- FR. ROBERT J. FOX
This chapter explores the early days of the English colonies, when the rights of Catholics were not respected, to the end of the nineteenth century.
In 1683 James II appointed Thomas Dongan governor of New York and religious liberty was granted to all. The Jesuits built a Catholic chapel in New York City, and established a Latin school there in 1685. By 1700, laws against Catholics were again put into place. Catholics of New York had to travel to Philadelphia as late as the Revolutionary War to participate in Mass and receive the sacraments.
2. Was religious freedom permitted in Maryland?Yes. A Catholic colony was settled in Maryland by Cecil Calvert in 1634. A church and school were built as Catholic settlers arrived, accompanied by Jesuit priests. They permitted religious freedom to others and, as a result, Protestants obtained control of the colony. The English Church was then established and Catholics were denied their right to vote. The religious freedom of Catholics in Maryland was then restricted until after the Revolutionary War.
3. Were Catholics given freedom in Pennsylvania?Yes. Under William Penn, the Quakers in Pennsylvania permitted Catholics to practice their faith. In 1730 the Church was given greater security when a Jesuit, Fr. Joseph Greaton, settled in Philadelphia and had St. Joseph's Church built. When Catholic emigrants came from Germany, they too built churches. By the end of the French and Indian War there were only 7,000 Catholics in the English colonies. Most of them lived in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
4. Summarize the development of Catholicism in other parts of the New World.The Capuchins built a chapel in New Orleans in 1721, just three years after the city was founded. They opened a school for boys. The French king gave the Ursuline sisters permission to settle in New Orleans and they opened the first convent in the United States. They built a hospital, an orphanage, and a school for girls.
Fr. Pierre Gibault left the seminary at Quebec, Canada, and came to labor for the Church in Vincennes, Makinac, Detroit, and Peoria. The priest blessed the first church in St. Louis in 1770. He made it possible for George Rogers Clark to gain possession of the great Northwest for the United States, which included what is now Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Attempts to colonize Florida failed at first because of the hostility of the Indians. Early missionaries did not succeed, even though as early as 1528 Fr. Juan Juarez, a Spanish Franciscan, was appointed bishop of Florida. He disappeared mysteriously. In 1549 a group of missionaries landed near Tampa Bay and within a few days all were savagely killed by the Indians.
Philip II in 1565 sent Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a leading naval leader of the Spanish Empire, to establish a colony in Florida. Twelve Franciscans and four Jesuits went with him to convert the Indians. Sailing along the Florida coast on August 28, 1565, Admiral Menendez saw an ideal peninsula and ordered the boats to drop anchor. On September 8 he proclaimed the founding of St. Augustine because the peninsula was found on the saint's feast day. missionaries spread out from St. Augustine to convert the Indians, with many priests losing their lives as the new, advancing civilization was resisted by the Indians.
Missionaries were determined to bring Christianity to Florida and so the priests who lost their lives were always replaced, and gradually St. Augustine developed and the new colony grew. The countryside became peaceful as missions and monasteries were founded throughout Florida and most of the Indians north of the Gulf of Mexico and east of the Mississippi River converted to the Catholic Church.
The French Huguenots then appeared and raided Spanish Catholic Indian settlements. Missionaries and the faithful were put to death with extreme cruelty. The British, who had been colonizing in the north, also began to destroy Spanish gains.
Governor Moore of South Carolina in 1704 directed a raid of the Apalachee Mission, valuable for food supplies. Franciscan missionaries were put to death; 1,400 Indians were taken into slavery by the English governor and 800 Catholic Indians were killed.
Weakened, the Spanish signed the Treaty of Paris with England in 1763m ceding Florida to the British. The Catholic faith in Florida was then even more suppressed. At the end of the American Revolution, however, the United States government returned Florida to Spanish control. In 1821 Florida was purchased as part of the United States.
in 1598 Don Juan de Onate led an expedition to establish a colony in New Mexico. It consisted of 400 soldiers, 10 missionaries, 83 supply wagons and carts, and 7,000 head of stock. Onate went as far as Wichita, Kansas, and California. Onate's expeditions to New Mexico became an economic drain and the victory of New Spain assigned Pedro de Peralta to build a new capital and to colonize. This was done. He named a site, Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis, known today as Sante Fe (Holy Faith). Santa Fe was founded in 1609 and became the headquarters for future missions in New Mexico. By 1625 there were forty-three missions and 34, 000 Christian Indians.
A Jesuit priest, Fr. Eusebio Francisco Kino, labored in the Upper Pima country, which is now the Mexican state of Sonora and southern Arizona. Fr. Kino has been called "the most picturesque missionary pioneer of all North America â explorer, astronomer, cartographer, mission builder, ranchman, cattle king, and defender of the frontier." His maps were the most accurate of the time, winning fame in Europe.
Fr. Kino's mission of San Xavier del Bac, not far from what is Tucson, Arizona, is now a national monument, while still the parish church for the Pima Indians. It is the finest example of Spanish Renaissance architecture in the United States.
Fr. Kino traveled thousands of miles on horse, ever anxious to convert souls. Some of this trails became roads, and he kept journals of his extensive travels. His papers were preserved in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. While Fr. Kino won the faith of the Pima Indians for Jesus Christ, he was always sad that he did not succeed in converting the Apache Indians.
