informally to discuss religious and political questions, and who sympathized with the liberal Americanizing line Brownson had begun to set forth in his Review shortly before coming to New York. (89)

Cummings was thus a man who had enjoyed many advantages and held advanced views. His outlook had been formed at the center of the Catholic world; on returning from his prolonged stay in Rome, he established himself as belonging to the intellectual elite of American Catholicism. His pastoral experience was genuine, but gained in circumstances far different from those known to circuit-riding parish founders like Henry Juncker in his younger days. Understandably enough, his personal history encouraged Cummings to think expansively and to anticipate success. Nor did he have much tolerance for the foibles of others. Indeed, Richard L. Burtsell, another progressive-minded New York priest who admired Cummings greatly, nevertheless found his manner deeply offensive. "Dr. Cummings never respects anyone's feelings," he observed ruefully, "he insults everyone he meets." (90) That kind of temperament goes a long way toward explaining the cutting language and censorious tone of Cummings's observations on seminary education.

At bottom, however, Cummings's dissatisfaction with the existing system reflected the perspective of a new generation of concerned Catholics. Lacking firsthand experience of earlier conditions and the limitations they imposed, Cummings and Barry--and in his own way, Brownson as well--were impatient with shortcomings carried over from pioneering days. Their point of view illustrates what Herbert Butterfield called the "discontinuities between the generations in history"--discontinuities arising from the fact that "each generation [sees] only what it was the actor in" and cannot adequately grasp the significance of conditions no longer present as living realities. (91) Butterfield stressed the negative effects of generational discontinuities, especially insofar as they inhibit the passing on of political wisdom experientially gained. That dimension did not, however, figure in the case at hand. Here, the principal negative effect of discontinuity was a lack of sympathetic understanding on the part of Barry and Cummings.

But discontinuity can have positive as well as negative effects, since not having lived through earlier times means that a new generation's thinking is not set along lines that may have become outmoded. It is certainly reasonable to suppose that the midcentury critics of seminary education were better attuned to the needs and possibilities of their own times than a generation whose outlook was formed in more primitive circumstances. Thanks to spectacular increases in the Catholic population, and in the numbers of priests, religious communities, schools, colleges, and other institutions in the 1840s and 1850s, American Catholicism was emerging from a condition of pioneering improvisation to a new level of stable maturity. These developments--and changes in American society and culture occurring simultaneously--created new challenges for the Catholic Church. (92) These challenges prompted Brownson, Barry, and Cummings to demand an overhaul in the critical area of clerical education. Though it cannot be shown that their criticism had a direct impact on seminary reform, this "rare case of open discussion of seminaries" gave the issue new visibility. (93) By doing so, it reinforced the process of stabilization that marked the transition to a new era of American Catholic history.

(1.) "From Boundlessness to Consolidation: The Transformation of American Culture, 1848-1860," originally delivered as a Commonwealth Fund Lecture at the University of London in 1968, is reprinted with an introductory note by Stuart McConnell in John Higham, Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture, ed. Carl J. Guarneri (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001), 147-65, 284-87; quotation, 165.

(2.) There is a large literature on Hecker; the best study of his whole career is David J. O'Brien, Isaac Hecker: An American Catholic (New York: Paulist, 1992). Another authority calls Hecker "one of the foremost American Catholic representatives of the Romantic mood in American religion." Patrick W. Carey, The Roman Catholics (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1993), 237.

(3.) Thomas T. McAvoy, ed., "Bishop Brute's Report to Rome in 1836," Catholic Historical Review (hereafter CHR) 29 (July 1943): 177-233, quotation, 216.

(4.) Frederick J. Easterly, The Life of the Rt. Rev. Joseph Rosati, C.M., First Bishop of St. Louis, 1789-1843 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1942), 62; Hughes is quoted in Gilbert J. Garraghan, "Fordham's Jesuit Beginnings," Thought 16 (March 1941): 21. For other expressions of the same sort, see Gilbert J. Garraghan, The Jesuits of the Middle United States, 3 vols. (New York: America, 1938), 3:113; Colman J. Barry, Worship and Work: Saint John's Abbey and University (Collegeville, Minn.: St. John's Abbey, 1956), 17-19; and James J. McGovern, The Life and Writings of the Right Reverend John McMullen, First Bishop of Davenport, Iowa (Chicago: Hoffmann, 1888), 142.

(5.) In 1856, a pioneering Benedictine monk in Minnesota reported: "Here everything is not in a hurry but at a storm pace. Whoever does not keep up with the storm appears unimportant, is ridiculed, and loses the golden opportunity which never returns." Quoted in Barry, Worship and Work, 37.

