The Doomed Great lakes Vice Province

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					                              Redemptorist                                                 SEVENTEENTH ISSUE


                              North American                                                         ISSN 1480-5235

                                                                                                          JUNE 2002

                              Historical Bulletin
Alfred Rush, CSSR, had written a brief history of the "Little Vice-Province that Couldn't" for the History Bulletin's
predecessor The Province Story. It piqued a great deal of interest, because the idea of suppressing vice-provinces and
even provinces was unthinkable in those days. Dr. Paul Laverdure, examining the suppression of English Canada's
Maizuru Mission in Japan and the possible reunion of the Edmonton and Toronto provinces, took particular care to
examine documents that Al Rush had not seen and wrote a more complete history of the little-known first Toronto Vice-
province in Redemption and Renewal: The Redemptorists of English Canada (Dundurn 1996). The present
extract was prepared from Redemption and Renewal for the Redemptorist History Conference in West End, New
Jersey in 2001 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the "Little Vice-Province that Couldn ' t " . The editors are
pleased to offer it to our public at this time.




              The Doomed Great lakes Vice-Province
                                                  1898-1901
                                               Paul laverdure

          Americans and Belgians                                Between 1876 and 1894, the population of all
            in Canada by 1897                                   of Canada was under five million people. At
                                                                the end of the century, Canadian Catholics
                                                                constituted under two million people of whom
By the end of the nineteenth century, the                       roughly four-fifths were French Canadians.
Redemptorists had established four English                      Besides the growing rivalry between the Ame-
houses in Canada. The Baltimore Province of                     rican and the Belgian Redemptorists for the
the Eastern United States staffed three: St.                    few English-Canadian missions available, other
Patrick's in Quebec City, St. Patrick's in                      Congregations such as the Oblates of Mary
Toronto, and St. Peter's in Saint John, New                     Immaculate and the Jesuits also competed for
Brunswick. The Belgian Province staffed the                     the same parish missions. Redemptorists had
fourth English house, St. Ann's parish in                       obviously saturated the small English-Cana-
Montreal, as well as the famous pilgrimage site                 dian mission field. Until a new generation of
of St. Anne-de-Beaupr6 which attracted both                     English-Canadian Catholics in need of renew-
English and French-speaking pilgrims from                       al came forward, the Redemptorist parish mis-
Canada and the United States. From occasion-                    sion as practised in North America since 1832
al missionaries travelling through Canada since                 could do nothing but slow to a stop.
the first part of the nineteenth century, by the
end of the century the Redemptorists were                       Due to the decline of the Canadian missions
established in parishes, the better to travel                   and growing responsibilities in the United
even further in giving their missions.                          States, the American Redemptorists were
content to limit their work in Canada to their       Patrick's in Quebec City to shrink by half,
parishes. The Canadian houses differed from          from fifteen thousand to just over seventy-five
each other only in that St. Patrick's parish,        hundred by the end of the century. Schauer
Toronto and St. Patrick's parish, Quebec City,       was also prepared to turn over Toronto and
were known as English-language or, rather,           Saint John to the Belgian-Canadian Redemp-
Irish foundations, while St. Peter's parish in       torists whenever the Belgians were ready. By
New Brunswick was often staffed with Ger-            1894, therefore, all of the American founda-
man-American priests. The Irish Catholics in         tions in Canada were no longer mission houses
Saint John, New Brunswick were not threat-           but parishes. All were staffed by older, semi-
ened by an overwhelming French majority as           retired American Redemptorists. English-lan-
in Quebec or a Protestant one as in Toronto          guage missions were given from the Redemp-
and were therefore perhaps less insistent on         torist houses in the United States. When St.
having priests exactly like themselves. In           Ann's in Montreal was established by the
everything, architecture, decorations, and           Belgians, every major Canadian city then in
parish organization, the houses became indis-        existence—Saint John, Quebec City, Mont-
tinguishable from any American house. Up to          real, and Toronto—had a Redemptorist house.
the First World War, English-speaking Catho-         To overcome the administrative distances
lics, usually recent immigrants, identified          between Belgium and Canada and to encour-
more strongly with other parts of the British        age more Canadian vocations, Father General
Empire, or even with the United States, than         Mauron considered founding a separate Cana-
with Canada and the French-speaking Cana-            dian Redemptorist province as early as 1884 to
dians. There was little difference between an        administer all of the Redemptorist houses in
Irish immigrant to a Redemptorist parish in          Canada. With St. Anne-de-Beaupre sending
the United States and one that arrived in a           missionaries further and further afield in
Redemptorist parish in Canada. So, year after        search of missions throughout Quebec, New
year, American Redemptorist missionaries,             Brunswick, Maine, or wherever there were
fathers and brothers came and went, treating          French Canadians, and with St. Ann's parish
Canadians as if they were Americans.

Expecting the Belgians to expand and needing
his men in the United States, Father Provin-
cial Schauer gradually withdrew the American
missionaries from Canada. Some of the
Americans disliked the cold, sparsely populat-
ed wastes of Canada, the lack of missions, the
different flag, government, and customs, and
begged to return to the United States.
Schauer planned that, with the Belgians so
near to Quebec City in St.-Anne-de-Beau-
pre, the Americans could easily abandon
Quebec City. St. Patrick's in Quebec City had
never succeeded as a mission house in French
Canada. Moreover, the growth of the railways
and other Canadian ports, especially Mont-
real, and the decline of the shipping industry
around Quebec City caused the parish of St.