Fr. Kino died on March 15, 1711, in poverty, as he had lived. He is venerated as a great American pioneer.
The cause for canonization of Fr. Antonio Margil, who developed missions in Texas, has been introduced. One of the missions he founded near San Antonio (San Antonio de Bexar Mission) is still used as a parish church and has been declared a National Historic Site by both the state and nation. Margil is compared to Kino and Serra as among the greatest of Spanish missionaries.
The Spanish came to Texas first but met competition from the French, who came down the Mississippi River from Canada. La Salle built Fort Prudhomme in Tipton County and Fort St. Louis in Victoria County.
Besides San Antonio, the Spanish built the missions of San Saba, San Luis, and San Francisco de los Tejas (now a lost site). The Spanish built their missions not simply as churches for worshipers but to become self-sufficient communities with farms, cattle and ranches, and homes for Indians who worked at the mission â also homes for teachers, nurses, and guards. They built hospitals, schools, and guard posts as protection from Apache and Comanche Indians.
The Spanish crown withdrew support and in 1793 the mission of San Jos de Aguayo was suppressed by the Mexican government. The Franciscans had to leave when the new Mexican government took over the missions in 1824, and with the passing of years the mission was neglected. San Jos, which had earned the name Queen of the Missions, began to be restored to its former beauty in 1912 when the archdiocese of San Antonio began a restoration program. In 1941 arrangements began whereby it was named a National Historic Site.
Fr. Junipero Serra
(1713 - 1784)
The Franciscans were welcomed in the New World missions. They avoided politicizing. The viceroy of Peru wrote to King Philip II: "They are the ones who preach the doctrine with the greatest care and example, and the least avarice." This was especially true of Fr. Juniper Serra.
Fr. Junipero was known for his great oratory, and his keen philosophical mind gave him a reputation among scholars. Nonetheless, he requested an assignment as a missioner. He said: "I have wanted to carry the Gospel teachings to those who have never heard of God and the kingdom He has prepared for them."
His real missionary work did not begin until he was 56 years old, after he spent nine years among the Toltec Indians in Serra Gord and seven years as an itinerant preacher from San Fernando College in Mexico City.
Learning of California and the needs of its Indians moved him. He then received permission to begin mission work there. His motto was "Always forward, never back."
Fr. Serra walked whenever possible, in spite of poor health. He carried on a most heroic conquest of America for Christ from 1750 until his death in 1784, with no other weapon than a crucifix and the love of God. He converted the solitudes of California into an earthly paradise â where formerly fierce Indian tribes attempted to annihilate each other in cannibalistic battles.
Fr. Serra founded nine important missions in California. His successors founded twelve more. The cities of California grew around these missions. San Diego, Carmel, San Gabriel, Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Capistrano, San Francisco â became centers of colonization and development in California.
Fr. Junipero Serra was always on the move, back and forth between his missions, urging all to greater charity and zeal and encouraging new converts. Not satisfied with simple conversion to the Catholic faith, this great Franciscan priest and missionary taught the Indians a better life by teaching them how to sow and harvest. He led in the development of farmlands and wine presses and helped build, with his own hands, forges, mills, and slaughter houses.
Fr. Serra once walked 2,400 miles to Mexico City to get retribution from the viceroy when a commandant of the Spanish military practiced cruelty to the Indians. His death at Carmel Mission, on August 28, 1784, marked the end of Spanish extension in the United States in the pioneer missionary era.
5. Did religion continue strong in the hearts of people after the early pioneer days?To some extent it did, but once the hardships of the pioneer days were over and the descendants grew wealthy from trade and agriculture, the old religious spirit weakened among Protestants. The spirit of the Enlightenment overtook them and Rationalism dominated in too many cases, as many depended more on themselves than on God.
Thomas Paine, a leader of the revolutionary spirit, resembled in some respects the infidelity of Voltaire. Thoms Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was a deist who sympathized with the Freethinkers of France.
Catholics were blessed with heroic and saintly missionaries. Their faith continued to spread. There were three Catholics among those who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation: Thomas Fitzsimmons, Daniel Carroll, and Charles Carroll of Carrolton.
The Carroll family of Maryland played a great role in the foundation of our American nation. One of the great Carroll family became a priest, namely John, who was born in Maryland on January 8, 1735. On July 1, 1784, Fr. John Carroll was appointed superior of the Catholic clergy in America. In 1789 Monsignor Carroll was appointed bishop, and was consecrated bishop of the United States in 1790, with his see at Baltimore.
When Bishop Carroll returned from England (where he was consecrated), he took a survey of his vast church. The first national census showed that in 1790 there were approximately 30,000 Catholics in a population of 3, 200,000. There were fewer than thirty priests for the widely scattered Catholic population. More than half the Catholics, about 16,000, lived in Maryland; 7,000 lived in Pennsylvania; 3,000 around Detroit and Vincennes, and 2,500 in Illinois.
Read it all, a must read for every Catholic who is American......................http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/history/the-catholic-church-in-the-united-states-of-america.html