(6.) In appealing for funds from Europe in 1840, Bishop Hughes contrasted European Catholics' "rich inheritance" with the situation of American Catholics, for whom "the past has done nothing." Quoted in Philip Gleason, Keeping the Faith: American Catholicism Past and Present (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1987), 156. In the diocese of St. Louis, "the Civil War was roughly the watershed between rather unstable, semi-frontier conditions and the gradual emergence of a settled, familiar pattern of clerical life." James Hitchcock, "Secular Clergy in Nineteenth Century America: A Diocesan Profile," Records of the American Catholic Historical Society (hereafter RACHS) 88 (March-December 1977): 31-62, quotation 57. Leslie Woodcock Tentler, "'God's Representative in Our Midst': Toward a History of the Catholic Diocesan Clergy in the United States," Church History 67 (June 1998): 326-49, shows that the same was true of Michigan. Mary Christine Athans, "To Work for the Whole People": John Ireland's Seminary in St. Paul (New York: Paulist, 2002), chaps. 1-2, analyzes a frontier seminary's beginnings in the 1850s and 1860s.

(7.) The Catholic population grew from around 600,000 in 1840 to 3.1 million in 1860; the number of ecclesiastical jurisdictions (dioceses and archdioceses) increased from sixteen to forty-six in the same period, and the number of Catholic newspapers and magazines increased from seven to twenty-one. For details on Catholic growth and the mentality accompanying it, see Robert F. Hueston, The Catholic Press and Nativism, 1840-1860 (New York: Arno, 1976), 33-41, 48-51, 158-61.

(8.) Charles Morris, American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church (New York: Random House, 1997); John T. McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom: A History (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003). Morris uses the construction of St. Patrick's as the centerpiece of his opening chapter.

(9.) Christopher J. Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation in Catholic Culture: The Priests of Saint Sulpice in the United States from 1791 to the Present (New York: Macmillan, 1988), esp. 69-70. Older, but still useful for the earliest period, is Joseph W. Ruane, The Beginnings of the Society of St. Sulpice in the United States, 1791-1829 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1935).

(10.) Joseph M. White, The Diocesan Seminary in the United States: A History from the 1780s to the Present (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), 65-67. For a digest of White's treatment, see his article, "Perspectives on the Nineteenth-Century Diocesan Seminary in the United States," U. S. Catholic Historian 19 (winter 2001): 21-35. White's restriction of his work to "diocesan" seminaries means that he does not cover the education religious communities (Jesuits, Franciscans, and so on) provided for their own members.

(11.) Catholic Herald, March 21, 1850, quoted in George E. O'Donnell, St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, Penn.: Jeffries and Manz, 1943-53), 1:30-31. The Boston Pilot, January 6, 1849, also took favorable note of the increase. The absolute numbers were modest (from 141 seminarians in 1840 to 360 in 1850), but they represented a 150 percent increase in ten years.

(12.) The total number ordained at St. Mary's by 1860 was 198, of which 88 constitute 44.4 percent. See White, Diocesan Seminary, 39. Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 138-39, gives additional statistics of growth and reports that in the 1850s St. Mary's ordained priests for seventeen dioceses.

(13.) White, Diocesan Seminary, 63, 65, and chap. 3. After 1827, new dioceses were usually formed on the recommendation of meetings of the hierarchy. These were called provincial councils so long as the whole country was one archdiocese, plenary councils thereafter. The former were held in 1829, 1833, 1837, 1840, 1843, 1846, and 1849; those of 1852, 1866, and 1884 were plenary councils. All were held in Baltimore. See Peter Guilday, A History of the Councils of Baltimore (1791-1884) (New York: Macmillan, 1932).

(14.) White, Diocesan Seminary, chaps. 3-4. For the minor seminary, see also, Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 122-24, 126-27; for All Hallows, see Richard J. Purcell, "Missionaries from All Hallows (Dublin) to the United States, 1842-1865," RACHS 53 (December 1942): 204-49; for Louvain, John D. Sauter, The American College of Louvain (1857-1898) (Louvain: Publications Universitaires de Louvain, 1959); and for the Roman college, Robert F. McNamara, The American College in Rome, 1855-1955 (Rochester, N.Y.: Christopher, 1956). All Hallows prepared Irish candidates for the American church, and Louvain prepared seminarians from the continent (although a few Americans also received their training at Louvain); seminarians at the North American College, however, were sent there from the U.S. About three dozen Americans had earlier been sent to Rome for studies at the seminary operated by the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Propaganda Fide), the curial body responsible for overseeing ecclesiastical affairs in mission territories, which status applied to the United States until 1908.