                                                 2
in Montreal giving missions in whatever               obedience to the needs and wishes of the bish-
English parish the American Redemptorists or          ops. The parishes might become perpetual
the other Congregations overlooked, the               missions, or centres where missionaries could
Belgian Redemptorists saw no need to expand.          rest or work when not on the missions, and
There were too few missions to warrant estab-         they were excellent sources of vocations. The
lishing a separate provincial administration in       Belgians, relying on the Rule, refused parishes
Canada. The novices would continue to go to           and insisted on the European model of mission
Belgium for their training.                           houses without the care of parishioners. Some
                                                      of the Belgians criticized the American mis-
Nor did the Belgians want to expand into the
                                                      sionaries as mere secular clergy, an insult
American foundations of Canada. Having left
                                                      among religious who saw themselves enjoying
home, country, and continent to go on the
                                                      a higher state of grace than secular parish
missions, few Belgians wanted to work in
                                                      priests. The Belgians backed up the insult by
parishes. Living mainly in French Canada, few
                                                      stating that Redemptorist missionaries were
Belgians actually learned English, so English-
                                                      not supposed to eat meat three times a day
language parish foundations were regularly
                                                      and were not supposed to smoke or drink, all
refused both for lack of qualified men as well
                                                      of which American Redemptorists were seen
as for lack of interest. The Redemptorist Rule,
the Belgians constantly reasoned, forbade             to do in Canada. The complaints were sent to
                                                      Rome and made their way back to North
parishes in order to keep good missionaries on
                                                      America, souring relations between the Bel-
the missions. So, in 1892, the Belgian Provin-
                                                      gians and the Americans. The Americans
cial Ernest Dubois misdiagnosed the decline in
                                                      were shocked at the Belgians for throwing
the American missions in Canada as the result
                                                      doubt on their loyalty to the Rule and to the
of the parishes using up good missionaries.
                                                      traditions of the Redemptorist mission, espe-
Since the Belgians had only two parishes in
                                                      cially since they had opened the Canadian
Canada, this could hardly be true for their
                                                      field to the Belgians. The rivalry caused
foundations in Canada. The causes for the
                                                      rumours to circulate freely about which pro-
decline in the Belgian missions were obviously
                                                      vince would win the Canadian field.
elsewhere, as in the smaller length of the mis-
sion, the fewer number of men preaching the
                                                      Since the monasteries in Belgium were full,
mission, or the practice of inviting secular
                                                      causing the Belgians to become the great
clergy as confessors. Nonetheless, Provincial
                                                      Redemptorist foreign missionaries of the nine-
Dubois repeated to Father Mauron that Bel-
                                                      teenth century, the Belgians were less than
gians were missionaries, not the parish priests
                                                      eager for Canadian vocations and screened
the American Redemptorists had become.
                                                      them strictly, perhaps harshly, on two counts:
The friendly rivalry between the American             education and nationalism. First, Belgians
                                                      declared Canadian education to be inferior by
and the Belgian missionaries on the shrinking
                                                      European standards. If one looked at the pri-
mission field came to symbolize more than the
                                                      vate Catholic schools of Belgium or the Bel-
missions themselves. At stake for the Ameri-
                                                      gian government-sponsored schools and com-
cans was the principle of parishes as an
                                                      pared them to the poverty-stricken parish
authentic Redemptorist apostolate. American
                                                      schools and classical colleges beginning to
and Canadian bishops demanded that reli-
                                                      make their appearance amongst French Cana-
gious take care of parishes where diocesan
                                                      dian Catholics, the Belgians had a point. As
clergy were scarce. The American Redemp-
torists believed parishes should therefore            for the English Canadians, the Belgians noted
                                                      that public schools in Ontario were sound in
become part of the Redemptorist apostolate in

