Universality of the Catholic Church

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER XVIII (10) start of chapter

To the revolutionary fury of France, which directed its fiercest rage against the Church, that strongest bulwark of civil government, was America indebted for many eminent scholars and divines—ecclesiastics, pious, zealous, learned, who established seminaries, founded colleges, spread the faith with characteristic ardour, and filled with distinction several of the first sees in the United States. Nowhere is the Catholicity—the Universality of the Church—more strikingly exhibited than in America. Now it is the Spaniard, now it is the Frenchman, now the Englishman, now the Irishman, who preaches the faith or sacrifices his life in its dangerous mission; and, as years roll by, it is the Irish masses, and then, though not to so great an extent, the Germans, who build up her churches, and give strength to her congregations.

The number of Catholics having increased so rapidly, principally through, emigration, the Holy See deemed it advisable to elevate Baltimore into an archbishopric, and to appoint four suffragan Bishops—to Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Bardstown; and of these four Bishops, two—the Right Rev. Michael Egan and the Right Rev. Luke Concannon—were Irishmen. The new Bishops were consecrated at Baltimore by Archbishop Carroll in 1810, at which period the strength of the Church was represented by seventy priests, eighty churches, and one hundred and fifty thousand laity.

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