Progress in 1834

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER XIX (5) start of chapter

We now, with the aid of 'The Metropolitan Catholic Calendar and Laity's Directory for 1834,' pass over a period of twelve years. This little volume, not greater in size than that published at New York in 1822, was printed in Baltimore; and we are not surprised to read in it the following description of the position of the Church in this favoured diocese:—

'Baltimore has, not improperly, been styled the Rome of the United States; and, indeed, whether we consider the monuments of religion, rare and magnificent of their kind, or the splendour of the ceremonies of the Church, or the number, respectability, and piety of those who profess the Catholic faith, there is no one who could question the justice of her claim, or attempt to deprive her of the glory of her title.'

We find four new dioceses in the year 1834, namely, that of Cincinnati, established in 1823, St. Louis in 1827, Mobile in 1825, and Michigan in 1823. Of the old dioceses, we discover more apparent progress in that of Boston, in which twenty-six churches are well distributed through its different States. Thus, while there are nine in Massachusetts, there are three in Rhode Island, two in Connecticut, two in New Hampshire, two in Vermont, and six in Maine. This improved condition of things denotes that the Irish Catholics were even then making their way in the home of the New England Puritan. New York, with a wonderful future before it, has still but nineteen churches throughout its vast diocese; while Charleston, under the vigorous administration of Bishop England, has already twelve, but with only twelve priests for its three States.

The Religious Orders are making themselves known in several of the dioceses, where their value is already thoroughly appreciated. The Sisters of Charity have established twenty-five branches in seven dioceses, these taking the charge and management of academies, free schools, asylums, infirmaries, and hospitals.

The Irish in America, first published in 1868, provides an invaluable account of the extreme difficulties that 19th Century Irish immigrants faced in their new homeland and the progress which they had nonetheless made in the years since arriving on a foreign shore. A new edition, including additional notes and an index, has been published by Books Ulster/LibraryIreland:

Paperback: 700+ pages The Irish in America

ebook: The Irish in America