                                                  3
mathematics, but sorely deficient in the human-        when the Canadians arrived in Belgium, there
ities, French and Latin. Second, Belgians              were other problems. It may be amusing today
noted that French Canadians were nationalis-           to consider how central heating could make or
tic, emotionally attached to their country and         break a priestly vocation, but in 1897 a Cana-
hardly tolerated any criticisms of it. The             dian was totally unprepared for the lack of
Belgians saw how French Canadians looked               central heating in the Belgian houses and ran
down on the Irish as recent arrivals who had           a severe health risk. The Belgians could not
more in common with English-speaking                   understand how Canadians, after surviving
Protestants than with the French Catholics.            the Canadian winter, could suffer in Belgium.
Many of the Irish simply repaid the hostility in       Of those who persevered and pronounced the
kind. As a missionary Congregation, with men           vows of religion, more than one suffered an
from several backgrounds, working together in          early death. The French-Canadian Alfred
different countries, the Redemptorists could           Pampalon died of tuberculosis at the age of
not afford nationalism. The Belgian superiors          twenty-nine. The English-Canadian Francis
forbade all discussions of nationality. While          Scanlan of Montreal joined the Belgians from
they recognized that English was necessary in          St. Ann's parish. Described as robust by the
Canada, the Belgians could not decide which            Belgians, he suffered constantly in Belgium.
group to promote within the Congregation.              He returned to Montreal in weakened health
The English were characterized as "expansive,          and died at the age of thirty-four in 1902. His
insincere, inconstant, and tending to alcohol."        example, of course, discouraged vocations
Those knowing neither French nor Latin                 from the parish. Young men sent back to
could be and were sent to the St. Louis Pro-           Canada as unprepared, unsuitable, or broken
vince. The French Canadians were "light,               in health prejudiced parents of several other
vain, argumentative, yet weak in humanities."          young men against the Redemptorists.
To solve these two problems, too little educa-         When the Belgians further complained about
tion and too much nationalism, the Belgians            the lack of good vocations, the French Cana-
insisted that all French-Canadian candidates,          dians countered that the Belgians in Canada
and those English Canadians who knew                   were not always perfect themselves. Besides
enough French or Latin, study in Belgium.              the fact that some Belgians were sent to
This solution would give the Canadians both
                                                       Canada because they had become undesirable
education and exposure to the larger Church            in Europe, others were insufferably arrogant in
outside of Canada.                                     their assumption of European superiority and
Between 1881 and 1896 the Belgians accept-             French-Canadian inferiority. The Belgians
ed forty-seven novices, most of them French            themselves were not spared the nineteenth
Canadians, which is unsurprising given that            century's legacy of nationalism. Flemish and
most Catholics in Canada were French. Un-              Walloon Redemptorists eventually split the
fortunately, few young vocations survived the          Belgian Province in 1961 into a North Brus-
challenge to give up language, family, and             sels Province for the Flemish and the South
country. The ones who persevered in their              Brussels Province for the Walloons. In Cana-
Redemptorist vocation were already old                 da, Flemish Belgians were more apt to learn
enough to withstand or welcome the shock of            English, notice the number of English-speak-
going overseas for training in the asceticism of       ing Catholics needing missions, and encour-
the novitiate and the moral theology of St.            age English-Canadian vocations. Walloon
Alphonsus. Many first-generation vocations             Belgians were more likely to see the majority
therefore came from the ranks of the diocesan          of French-speaking Roman Catholics in Cana-
priesthood or from the classical colleges. Even        da and choose to favour French-speaking
                                                   4
vocations. All of the Canadians pointed out           were usually on the verge of being dismissed
that the Belgians had been in Canada since            for their lack of French. Two other Montreal
1878 and nothing had been done to anchor              Catholics, George Daly and Edmund Flynn,
the Redemptorists permanently in Canada.              are often thought to be English-Canadian
No novitiate, no minor seminary, and certain-         Redemptorists, but they grew up speaking
ly no major seminary had been established to          French because their mothers were French
encourage vocations. After spending huge              Canadians. The Belgians did not consider
amounts of money in Beaupre and in St.                them English until Daly's and Flynn's know-
Ann's, Montreal, the Belgians were then con-          ledge of English made them valuable in the
tent to tax the Canadian houses of any surplus        parish of St. Ann's. When it came time to
revenues for Belgium's projects elsewhere. The        choose between an English or a French Pro-
Belgians declared that any money made on              vince, Flynn chose to work in French.
the Canadian missions would not stay in
Canada to pay for any educational institutions        Complaints from Canada flowed to Rome as
there but would go to Belgium to pay for the          English-Canadian candidates continued to
Canadian students studying in Europe.                 leave Canada for the American provinces and
Furthermore, the Belgians declared that no            as French-Canadian candidates for Belgium
expansion into the American foundations               were being turned away, discouraged or, worse,
would be allowed until the Belgian-Canadian           were being accepted only to ruin their health
houses were full. Yet Canadian vocations were         in the unheated houses of Belgium or to work
being sent to the Antilles, if they did not           on mission fields far from Canada.
remain in Belgium.
English Canadians hesitated to undergo Bel-
                                                       The Vice.province of Canada, 1893
gian training. It seemed easier to join other         To stop the rivalry between the Americans and
religious Congregations or the American pro-          the Belgians, to reverse the decline in the
vinces where fluent French, excellent Latin, a        Canadian missions and to increase Canadian
long sea voyage, and unheated houses were             vocations, Father Mauron decided to grant the
not prerequisites for entry. Records show that
                                                      mission field to the Belgians. In 1893 he set up
prior to 1898 at least fifty Canadian-born can-       the Belgian Vice-province of Canada, which
didates to the priesthood, most of them
                                                      included the two Belgian houses of Canada and
trained in American Redemptorist minor sem-           the Belgian Redemptorist houses in the West
inaries, and ten candidates to the brotherhood        Indies. He established the vice-provincial
presented themselves to the novitiates of the         headquarters in St. Ann's, Montreal, intending
American provinces. Many of these candi-
                                                      it to become the centre of a bilingual Redemp-
dates came from the American foundations of           torist Province for all of Canada and the West
Toronto, Quebec, and Saint John, but a dozen          Indies. As for the "American settlements in
Montreal English Catholics also went to the           Canada," Mauron wrote to the Baltimore
Baltimore and the St. Louis provinces rather          Provincial, " a decision will be made later
than to the Belgian province which held St.           whether and how and which one of them can
Ann's parish in Montreal.
                                                      be transferred to the Belgian province."
                                                      Mauron then named the most active critic of
Prior to 1898 only three English-speaking
                                                      the American parish and the most active pro-
Canadians, Francis Scanlan, John McPhail,
                                                      ponent of Belgian expansion into English
and Daniel Holland, were ordained in Bel-
                                                      Canada, jean Catulle, to head the Vice-
gium. Significantly, neither McPhail nor
                                                      province of Canada. Rome had spoken and it
Holland were from St. Ann's parish and both
                                                  5
seemed that the Redemptorists would live in             cial. Forgotten were the old agreements
English Canada according to the Belgian                 between Baltimore, Belgium, and Father
model of Redemptorist life and missions.                Mauron to turn over the American houses in
                                                        Canada to the Belgians.
Catulle insisted that Belgium immediately
take over the other English houses of Canada.           Baltimore now refused to give up St. Patrick's
The Redemptorists, he said, absolutely needed           parish in Quebec City. To justify this refusal,
English, English houses, and English vocations          the Americans pointed out that the Belgians
to succeed on the English-Canadian missions.            had few English-speaking fathers. There were
All of the Belgians who worked in Montreal at           not enough English Canadians amongst the
St. Ann's church believed that the future of            Belgians to replace even the few, semi-retired
the Redemptorists in Canada lay in becoming             Americans the parish foundations employed.
English. This English policy further alienated          When bilingual French Canadians who had
the French Canadians. As one stated:                    studied in England or had worked in the
                                                        Antilles were presented by the Belgians, the
        The Belgians do not want French                 Americans insisted that the parishioners
  Canadians who want to join, but they want             would revolt under French-Canadian priests.
  the Irish who do not want to join and who go          The Irish parishioners of St. Patrick 's wanted
  to the Baltimore Province. ... French                 only Irish priests, which only the Americans
  Canadians form four-fifths of the Catholics           could provide. The Belgians working in St.
  in the country and the three houses the               Ann's, Montreal thought otherwise. Irish
  Baltimore Province has in Canada could eas-
                                                        parishioners did accept other priests if the
  ily suffice for the English language Catholics.
                                                        priests were totally dedicated to the parish-
                                                        ioners and did not cause rivalries by splitting
In the face of this opposition, Catulle pro-
                                                        their attention between the French and the
posed to take over the house in Quebec City
                                                        English or try to assimilate the English parish-
to turn it into a foundation similar to St.
                                                        ioners into the French majority.
Ann's, Montreal where the community spoke
French inside the monastery but English
                                                        Why did the Americans keep a parish that
inside the church. If the English parish died, as
                                                        had never lived up to missionary expectations,
the Americans had often predicted, then the
                                                        that had been visibly declining in population
Belgian and Canadian Redemptorists could
                                                        for years, and which they had been willing to
easily switch to French in the church or turn it
                                                        let go a few years earlier? Simply, the Amer-
into a mission church with no parish responsi-
                                                        icans identified the parish as Redemptorist
bilities. In the best of all possible worlds, the
                                                        work. The Belgians did not. The Belgians in
Belgians would spread into English Canada
                                                        Canada were a constant reminder to the
with Flemish Belgians and Irish Canadians
                                                        Americans of how far they had moved from
while growing in Quebec with French Cana-
                                                        the Redemptorist Rule, which caused the
dians and Walloon Belgians. Catulle naturally
                                                        Americans to insist all the more strongly on
assumed that Baltimore would willingly with-
                                                        the value of their parishes. Besides, if the
draw from Toronto, Quebec City, and Saint
                                                        European authorities ever became convinced
John, New Brunswick as they had long said
                                                        that the Belgians had successfully introduced
they would. Unfortunately for Catulle, Father
                                                        the European model of Redemptorist life into
Mauron never followed through with a deci-
                                                        North America, then the American Redemp-
sion about the American houses. He died in
                                                        torists could be asked to withdraw from most
July of 1893 shortly after establishing the
                                                        of their parishes. The Americans, relying on
Vice-province. Schauer was no longer provin -
                                                    6
fifty years of success with the North American          lished, the Belgian Redemptorists could not
parish model, refused to withdraw from their            expect to expand. Parishes were few or in
Canadian parishes.                                      embryo in most of Canada and the itinerant
                                                        Redemptorist parish missionaries had already
The American evidence is clear; since 1832,             visited almost all of them and many of them
the German Americans had established on                 more than once. If the Redemptorists were to
average one parish foundation every two and             have a future in North America, the Amer-
a half years. The Belgians had founded only             icans had realized, the parish itself had to
two houses in twenty years. In 1897 the                 become a perpetual mission and an example to
American Baltimore Province had over three              surrounding areas. Baltimore Provincial Litz
hundred and twenty professed Redemptorists,             wrote: "I know that though we are in far away
not counting novices or students. Over half of          America — we can compare favorably with
the ordained men of the Baltimore Province              those who are nearer the cradle of the Con-
were American-born and even more of the                 gregation....when it comes to practising the
men had been young children when they                   spirit of St. Alphonsus — we do as well as the
arrived and had been entirely educated in the           preachers'. " Although Americans saw Cana-
United States, a sure sign of successful adap-          da as a place of exile, the parish foundations
tation. The new Vice-province of Canada                 were at stake and with them the experience of
contained a majority of Belgians and relied             the American Redemptorists since 1832. In
almost entirely on Belgians for its work in             summary, the Belgians had few English voca-
English Canada. In 1897, there were only                tions and could not move beyond French
twenty-six French-Canadian Redemptorists,               Canada even if they would. The Americans
ten of them had been diocesan priests before            came to believe that the Belgians would never
going to Belgium for their novitiate, while             accept or adapt to parishes and they feared
over thirty-five Belgians worked in Canada.             that the Belgian model of Redemptorist life
The Americans had been in Canada only four              would be imposed and eventually choke off
years more than the Belgians and had received           the Redemptorist Congregation in North
over sixty English-Canadian novices from the            America. Therefore, the American Redemp-
Redemptorist parishes in Canada by 1898.                torists held on to St. Patrick's parish in
The Belgians, however, refused to expand into           Quebec City.
the parishes and did not attract many English
vocations. American success in attracting               The Vice-province of Canada did make one
vocations must be traced partly to their parish         attempt to attract more vocations. To over-
foundations.                                            come youthful and parental fears about the
                                                        sea trip and the stay in Belgium, it established
Although the Belgians had attracted French-
                                                        the first Canadian Redemptorist minor semi-
Canadian vocations, which brought the
                                                        nary in 1896. In two years twenty-one French
Roman authorities to think that the future of
                                                        and thirteen English students graduated from
the Congregation in Canada lay with the                 the "petit-seminaire Saint-Alphonse," but a
Belgians, their French-Canadian vocations
                                                        mere five lasted the major seminary course in
generally came through the missions. French
                                                        Belgium, only one of them English-speaking.
parishes were already well established and the
                                                        The Belgians still refused to go beyond the
Belgian Redemptorists were able to work very
                                                        minor seminary to allow a novitiate in Cana-
much as they had in Europe as a missionary
                                                        da, because they did not trust the Canadians
auxiliary to the parish clergy. But, by restrict-
                                                        to form their candidates properly in the true
ing themselves to parish missions, when many
                                                        Redemptorist spirit which could be had, they
North American parishes were not yet estab -
                                                    7
believed, only in Europe. Besides, they said,          tined to become an English-speaking country.
the professed novices would have to go to              As the French Canadians assimilated and dis-
Belgium in any case for their theological train-       appeared, so the thinking went, the future of
ing, because Canada had no Redemptorist                the Congregation in Canada lay with the
major seminary. Since Canadians would have             English Catholics. From the Americans' view-
to work elsewhere than in Canada, because              point, Canada naturally belonged to a North
the Canadian parish mission field was so small,        America dominated by the United States.
why bother with a novitiate in Canada? Eng-
lish-Canadian vocations from the three Amer-           The American refusal to give up St. Patrick's
ican parishes and from St. Ann's, Montreal             parish in Quebec City brought the Vice-pro-
                                                       vince of Canada to consider accepting a
                                                       French parish in Quebec City, but the possible
                                                       problems of having two Redemptorist houses
                                                       close to each other, causing comparisons, con-
                                                       vinced the Belgians to look elsewhere. In 1895
                                                       they purchased the Carmelite nuns' mona-
                                                       stery, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, in
                                                       Hochelaga, in the east end of the island of
                                                       Montreal. Close to the Port of Montreal, com-
                                                       posed of the working class and the poor,
                                                       Sacred Heart was a French-Canadian equiva-
                                                       lent of St. Ann's parish in the west.