(15.) Thomas R. Ryan, Orestes A. Brownson: A Definitive Biography (Huntington, Ind.: Our Sunday Visitor, 1976), chaps. 30-31, covers this development; Thomas T. McAvoy, "Orestes A. Brownson and Archbishop John Hughes in 1860," Review of Politics 24 (January 1962): 19-47, analyzes the doctrinal issues involved; McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom, 43-49, stresses the influence on Brownson of European Catholic liberals; Hueston, Catholic Church and Nativism, 239-56, covers Brownson's views on nativism and the controversy their publication set off.

(16.) The key statements by Brownson are the following: "Native Americanism," Brownson's Quarterly Review (hereafter BQR) 11 (July 1854): 328-54, and "The Know-Nothings," BQR 11 (October 1854): 447-87. In private correspondence Brownson expressed very negative views of the Irish; he also maintained that the Irish clergy in particular had actively resisted assimilation and done their best to foster the idea "that to americanize is to protestantize." See Hueston, Catholic Church and Nativism, 240 note; and (for the quoted passage), Henry F. Brownson, Orestes A. Brownson's Latter Life, (Detroit, Mich.: The Author, 1900), 7.

(17.) Quotation from "Public and Parochial Schools," BQR 16 (July 1859): 331. See also "Schools and Education," BQR 11 (July 1854): 354-76; F. G., "Public Instruction," BQR 14 (July 1857): 375-88; M[artin] J. S[palding], "Common Schools," BQR 15 (January 1858): 70-120, and citations in later notes. (Unless otherwise indicated, articles in BQR are by Brownson himself.)

(18.) "Catholic Schools and Education," BQR 19 (January 1862): 71-72. See also, James M. McDonnell, Orestes A. Brownson and Nineteenth-Century Catholic Education (New York: Garland, 1988), 199 ft., 246 ff.

(19.) "Conversations of Our Club," BQR 15 (October 1858): 457-66.

(20.) W[illiam] J. B[arry], "Ecclesiastical Seminaries," BQR 16 (October 1859): 456-72.

(21.) W[illiam] J. B[arry], "Dr. Arnold and Catholic Education," BQR 17 (July 1860): 302-29; W[illiam] J. B[arry], "Catholic Education in the United States," BQR 18 (January 1861): 32-64; William J. Barry to Orestes A. Brownson, 11 April 1861, University of Notre Dame Archives (hereafter UNDA), Brownson papers.

(22.) Quoted from the Buffalo Sentinel in the New York Metropolitan Record, November 3, 1860. Other negative reactions to the October 1860 number of BQR, including that of Archbishop John Hughes of New York, were reprinted in the Metropolitan Record, November 3, 10, 17, and December 22, 1860. In a private letter to a priest-friend in Rome, Hughes reported: "Dr. Brownson has written the last number of his Review in a spirit so un-catholic that I would not dare to say what he is aiming at." John Hughes to Bernard Smith, 31 October 1860, UNDA-MBAS 1.

(23.) J[eremiah] W. C[ummings], "Vocations to the Priesthood," BQR 17 (October 1860): 497-515, esp. 505-7. Purcell, "Missionaries from All Hallows," 222, says eighty-two priests from All Hallows were serving in the U.S. in 1861. Archbishop Hughes was distressed by Cummings's article, which he characterized as written "in a style and spirit of language that have shocked most of its readers." John Hughes to Bernard Smith, 31 October 1860, UNDA-MBAS 1.

(24.) J[eremiah] W. C[ummings], "Seminaries and Seminarians," BQR 18 (January 1861): 97-117. Cummings also defended his earlier article in a letter to the Cardinal Secretary of Propaganda Fide, 15 January 1861, UNDA, Propaganda Fide microfilm. This letter is calendared in Finbar Kenneally, ed., United States Documents in the Propaganda Fide Archives, 1st series, 7 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1966-77), 2:274, item 1762 (hereafter, Kenneally, Propaganda Fide Documents).

(25.) Quotation from Carroll's first pastoral letter in Peter Guilday, The National Pastorals of the American Hierarchy (1792-1919) (Washington, D.C.: National Catholic Welfare Council, 1923), 5. See also Philip Gleason, "The Main Sheet Anchor: John Carroll and Catholic Higher Education," Review of Politics 38 (October 1976): 576-613.

(26.) White, Diocesan Seminary, 38, 51-52, 55-56, 57, 63.

(27.) In the pastoral letter issued at the Fourth Provincial Council in 1840, the bishops stated: "America must gradually become independent of foreign churches for the perpetuation of her priesthood. At present the tide of immigration is too copious to prevent [sic, read: permit] our dispensing with the aid of an immigrant clergy,.., but gradually we must find our own resources within ourselves, and we should make timely preparation." Quoted in Daniel P. O'Neill, "The Development of an American Priesthood: Archbishop John Ireland and the Saint Paul Diocesan Clergy, 1884-1918," Journal of American Ethnic History 4 (spring 1985): 34. For St. Louis, see Hitchcock, "Secular Clergy," 38-39, 57.

