A forum of Catholic Thought

The Boston Catholic Observer launched 175 years agoThomas Lester

On Jan. 16, 1847, exactly 175 years ago next week, the first issue of the Boston Catholic Observer appeared in print, intended to serve as the official voice of the Diocese of Boston. The Pilot was initially ...

Challenges of ministering to the far-flung parishes of the Diocese of Boston Thomas Lester

A letter in the Bishop Benedict Fenwick papers, written by Father James Strain from Hartford, Connecticut, on Dec. 16, 1840, continues an ongoing discussion about how best to serve Catholics in the western ...

The Catholic Union of BostonThomas Lester

As this column has previously discussed, Pope Pius IX (Pontificate, 1846-1878) had a long and turbulent tenure. For the purposes of this article, it is worth reminding readers that he presided over Vatican ...

Conflict on the Passamaquoddy Reservation Thomas Lester

On April 28, 1840, Gov. John Francis Neptune wrote to Bishop Benedict Fenwick of Boston from Pleasant Point, Maine, a town on the Passamaquoddy Reservation. He requested the bishop's aid in a struggle ...

An early mission in ConnecticutThomas Lester

On April 7, 1840, Father John Brady wrote to Bishop Benedict J. Fenwick of Boston, requesting permission to abandon a mission in Chatham, Connecticut, and accede to the request of the congregation by ...

Father Patrick Byrne, one of Boston's first priests Thomas Lester

March 18, 2020, marks 200 years since the ordination of Father Patrick Byrne. Active during the formative years of the Diocese of Boston, Father Byrne was one of a few priests serving Catholics in an ...

Bishop Fitzpatrick's call to aid suffering in IrelandThomas Lester

On Jan. 25, 1847, the ship Hibernia arrived in the Port of Boston having completed its journey from Ireland. The news it carried not only confirmed stories that the people of Ireland were suffering, but ...

Archbishop Cheverus writes to a friend in Boston Thomas Lester

On Feb. 19, 1835, Archbishop Jean Cheverus of Bordeaux wrote to Bryant P. Tilden of Boston, revealing his thoughts on the burning of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, his present condition as Archbishop ...