                                                       Hochelaga became the first North American
                                                       foundation duplicating the European model of
                                                       a Redemptorist mission house without an
                                                       attached parish. Several of the men at St.
                                                       Ann's, Montreal were transferred to Hoche-
                                                       laga. Although St. Anne-de-Beaupre had
                                                       been consciously built on Clement Hofbauer's
     Baltimore 's Provincial Ferdinand Litz            perpetual mission in St. Benno's Church,
                                                       Warsaw, Hochelaga became the only truly
continued to trickle to the American pro-              European-style Redemptorist monastery in
vinces. In 1898, a Canadian, Alphonse Lemieux,         North America. Embodying the ideals of
became Vice-provincial. He began a novitiate           Redemptorist community life as lived in
and increased vocations, but by then it was            Belgium and Naples, it also naturally became
too late; the Americans had decided to stay.           the Vice-provincial novitiate to form young
                                                       men in the proper spirit of the Congregation.
Along with the realization that Canada was a           The European-style monastery, however, like
contest between the American and European              most monasteries in the United States, soon
models of Redemptorist life, a growing sense of        embroiled itself in jurisdictional disputes with
continental 'manifest destiny' on the part of          the surrounding territorial parishes and, to
all Americans also accounts for the American           solve the problem, petitioned to become a ter-
Redemptorists' refusal to leave Canada. Ame-           ritorial English or French parish as early as
ricans, English Canadians, and even many of            1897. The European authorities refused,
the Belgians believed that Canada was des -            insisting on the European missionary house

                                                   8
                                                        accompanied the American Consultor General
                                                        Joseph Schwarz on the visit. Although he fell
                                                        ill during the visitation and resigned without
                                                        finishing, Bennett left notes condemning the
                                                        Baltimore Province for bad administration,
                                                        large debts and, above all, too many parishes
                                                        which had caused the debts and the strain on
                                                        the administration. Baltimore, he wrote, had
                                                        abandoned Redemptorist tradition and had
                                                        created a division between Redemptorists who
                                                        were missionaries and those who were parish
                                                        priests. The parishes, he suggested, could be
                                                        turned over to the dioceses and the houses
                                                        closed. Other houses could be taken from Bal-
                                                        timore to form another, separate Redemptorist
                                                        province.

                                                        When Bennett resigned, Raus named Father
                                                        Daniel Mullane of the St. Louis Province to
                                                        accompany Schwarz on the rest of the visita-
                                                        tion. Mullane had been mentioned as a candi-
     Fr. Alphonse Lemieux, vice-provincial              date for St. Louis provincial in 1894. By hav-
                                                        ing Schwarz work with Mullane, a final deci-
model. The monastery chapel's devotees later            sion about Mullane's fitness as a provincial
became the nucleus of a new French parish               could be made. Armed with Bennett ' s notes,
under secular priests, the parish of Tres-Saint-        the visitors rapidly, perhaps superficially, com-
Redempteur (Most Holy Redeemer) establish-              pleted the visitation. Together they discussed
ed in 1913, while the mission house was even-           the possibility of taking a section of the huge
tually demolished. This demonstrates yet                and densely-populated Baltimore Province for
again the importance of parishes in North               a semi-independent vice-province. Significant-
American life and the transiency of the mis-            ly, neither American raised the issue of closing
sion house. The parish of Tres-Saint-Redemp-            any parish houses, as Bennett had wanted.
teur still exists, with a former Redemptorist as
its parish priest.                                      Daniel Mullane, who had worked in the Great
                                                        Lakes region, suggested that the three Ameri-
  The Vice-province • Toronto,            :•:           can houses in Canada be joined to the Ame-
                                                        rican houses near the Great Lakes which all
The new Father General, Matthias Raus,                  had mixed populations of French-Canadian,
ordered an official visit of North America to           Irish, and German immigrants, to form a Great
examine the American parish foundations, to             Lakes Vice-province. St. Louis held Grand
end the continuing conflicts on the mission             Rapids and Detroit in the state of Michigan
field, and to find solutions to the Belgians' in-       while Baltimore held Rochester and Buffalo in
ability to attract English-Canadian vocations           New York State near Canada. The proposal
or to expand into English Canada. Father John           had merit. The Baltimore Province already
Bennett, a former Provincial of the English Pro-        covered eight dioceses in the United States,
vince who had been horn in Newfoundland,                St. Louis held ten, while Canada had twelve.
                                                        Geographically, Canada should have had a
                                                    9
                       The Great Lakes Vice-Province of Toronto, 1898-1901