(28.) England, quoted from "Theological Seminaries--No. III," Catholic Herald (Philadephia), September 19, 1833. This is one of a series of five articles on seminary education England wrote under the name "Providus"; for the identification of England as author, see White, Diocesan Seminary, 439, note 15.

(29.) For reliance on, and recruitment of, seminarians from Europe, see William S. Morris, The Seminary Movement in the United States: Projects, Foundations and Early Development, 1833-1866 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1932), 12, 34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 46, 50, 61, 63, 64, 71, 80. Returning in 1856 from a recruiting trip to Ireland, Bishop Bernard O'Reilly of Hartford, Conn., lost his life when the ship went down in a storm. See Patrick T. Conley, Rhode Island in Rhetoric and Reflection (East Providence, R.I.: Rhode Island Publication Society, 2002), 350.

(30.) Thomas O'Brien Hanley, ed., The John Carroll Papers, 3 vols. (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1976), 1:292, 431 (hereafter Carroll Papers).

(31.) See Tentler, "Catholic Diocesan Clergy," 334; and White, Diocesan Seminary, 124-25. Hitchcock, "Secular Clergy," 57, says that over half of the clerical recruits who came to St. Louis before the Civil War "eventually moved on to other vineyards."

(32.) Anne M. Butler, "Pioneer Sisters in a Catholic Melting Pot: Juggling Identity in the Pacific Northwest," American Catholic Studies 114 (spring 2003): 26, n. Butler's summary of the priest's reasons for leaving, though not inaccurate, gives a more frivolous impression than does the actual letter he wrote to his bishop announcing his departure. For the letter, see Anne M. Butler, Michael E. Engh, and Thomas W. Spalding, eds., The Frontiers and Catholic Identities (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1999), 87-89.

(33.) For a listing of such hardships, see Michael J. McNally, "Catholic Parish Life in the Ante-Bellum South: Columbus, Georgia, 1830-1860," American Catholic Studies 113 (spring-summer 2002): 8-9. Of isolation, one priest wrote that it was what the priest working alone feared most. When weary and discouraged, the priest had no one to whom he could turn for advice and consolation. "Faults of temperament, hardly noticed at first ... may slowly develop into abnormalities.... Thus the end of a missionary who began with zeal, enthusiasm and pure love of God and neighbor may be really deplorable." Butler, Engh, and Spalding, Frontiers, 91.

(34.) For the first suggestion, made in 1819, see Peter Guilday, The Life and Times of John England: First Bishop of Charleston, 1786-1842, 2 vols. (New York: America, 1927), 1:288-89. For two later mentions, see Maxmilien Rantzau, S.J., to Ambrose Marechal, 1 October 1821, AAB 20-A-8 (microfilm copy, UNDA); Marechal to Rantzau, 4 October 1821 (draft), UNDA, Baltimore collection; and Samuel A. Cooper to Propaganda Fide, 18 December 1824, AAB 27 A-Q-l+ (microfilm copy, UNDA).

(35.) For brief treatment of seminary education at the First and Second Provincial Councils of Baltimore, see Lloyd P. McDonald, The Seminary Movement in the United States: Projects, Foundations, and Early Developments, 1784-1833 (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1927), 60-63. Guilday, John England, views French-Irish tensions from England's perspective; by contrast, Thomas T. McAvoy, "The Formation of the Catholic Minority in the United States, 1820-1860," Review of Politics 10 (January 1948): 13-34, sees the French clergy as genuinely in the American tradition; Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 101-11, arrives independently at the same conclusion as McAvoy. Also relevant to this issue is Matthew Leo Panczyk, "James Whitfield, Fourth Archbishop of Baltimore, the Episcopal Years, 1828-1834," RACHS 76 (March 1965): 21-23, 26-33, 37-38, 42-43.

(36.) The quotation is from John Tracy Ellis, "The Formation of the American Priest: An Historical Perspective," in The Catholic Priest in the United States: Historical Investigations, ed. Ellis (Collegeville, Minn.: St. John's University Press, 1971), 5-6. John England's fourth and fifth "Providus" articles make the same argument, Catholic Herald (Philadelphia), October 3, 10, 1833.

(37.) McDonald, Seminary Movement, 61; John E. Sexton and Arthur J. Riley, History of St. John's Seminary, Brighton (Boston, Mass.: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, 1945), 43.

(38.) Henry A. Szarnicki, "The Episcopate of Michael O'Connor, first Bishop of Pittsburgh, 1843-1860" (Ph.D. diss., Catholic University of America, 1971), 139-40, records O'Connor's fear that centralized seminaries would encourage roving. Bishop John Dubois of New York said he had lost three young clerics by sending them away to study; see John Dubois to John B. Purcell, 31 January 1832, UNDA, Mt. St. Mary's papers. Garraghan, Jesuits, 1:632, 641, reports that the Missouri Province Jesuits resisted sending their seminarians away out of fear they would not come back.

(39.) John Dubois to John B. Purcell, 28 December 1831, UNDA, Mt. St. Mary's papers, touches on all these points.

(40.) Providus [England], "Theological Seminaries," Catholic Herald (Philadelphia), October 10, 1833. In 1846, Bishop Mathias Loras of Dubuque called the founding of weakly supported and inadequately staffed seminaries a "fatal flaw" that he had so far avoided. Loras to Propaganda, 8 January 1846, UNDA, Propaganda Fide microfilm (Kenneally, Propaganda Fide Documents, 2:13, item 83). For Loras's efforts in this area, including a short-lived freestanding seminary in the early 1850s, see Morris, Seminary Movement, 43-48.

(41.) Although England campaigned for a central seminary, one of his first acts as bishop was to establish a diocesan seminary that endured throughout his episcopate. Indeed, Guilday ventures the opinion that, although England never said so explicitly, his aim in creating the famous system of diocesan representation (which contemporaries viewed as too "republican," and modern commentators admire for the same reason) was to provide a vehicle to keep the needs of the seminary before the faithful and remind them of their duty to support it. See Guilday, John England, 1:488.

(42.) Quotation from James J. Kortendick, "The History of St. Mary's College, Baltimore, Maryland, 1799-1852" (M.A. thesis, Catholic University of America, 1942), 47. In 1829, seven of the nine Sulpicians in Baltimore were engaged in the operation of the college, while only one was teaching seminarians as such; see White, Diocesan Seminary, 37. St. Mary's College prospered till 1852, when the Sulpicians sold it to the Jesuits, whereupon it became Loyola College of Baltimore; see Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 136-37.

(43.) For brief treatments of the St. Marys/Mount St. Mary's relationship, see White, Diocesan Seminary, chap. 2, and Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 77-84.

(44.) Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 122-23. See also John J. Tierney, "St. Charles College: Foundation and Early Years," Maryland Historical Magazine 43 (December 1948): 294-311; and for a sentimental retrospect of its early days, M. P. Smith, "Old Times at St. Charles," Catholic World 67 (June 1898): 375-87.

(45.) Morris, Seminary Movement, gives many examples of domestic seminaries and states (63) that they were mainly used for European recruits.

(46.) For Milwaukee, see Peter Leo Johnson, Halcyon Days: Story of St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee, 1856-1956 (Milwaukee, Wisc.: Bruce, 1956), 46; for Little Rock, see Andrew Byrne to Antoine Blanc, 20 December 1847, as reprinted in American Catholic Historical Researches 15 (April 1898): 138.

(47.) Statement by F. J. Goetz, quoted from Catholic Telegraph (Cincinnati), April 10, 1884, in Francis J. Miller, "A History of the Athenaeum of Ohio, 1829-1960" (Ed. D. diss., University of Cincinnati, 1964), 96. Of the seminarians mentioned, Caspar Borgess later became Bishop of Detroit, and John Quinlan became rector of the seminary in Cincinnati and, after that, Bishop of Mobile. For another example of seminarians edified by their bishop's conduct, see Athans, "To Work for the Whole People," 14.

(48.) Morris, Seminary Movement, 85-86.

(49.) See P. R. Harris, "The English College, Douai, 1750-1794," Recusant History 10 (April 1969): 79-95; and Harris, ed. Douai College Documents, 1639-1794, Catholic Record Society Publications, record series, vol. 63 (n.p.: Catholic Publication Society, 1972).

(50.) Bishop Louis William DuBourg quoted in Roger Baudier, The Catholic Church in Louisiana (New Orleans, La.: Chancery Office, 1939), 294.

(51.) Georgetown, St. Mary's Seminary, and St. Mary's College were all founded earlier, but the demise of the last-named in 1852 makes Mount St. Mary's the third oldest today. White, Diocesan Seminary, chap. 1, covers its nineteenth-century history. For the continuation of secondary education until 1936, see Michael Glazier and Thomas J. Shelley, eds., The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical, 1997), 983-84. Though outdated and annalistic in approach, Mary M. Meline and Edward F. X. McSweeny, The Story of the Mountain: Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary, 2. vols. (Emmitsburg, Md.: Weekly Chronicle, 1911), is crammed with information.