         n The Great Lakes Vice-Province of Toronto           • Belgian Province:
             (Baltimore Province)                              French   language:
           Canada:                                                St Annoide-Beaupre
             St. Patrick's, Quebec City                           Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Hochelaga,
             St. Patrick's, Toronto                               Montreal
             St Peter's, Saint Jonn                            English language:
           United States:                                         St Ann's. Montreal
             Grand Rapids, Michigan                               St Augustine's, Brandon, Manitoba
             Detroit. Michigan                                    St. Gerard's, Yorkton. Saskatchewan
             Rochester, New York                                  and the Virgin Islands
             Buffalo, New York


separate province. The American houses were                Other less geographic and more Redemptorist
relatively close together and had been sending             considerations supported a Great Lakes Vice-
missionaries into Canada and attracting                    province. The Provincial of St. Louis, Ferreol
Canadian-born novices. The Great Lakes                     Girardey, agreed readily to the proposal. By
formed a geographic unit separate from the                 giving two houses to a Baltimore-controlled
other houses in the United States.                         vice-province, St. Louis could take its own
                                                      10
men to fill other western houses, such as Seattle,        with the continual subdivisions of the Euro-
Washington, which Baltimore had founded in                pean provinces and was about to get worse.
St. Louis' territory. Both Detroit and Grand              Schwarz had just finished visiting England and
Rapids were in debt, while Grand Rapids, with             had recommended that the conflicts between
six men, no church, and close to Detroit, was             the English and the Irish be solved by dividing
the smallest house in the St. Louis Province              them into separate provinces. Ireland, if it
and had been threatened repeatedly with sup-              were established as a separate province with
pression. Girardey assured Father General that            only two houses, would have as many repre-
the debts on Detroit and Grand Rapids were                sentatives at the next chapter as Baltimore
small and that both foundations were finan-               with twenty-four houses. Dividing Baltimore
cially healthy and would help establish the               would give the Americans greater representa-
new vice-province. When Daniel Mullane                    tion in Rome to counter European criticisms
learned that the small debt in Detroit was off-           of the parish foundations in North America.
set by great revenues and that Detroit was the            Father Raus received letters from other Redemp-
most fruitful in vocations of the entire                  torists, notably Cyril Dodsworth working in
Province, he begged Schwarz to leave Detroit              Toronto, urging a division in the Baltimore
in the St. Louis Province. Grand Rapids, how-             Province, because the Province was becoming
ever, was further in St. Louis' territory than            too large for any one man to administer.
Detroit and it was illogical to give Grand
Rapids to the Vice-province without giving                In summary, the geographic, administrative,
Detroit which was on the international border             and political reasons for the establishment of
between the United States and Canada.                     the Great Lakes Vice-province overruled any
                                                          objections. St. Louis Provincial Ferreol
                                                          Girardey agreed that the plan was good for St.
                                                          Louis and the Congregation in North America.
                                                          Daniel Mullane, as Procurator of the St. Louis
                                                          Province, originally wanted to lighten its debt
                                                          load by getting rid of Detroit and Grand Rapids,
                                                          although he quickly regretted his recommenda-
                                                          tion. The Baltimore Provincial and the Ameri-
                                                          can Consultor General wanted to protect the
                                                          American Redemptorist parish system and
                                                          counter any Belgian criticisms or expansion. If
                                                          the Vice-province of Canada thought of
                                                          expanding its European system into western
                                                          Canada, it would find the new American Great
                                                          Lakes Vice-province blocking its path. The
                                                          missions were hard and the Canadian parishes
                                                          were small, but Americans who had outlived
                                                          their usefulness or their welcome in the United
                                                          States, could still save Canadian souls.
             Father Daniel Mullane
                                                          After the visitation, Schwarz secretly proposed
International political reasons also came into            a vice-province for all of the Canadian houses,
play. Joseph Schwarz noted that the large                 both American and Belgian. The Canadian
American provinces were under-represented                 Vice-provincial Jean Catulle made the same
in the Congregation. This had come about                  suggestion, but while Catulle suggested a
                                                     11
                         St. Alphonsus Holy Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Belgian-controlled Vice-province, Schwarz               join the Belgian Vice-province of Canada, the
asked that all of the houses be given to Balti-         French Canadians and the Belgians in Canada
more. He gave several reasons. English houses,          did not want to join the Baltimore Province.
such as St. Patrick's house in Quebec City,             So, on April 1, 1898 Father Raus accepted
were necessary for the growing number of                Mullane's original Great Lakes plan in its
Baltimore's English-speaking Americans who              entirety. He created a Great Lakes Vice-pro-
were less useful in the German foundations.             vince consisting of American houses on both
Since the Belgians did not have enough English-         sides of the border and from the St. Louis and
Canadian priests to take over the parish founda-        the Baltimore Provinces. Toronto, Quebec
tions, Schwarz objected to houses with Ameri-           City, and Saint John in Canada were lumped
can subjects and Belgian or French-Canadian             with St. Joseph in Rochester, Immaculate Con-
superiors who held different ideas about living         ception in Buffalo, Holy Redeemer in Detroit
the Redemptorist Rule. To the Provincial of             and St. Alphonsus in Grand Rapids.
Baltimore, Schwarz also admitted that he did not        John Loewekamp, who had been suggested as
want to have the Belgians expand into what was          the next Baltimore Provincial, became Vice-
formerly American and his jurisdiction.                 provincial. The Baltimore Province proceeded
Schwarz's hopes for a Baltimore Vice-province           to make a success of the Vice-province by staffing
of Canada including the French houses were              the English-Canadian houses with younger,
dashed. While the Americans did not want to             more active missionaries and administrators.