(52.) See Dubois's pastoral letter printed in Catholic Telegraph (Cincinnati), March 14, 1834.

(53.) Dubois's appeal was published as "The Diocese of New York in 1830," Historical Records and Studies 5 (April 1909): 216-30, quotation, 229. In explaining why, as Bishop of New York, he was withdrawing his seminarians from Mount St. Mary's, Dubois told one of his successors as president of that institution: "my only resource to raise my clergy must arise from the revenue of a college." John Dubois to John B. Purcell, 28 December 1831, UNDA, Mount St. Mary's papers.

(54.) For the Vincentians (a religious community officially known as the Congregation of the Mission), see Easterly, Rosati, 140-46, and Robert F. Trisco, The Holy See and the Nascent Church of the Middle Western United States, 1826 1850 (Rome: Gregorian University Press, 1962), 290-96; for Kentucky, see John B. David to Simon G. Brute, 2-15 June 1827, UNDA, Nazareth transcripts, microfilm. See also, Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 124.

(55.) Quoted from S. J. Miller, "Peter Richard Kenrick, Bishop and Archbishop of St. Louis 1806-1896," RACHS 84 (March-September 1973): 31-32. John Dubois took a different view. He noted that Catholics would have to mix with Protestants in society and could accustom themselves to it most advantageously at a Catholic college; that mixing with Catholics helped remove Protestant prejudices; and that Catholics might later profit from having formed friendships in school with Protestants. See John Dubois to Benedict J. Fenwick, 17 April 1834, Archives of the Archdiocese of Boston.

(56.) John M. Daley, Georgetown University: Origin and Early Years (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1957), 198-99; Garraghan, Jesuits, 1:633.

(57.) Garraghan, Jesuits, 1:639-40, for quotation, ibid., 1:571 ft. for Coosemans' career in the Jesuits. The writings of J. P. Martin, S.J., who taught at the seminary of Vals in the Jesuit province of Lyon, were proscribed because they were tainted with "ontologism." Jean-Pierre Gury, S,J., was the author of a widely used manual of moral theology.

(58.) Joshua Young to John B. Purcell, 3 January 1835, UNDA, Cincinnati papers. Young, who later changed the spelling of his first name to "Josue," was ordained three years after writing this letter and was named second bishop of Erie, Pa., in 1853. For a similar account of studies at the seminary in St. Louis in the 1840s, see White, Diocesan Seminary, 131.

(59.) Peter McLaughlin to John B. Purcell, 18 January 1839, UNDA, Cincinnati papers. Joshua Young was at that time prefect of studies at the college-seminary in Cincinnati. Alphonsus Ligouri, an influential moral theologian, was canonized a saint the year McLaughlin wrote this letter; Peter Dens was an eighteenth-century Belgian theologian. "Blair's Lectures" presumably refers to Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, originally published in Edinburgh in 1783, the "Spectator" to Addison and Steele's famous publication.

(60.) Garraghan, Jesuits, 1:632 33.

(61.) Carroll Papers, 3:330, 24,3-44.

(62.) Quoted in Columba E. Halsey, "The Life of Samuel Eccleston, Fifth Archbishop of Baltimore, 1801 1851," RACHS 76 (June 1965): 83-84. The letter from which this passage is taken is also quoted at some length in Kauffman, Tradition and Transformation, 104.

(63.) Francis P. Kenrick to John B. Purcell, 24 August 1830, UNDA, Mr. St. Mary's papers (emphasis in original). I should perhaps note here that there were two Kenricks. Francis Patrick Kenrick was successively bishop of Philadelphia and archbishop of Baltimore; his younger brother, Peter Richard Kenrick, was the bishop, later archbishop, of St. Louis.

(64.) For "talents," see Francis P. Kenrick to John B. Purcell, 20 October 1831, UNDA, Mr. St. Mary's papers.

(65.) Quoted in John Tracy Ellis, Essays in Seminary Education (Notre Dame, Ind.: Fides, 1967), 156.

(66.) William J. Barry to John B. Purcell, 2 February 1861, UNDA, Cincinnati papers; Barry to Orestes A. Brownson, 11 April 1861, UNDA, Brownson papers; Richard L. Murphy, "The Harvest Is Great: the Irish Clergy's View of Nineteenth Century America" (Senior Essay, May 10, 1973; in UNDA), 65-68.

(67.) For Rappe, see Henry B. Leonard, "Ethnic Conflict and Episcopal Power: The Diocese of Cleveland, 1847-1870," CHR 62 (July 1978): 406; for McGlynn and Satolli-LeoXIII, see Robert Emmett Curran, Michael Augustine Corrigan and the Shaping of Conservative Catholicism in America, 1878-1902 (New York: Arno, 1978), 276-86, 466, and 464 n. (the last two pages cited are not in the correct order in the book). C. Walker Gollar, "The Double Doctrine of the Caldwell Sisters," CHR 81 (July 1995): 372-97 is the most detailed examination of the Spalding case. Gollar is clearly skeptical of the allegations made about Spalding; Morris, however (American Catholic, 88, 443), thinks them probably true.

(68.) Microfilm copies of the letters from America to All Hallows College are available at UNDA.

(69.) John Hughes to John B. Purcell, 21 February 1832, UNDA, Mt. St. Mary's papers. In Joseph Addison's Spectator, No. 106, July 2, 1711, Sir Roger de Coverley described the kind of chaplain he sought (and found) as "a Clergyman rather of plain Sense than much Learning, of a good Aspect, a clear Voice, a sociable Temper, and, if possible, a Man that understood a little of Back-Gammon." I have not tried to identify the "New England critic."

(70.) White, Diocesan Seminary, chap. 6, "Formation and Learning," provides excellent coverage of the spiritual and academic dimensions of seminary life into the 1880s. Ten years later, a critic was still bemoaning the disproportionate attention given to moral theology; see John Talbot Smith, Our Seminaries (New York: W. H. Young, 1896), 266.

(71.) See Hugh J. Nolan, The Most Reverend Francis Patrick Kenrick, Third Bishop of Philadelphia, 1830-1851 (Philadelphia, Penn.: American Catholic Historical Society, 1948), 237-44, and for the aspect of Kenrick's moral theology that has gotten the most attention, Joseph D. Brokhage, Francis Patrick Kenrick's Opinion on Slavery (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1955). F. P. Kenrick was named archbishop of Baltimore in 1851.

(72.) Brute's 1836 report to Rome (cited above, note 3) illustrates his nervous energy and wide ranging curiosity. The most recent biography is Charles Lemarie, Monseigneur Brute de Remur: Premier Eveque de Vincennes aux Etats-Unis, 1834-1839 (Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck, 1974).

(73.) Class notes of John McCaffrey, April 1, 1829, Archives of Mount St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Md. In a florid eulogy of the deceased Brute, McCaffrey, by then president of Mount St. Mary's, said of his old teacher: "As a professor of theology, he excelled chiefly in two things--a vast erudition, which left nothing unexplored, and singular power of generalising, which enabled him to grasp his whole subject and handle it with ease by bringing all its details under a few grand principles.... After adducing the evidence, which his extensive reading readily furnished, and elucidating it by his luminous explanations, and applying the logical tests with cautious judgment and impartial rigour, his excursive mind brought in a rich and almost gorgeous profusion of analogies and illustrations from every part of the wide domains of human knowledge." John McCaffrey, Discourse on the Right Reverend Simon G. Brute, Bishop of Vincennes, Pronounced in Mt. St. Mary's Church, August 19th, 1839, on the Occasion of a Solemn Service for the Repose of his Soul (Emmitsburg, Md.: n.p., 1839), 19.

(74.) The following sketch is based on Martin J. Kelly and James M. Kirwin, History of Mt. St. Mary's Seminary of the West, Cincinnati, Ohio (Cincinnati, Ohio: Keating, 1894); Miller, "Athenaeum of Ohio" (cited above, note 47); and M. Edmund Hussey, A History of the Seminaries of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1829 1979 (Norwood, Ohio: Mt. St. Mary's Seminary of the West, 1979). White, Diocesan Seminary, 55-56, 69-71, provides details not included here.

(75.) Fenwick was bishop from 1821 to 1832, Purcell from 1833 to 1880. For a case in which the untimely death of a bishop severely disrupted the development of clerical studies, see Philip Gleason, "Chicago and Milwaukee: Contrasting Experiences in Seminary Planting," in Studies in Catholic History in Honor of John Tracy Ellis, eds. Nelson Minnich, Robert Eno, and Robert F. Trisco (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1985), 149-74.

(76.) "Bishop Purcell's Journal, 1833-1836," CHR 5 (July-October 1919): 239-56. Anthony H. Deye, "Archbishop John Baptist Purcell of Cincinnati: Pre-Civil War Years" (Ph.D. diss., University of Notre Dame, 1959), is an excellent study.