                                                   12
 Holy Redeemer Parish, Detroit, Michigan, 1885. Left to right: Hall, school, convent, and church rectory.

With headquarters in St. Patrick's, Toronto,            Congregation around the world, reorganized the
the new Great Lakes Vice-province was to be             Congregation for the twentieth century.
called the Toronto Vice-province. Mullane
was named Provincial of St. Louis; a new
Provincial with little prior administrative
experience, William Luecking, was named to
Baltimore. The French-Canadian Alphonse                 While Schwarz confidently predicted that the
Lemieux was named Vice-provincial of Canada             Vice-province would be for the best and even
and began the novitiate in Hochelaga. These             St. Louis, which had lost Detroit, would get
exciting changes, along with many others in the         used to it, the new Provincial of Baltimore,
                                                        Luecking, privately predicted that the new
                                                        Vice-province would not last long. Both Litz,
                                                        the former Provincial, and Luecking, the new
                                                        Provincial, confided that everything was a
                                                        mess. Although there had been unanimity
                                                        before its creation, it was fleeting. The new
                                                        Toronto Vice-province appeared on a stage
                                                        vastly different and in a context definitely
                                                        opposed to the one that created it.
                                                        The first factor was the new St. Louis Provin-
                                                        cial, Daniel Mullane. He regularly visited
                                                        Detroit as if it were still part of the St. Louis
                                                        Province, spreading news, rumours, and
                                                        doubts about the permanency of the changes.
                                                        He incited several St. Louis members to write
                                                        directly to Schwarz to protest the changes.
                                                        Although Schwarz wrote Mullane personally
                                                        in August of 1898 that no change would be
               Joseph Schwarz

                                                   13
made, Mullane refused to negotiate with                  among the bishops, priests, and people and
Baltimore about the transfer of the property             would be an embarrassment to those, expecially
and convinced the Baltimore Provincial that              Schwarz, who had planned the Vice-province.
no peace could be had until Detroit was
returned. Finally, Father Raus decided to
reopen the question and in December asked
whether and when the houses of Detroit and
Grand Rapids should be returned to St. Louis.
Schwarz wrote an accompanying letter asking
that if the answer was in the affirmative then
the transfer would be held at the end of the
triennial appointments to avoid the appear-
ance of a mistake or haste. Immediately on
receiving Father General 's letter, the St. Louis
Provincial convened his consultors and ordered
them to write their answers that very day, nat-
urally in the affirmative. One of them did not
bother to state his reasons, saying only that
Provincial Mullane had surely written all of the
reasons out in full. Mullane had developed a
mania for writing letters, sometimes several to
Schwarz in a single day. Mullane's other con-
sultor, Terence Clarke, wrote that Detroit was
one of the best houses, as far as money and
vocations to the Redemptorists, and its loss                          Father Terence Clark
was a serious blow to the health of the St.
Louis Province. Not content with asking for              There is no evidence that the Vice-provincial
the return of the houses at the end of the tri-          of Canada was asked his opinion. Neverthe-
ennium, he further argued that the houses be             less, the French Canadians were unhappy with
transferred immediately.                                 the development of the Toronto Vice-province
More calmly, Vice-provincial John Loewe-                 and declared that no Canadians should be
kamp argued that since the Vice-province was             allowed to join the Vice-province of Toronto
created in order to reduce the burden on the             for fear that the Vice-province of Canada
Baltimore Provincial, the western houses of              would be bled of bilingual or English-speaking
Grand Rapids and Detroit should be given                 Redemptorists, the only hope for a geographi-
back to the St. Louis province. Loewekamp ' s            cally-united Canadian Province. At the prod-
consultors, Peter Ward and E-X. Miller, gave             ding of the French Canadians, the Belgian
fuller explanations. The Detroit and Grand               Provincial asked Father General whether the
Rapids houses were truly western houses closer           American Redemptorists would take the
to the St. Louis Province than to the Baltimore          Danish West Indies off the Canadian Vice-
Province. Furthermore, American bishops did              province's hands, since the American govern-
not want Canadian control of American houses             ment was trying to buy the islands. If so, the
and Canadian bishops did' not like American              Canadians would gladly accept Saint John in
control of Canadian houses. So it was best to            New Brunswick and move to form a bilingual
transfer the houses back, but not immediately,           Canadian Province.
because it would leave an impression of haste
                                                    14
The French Canadians were ready to expand              bilingual Canadian Province and decreed that
into the rest of Canada. The Belgians agreed           all of the Redemptorists in Brandon had to
that the Canadians had to move into the                speak and even pray in English. Within a short
Canadian Northwest in order to expand their            time, the Redemptorists organized the parish
missions and avoid being hemmed in or                  and Willem Godts embarked on an ambitious
absorbed by the parish-based American Vice-            building programme, financed mainly by his
province of Toronto. Now that the American             family. Ironically, Lemieux had adopted the
houses were part of the Toronto Vice-province          American model of parish houses and had
and out of the Canadian Vice-province's                dropped the Belgian insistence on mission
reach, other means were needed to attract              houses without parishes.
English and bilingual vocations. Blithely
                                                       With the rumours set in motion by Daniel
unaware of the political jousting between the
                                                       Mullane, with the expansion of the Canadian
Americans and Belgians, believing that the
                                                       Vice-province to the east and to the west of
Toronto Vice-province was merely a tempo-
                                                       the Toronto Vice-province, and with the com-
rary organization to wean the American hous-
                                                       ings and goings of the Vice-provincial and his
es in Canada away from Baltimore prior to
                                                       consultors, the Toronto chronicler could
their joining the Belgian Vice-province of
                                                       merely state that " Curiosity is on tip-toe. "
Canada, and still believing that the future of
                                                       With the uncertainty of the Vice-province's
the Congregation lay with the European-style
                                                       continuing existence, the Baltimore and
mission houses favoured by the Belgians, Raus
                                                       Toronto major superiors stopped all building
opened the western Canadian field to the
                                                       projects. Underlying the restraint was the sus-
Vice-province of Canada. The Vice-province
                                                       picion that Baltimore money might go to
of Canada established a house on August 15,
                                                       buildings which would soon belong to St.
 1898 in the mainly English parish of St.
                                                       Louis or to the Canadian Vice-province. The
Augustine of Canterbury, Brandon, Manitoba.
                                                       best the Americans in Canada could do was
Alphonse Lemieux launched the drive to a




                            Community of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1900
                      Left to right: Rev. Frs. Barrett, Cronin, White, and Urben.