(77.) See John Timon to John B. Purcell, 25 February 1844, UNDA, Cincinnati papers; Purcell to Timon, 9 March 1844, UNDA, Vincentian papers; Timon to Purcell, 18 March 1844, UNDA, Cincinnati papers; and the following letters, all in UNDA, Vincentian papers: James Francis Burlando to Timon, 4 March 1844; Burlando to Timon, 10 March 1844; Burlando to Timon, 13 April 1845; Burlando to Timon, 9 April 1845; Burlando to Timon, 17 April 1845.

(78.) This was the interlude recalled many years later by F. J. Goetz, as cited above, note 47.

(79.) For the number of students and books, see Purcell to Propaganda Fide, 11 February 1862, UNDA, Propaganda Fide microfilm (Kenneally, Propaganda Fide Documents, 2:302, item 1972). Hussey, Seminaries of Cincinnati, 22-24, speaks of the seminary's "golden age" in the early 1870s. Unfortunately, a general financial crisis in the archdiocese caused the seminary to be closed between 1879 and 1887.

(80.) See the reactions cited above, notes 22 and 23.

(81.) Henry B. Juncker to John B. Purcell, 16 January 1861, UNDA, Cincinnati papers.

(82.) Henry J. Browne, ed., "The Archdiocese of New York a Century Ago: A Memoir of Archbishop Hughes, 1838-1858," Historical Records and Studies 39-40 (1950): 163-64. White, who also quotes this document (Diocesan Seminary, 144), observes that Hughes "expressed a rather harsh realism in describing his clergy."

(83.) Peter R. Kenrick to John B. Purcell, 28 May 1855, UNDA, Cincinnati papers. The story of seminary education in St. Louis is difficult to unravel because of the off-again, on-again relationship between the diocese and the Vincentian community in the conduct of that activity. See White, Diocesan Seminary, 104-9, 73-75; and John Rothensteiner, History of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, 2 vols. (St. Louis, Mo.: The Author, 1928): 1:836-44; 2:577 ff.

(84.) See Hueston, Catholic Press and Nativism, esp. chaps. 5-8; and McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom, chaps. 1-3.

(85.) It is noteworthy that the earliest usage of the word "Americanization" cited by lexical scholars comes from BQR for April 1858; see William A. Craigie and James R. Hulbert, eds., A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles, 4 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1938-44), 1:44.

(86.) Barry was born of Irish parents in Cincinnati in 1834; he died in 1863, apparently of tuberculosis. He received his clerical education at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Md., and at Cincinnati's Mount St. Mary's of the West. After ordination in 1857, Barry spent a short time attending lectures at the Urban College of the Propaganda in Rome before returning to Cincinnati as a professor in the seminary in Cincinnati, of which he became rector in 1859. Kelly and Kirwin, Mr. St. Mary's of the West, 241-57.

(87.) The date of Cummings's birth is erroneously given as 1814 in the original Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) and the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967). The correct date, 1823, is given in Michael A. Corrigan, "Register of the Clergy Laboring in the Archdiocese of New York from Early Missionary Times to 1885," Historical Records and Studies 4 (October 1906): 99-100. Conclusive evidence for 1823 is a letter sent to Rome soliciting assistance in getting Cummings admitted to the Urban College of the Propaganda Fide. The writer states: "The boy is eleven years old and very talented." John J. McGerry to Paul Cullen, 10 March 1834, UNDA, microfilm letters to the Irish College in Rome.

(88.) Cummings to Propaganda Fide, 29 May 1849, UNDA, Propaganda Fide microfilm (Kenneally, Propaganda Fide Documents, 2:407, item 307), describes Cummings's activities on returning to New York. Interestingly, in view of later developments, Cummings states in this letter, "The Bishop [Hughes] is good and kind, and the Clergy of New York, almost all Irish, is comprised of Priests, if not all full (sic) of Theological Science, at least industrious and edifying workers in God's vineyard."

(89.) For Cummings's relations with Brownson and the "Club" of liberals in which he was active, see Joseph F. Gower and Richard M. Leliaert, eds., The Brownson-Hecker Correspondence (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979), 26, 185-90; and Henry F. Brownson, Orestes A. Brownson's Latter Life, 80-82.

(90.) Nelson J. Callahan, ed., The Diary of Richard L. Burtsell, Priest of New York: The Early Years, 1865-1868 (New York: Arno, 1978), 42. On another occasion, Burtsell reports visiting Cummings, "whom I never remember having met, without being insulted by him. He has no delicacy towards anyone." Diary, 27.

(91.) Herbert Butterfield, The Discontinuities between the Generations in History: Their Effect on the Transmission of Political Experience, The Rede Lecture, 1971 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [1971]), quotation, 8.

(92.) For an indication of the shifting challenges at midcentury, see Gleason, Keeping the Faith, 159 ff.

(93.) For the "rare case" quotation, see White, Diocesan Seminary, 147.
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