                                                  15
organize the parish societies, such as the St.          Toronto Vice-province while Saint John, it
Peter's Young Men's Association, which                  was thought, might become a centre for the
launched sports and theatre among the Catholic          French Acadian missions in the Maritimes.
population of Saint John, New Brunswick.                This overlooked the fact that Saint John was
                                                        in the most English section of New Brunswick,
By the beginning of 1899, a mere seven                  while the Acadians lived further to the north.
months after the creation of the Toronto Vice-
                                                        Vice-provincial Loewekamp also argued strong-
province, Schwarz bowed to the pressures suc-           ly that Toronto, "the most Americanized city
cessfully stage-managed by Daniel Mullane.              in Canada," and maybe Quebec be left to the
Schwarz informed Vice-provincial John                   Baltimore Province. Both were so close to the
Loewekamp that at the next triennial appoint-
                                                        United States as to be considered in the States.
ments in 1901, Grand Rapids and Detroit
                                                        Bowing to pressures within the American
would be given back to the St. Louis Province.
                                                        Redemptorist community, Provincial Luecking
Daniel Mullane immediately visited Detroit              changed his mind and decided to hold on to
and Grand Rapids dropping broader hints                 Saint John, New Brunswick even if another
about the imminent transfer and effectively             house were offered, say, in the West Indies.
stopped any other activities by the Baltimore           The Americans thought Canada much more
men. Mullane meanwhile began plans to                   like the United States than the West Indies
expand the St. Louis Province further west and
                                                        could ever be.
establish a Rocky Mountain Vice-province.
                                                        American correspondence from 1898 to 1900
Whether the American houses in Canada                   also showed a growing distrust of the French
would be given to the Vice-province of Cana-            Canadians. Every time the French Canadians
da, however, was another matter. Although
                                                        asked the Americans to take over the West
the Quebec parishioners might revolt,                   Indies, every time the French Canadians asked
Schwarz thought it a more important consid-
                                                        for permission to give a French mission in the
eration that the Baltimore Province would not
                                                        United States, Luecking and Mullane fought
have enough purely English-language houses
                                                        against any help for the French Canadians,
for its own men, more and more of whom
                                                        and against the possibility that Canada would
spoke only English. Second generation Irish,
                                                        be lost to the Americans. Were the American
and German Americans who barely knew any
                                                        Redernptorists being swept away in the conti-
German, had begun to overwhelm the Ger-
                                                        nental current of American Manifest Destiny?
man nature of the American Redemptorists.
                                                        The Spanish-American War had just ended in
Provincial Luecking of Baltimore had once
                                                        Spain's utter defeat and gave Puerto Rico,
suggested that the transfer of his Canadian
                                                        Guam, the Philippines and some control over
houses to the Vice-province of Canada night             Cuba to the United States, effectively estab-
be a logical solution to Baltimore's administra-
                                                        lishing it as a new world empire.
tion problems, but he learned that what was
logical was emotionally impossible. His con-            Just after the Spanish American War, by the
sultors refused to give up the houses. Loewe-           beginning of 1899, the Belgians had volun-
kamp, his own Vice-provincial, reminded                 teered for the Congo missions and many Bel-
Schwarz that he was in Rome to protect                  gians who would have gone to help in the
American, not Canadian interests. At best,              expansion of the Vice-province of Canada and
one consultor was willing to trade Saint John,          some already in Canada working among the
New Brunswick, an almost German house, for              the immigrants on the prairies were sent to the
the Belgian English language house of St.               Congo. The Vice-province of Canada could
Ann's, Montreal. St. Ann's was closer to the            no longer take over the English-Canadian

                                                   16
Redemptorist parishes of Toronto, Saint John,           Vice-province by refusing the Vice-provincial
and Quebec City with Flemish Belgians. Once             sufficient funds or permissions to build for fear
the Belgians moved their missionary fervour             that money given to it would only go to St.
from North America into the Congo, compe-               Louis or to the French Canadians in the end.
tition for the Canadian west disappeared.               In spite of criticisms of the large Baltimore
The triennial appointments came in May of               Province, and the need for more American
                                                        representation in Rome, the new Baltimore
1901. Not only were the Detroit and Grand
                                                        Provincial and his consultors believed them-
Rapids houses returned to St. Louis, but the
                                                        selves capable of handling the entire Province
Great Lakes Vice-province of Toronto itself
                                                        and resented any division of authority. Roman
disappeared and the original status quo
returned. When Elias Schauer heard that the             approval for the Brandon house removed one
                                                        of the main reasons for a separate Vice-pro-
Vice-province was suppressed, he and many
others gave thanks to God. It had been three            vince, to keep the Belgian Vice-province of
years of bewildering rumours, tensions, secret          Canada from moving into western Canada.
negotiations, and half-understood competi-              Then the Belgian withdrawal from Canada for
tion paralyzing all inter-provincial cooperation        the Congo removed the Americans' fears
on the missions and in the parishes of Canada.          about European influence in North America.
                                                        The Vice-province of Toronto had been a log-
                                                        ical solution planned at length by American
                                                        provincials and consultors for several adminis-
                                                        trative, geographical, and political problems.
                                                        American priorities created and then immedi-
The 1898 Vice-province of Toronto was                   ately destroyed the Vice-province of Toronto.
formed primarily to alleviate the heavy admin-
                                                        The status quo was restored. Typically, the
istrative burden on the Baltimore Provincial.
                                                        Americans in Canada returned to their parish
Secondly, it was meant to keep Canada under
                                                        work while the Canadians in the Belgian
the control of the Americans. Thirdly, it was
                                                        Province prepared for the missions. For exam-
meant to keep the Vice-province of Canada
                                                        ple, the Americans approved a new club house
from expanding into English Canada and into
the New England and Mid-west Franco-                    for the young men on St. Peter's property in
                                                        Saint John, bought a new Casavant organ, and
American mission field. Lastly, and more
importantly, it was an attempt by the Ameri-            built a new church for St. Patrick's, Toronto;
can Redemptorists to show the Europeans in              the Belgians, however, sent the English
general and the Belgians in particular the              Canadians Scanlan, McPhail, and Holland to
                                                        second novitiate in St. Ann's, Montreal to
strength and the success of the North Ameri-
can Redemptorist experience in parishes and             study mission techniques. The Americans
with vocations.                                         launched missions in Puerto Rico and encour-
                                                        aged everyone, even the English Canadians, to
The Vice-province of Toronto was doomed                 study Spanish for the American Redempto-
because the St. Louis Province, under Pro-              rists' "first" foreign mission. Canada, of course,
vincial Mullane, refused to allow its two hous-         was never considered foreign territory. The
es to become part of the Baltimore Province             Belgians turned their attention more and
and acted as if the houses still belonged to the        more to the Congo. Meanwhile, Consultor
St. Louis Province. The Vice-province of                General Schwarz continued, weakly, to argue
Toronto might have survived the removal of              that an English-Canadian Vice-province
Detroit and Grand Rapids, but the Baltimore             would help the neglected souls of English
Province helped to dismantle the rest of the            Canada.***
                                                   17
In the Redemptorist student paper, Our Opinion, Father John Zeller stated "Say, Frater, there is a Redemptorist
you  ought to write up — a dandy fellow, a model priest, polished, refined, accomplished, popular, charitable.
Oh, don't miss him. He lived only ten years as a priest but don't pass up his character and his life and the sto-
ries about him. He was a 'peach.' Just imagine all the wit and light-heartedness, all the color and personality
that comes to so many Irishmen; then all the spirituality and love of discipline and order — all the refinement
and ecclesiastical training coming from the best of the French, the Sulpicians of Montreal; add to these the
qualities of progressiveness and enthusiasm of an American and you have the background for Father
McDonald."

                                                                The late Father John Flynn, CSSR, archivist
                                                                of the St. Louis Province, took up the challenge
                                                                to write a life. This biography and hundreds
                                                                others by the same prolific author as well as
                                                                the notes and anecdotes on which they are
                                                                based have been preserved in the Denver
                                                                Office of Provincial Records.

Father Dougal McDonald was born at Harrison's               Joseph's College). This he did in 1892; he fin-
Corner, near Cornwall (a town situated on the               ished his studies there in two years.
north bank of the St. Lawrence River), Canada,
on 5 May 1871. His parents were of Scots-Irish              After the juvenate he went on to the novitiate
descent; they were of moderate means. From his              directed by Augustine Ahlert at Kirkwood,
earliest childhood he had the desire to become              also. He was vested on August 22, 1894; one
a priest but since his father was not financial-            year later he was perpetually professed. His
ly able to pay for his keep in the seminary, he             studendate days were spent at Kansas City.
was obliged to stay at home and be satisfied                His was the last class to be ordained in Kansas
with a country school education. When he                    City because the studendate was transferred
was 16 years old his married sister, who lived              to De Soto in 1900. He was ordained by
in Montreal, invited him to come and live                   Bishop John Glennon on July 25, 1900. He
with her. While in Montreal he satisfied his                was then ready for the active priestly life.
long-standing desire to attend the seminary—                His first appointment was to Grand Rapids.
he went to the Sulpician Seminary in Mont-                  He was a member of the community from this
real; here he studied Latin, French and Greek               Province that took over Grand Rapids once
for four years and did rather well.                         again from the Baltimore Province of Redemp-
                                                            torists; this was on May 13, 1901. He didn' t
It was about this time that he became acquaint-             remain there for very long for he was sent to
ed with the Redemptorists and he soon decided               St. Louis on December 30, 1901 for the sec-
that he wished to become a member of their                  ond novitiate directed by William Bond. The
Congregation. He was advised to go to Belgium               novitiate began on January 1, 1902 and lasted
to continue his studies and he was on the point             until June 7, 1902.
of leaving for Belgium when he heard that the
Belgium Provincial decided that no more stu-                Finishing these six months of missionary
                                                            preparation, he was appointed as a missionary-
dents would be accepted from Canada until
                                                            parish priest to the Grand Rapids Community
they had finished their classical course of stud-
                                                            on June 11, 1902. " Father Mac," as he was
ies. So, since he had not completed the course,
                                                            reverently called by the people, was deeply
he could not go. He was then advised to apply
                                                            cherished. Not only the Catholics but the
to the Redemptorists in the St. Louis Province              non-Catholics also, who came into contact
and go to their juvenate at Kirkwood (St.                   with this willing and winning priest of God,
                                                       18
loved him and were often heard to say that             December 16, 1909 under the direction of
they thanked God for the day they met                  Father Dougal McDonald. The farewell sermon
"Father Mac." Those he was instrumental in             brought tears to the eyes of many and they were
bringing into the Church spoke the loudest             not all Catholics. An eye-witness asked: "why
praise of his gentle and persuasive eloquence          cannot you stay another week?" A Methodist
and of his kindness and feeling for these "con-        minister was one of those who attended regu-
verts" because, for many of them, they had to          larly. He graciously shortened his services on
pay a high price in separation from family and         Sunday evening so that he and his congrega-
friends because of their conversion. The sick          tion could go to hear the Catholic sermon.
and invalided looked forward to his visits to          He undertook missionary work in Canada
them and the consolation he brought them in            with his cousin, Father McPhail, a Canadian
their lonely hours.                                    Redemptorist. He was truly humble and while
                                                       not a brilliant orator, he exercised a wonderful
                                                       influence in the pulpit by reason of careful
                                                       preparation of the sacred Word, his deep
                                                       earnestness, and faith.
                                                       On the missions, he daily made the Stations of
                                                       the Cross; his example was contagious for the
                                                       people followed his example in large numbers.
                                                       Like all true sons of St. Alphonsus he had an
                                                       especial devotion to the Blessed Sacrament,
                                                       and also to the Blessed Mother. His special
                                                       devotion to Mary was under the title of Mother
                                                       of Sorrows. He preached his first sermon on
              Dougal McDonald                          'Our Lady of the Dolors.' And it seemed that
                                                       his devotion to the Passion of Christ and the
                                                       Dolors of His Mother merited for him some
On September 16, 1905, he was sent to De               share in the anguish of her Son during his last
Soto as a missionary; the following year, he           illness. The sermon on the Blessed Mother was
was transferred to Seattle and to Portland on          his favorite one on the missions.
November 9, 1909. In both of these commu-
nities he served as a missionary.                      He was kindness itself to all, especially to sin-
                                                       ners. He was always most patient and kind
For some time, in the West, he served on the           with those who needed him. To many it
chapel car, St. Anthony (promoted by the               seemed incredible that Father McDonald was
Extension Society). This car was for missions          only 39 years old and only ten years a priest.
in the northwest part of the country. In his           His hair was almost white; he was stooped in
work on the St. Anthony Chapel Car he suc-             carriage and his grave manner gave him the
ceeded Father Walter Polk. He took it through          appearance of one who seemed 60 years old
large sections of Oregon; he was so successful         instead of 39. But in his circle of friends he was
as a controversialist that some of the "Con-           known to have a youthful heart, abounding
venticles" (a Protestant sect) had to close            with innocent mirth.
their doors. He willingly and cheerfully
endured the hardships attached to this work.           He possessed the imagination of a poet, the
                                                       tender sympathy of a child and the zeal of an
As a book on the work of the chapel car (St.           apostle. He constantly entertained his breth-
Anthony) said: "one of the most successful mis-        ren with his unusual gift of mimicry and story-
sions was at Harrisburg (Oregon), closing              telling. But he had his sorrows and trials. His
                                                  19
health was not the best. An accident, appar-            into the operating room, he asked me: "is there
ently trifling—being struck in the face by an           anything for me to do or to receive?" He had,
overhanging bough while walking in the brush            since my arrival, been daily expecting his end.
outside Santa Monica, California, where he              Before the operation he was worried about not
was giving a mission—deprived him of sight in           finding his beads; he then took a small crucifix
one eye. Then, soon after, he began to suffer           in his hands and held it till the end came. Death
excruciating pains from gall stones. But these          came to him on July 31, 1910.
physical problems did not deter him from the            The Rector Major, Murray, who was present in
missions—he continued as long as his health             Canada at the time, came to visit him twice in
held out.                                               the hospital to his great consolation. So great
About Easter time, 1910, he began a series of           had been his agony during all his sickness that
missions near Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Cana-              a couple of confreres on visiting him said on
da. It was during these missions that he was            leaving that they would not care to witness
seized with a violent gall stone attack. He was         such suffering again. The Montreal Redemp-
taken to the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Montreal.           wrist Fathers were good and kind to him,
A serious operation was judged imperative by            bringing him consolation by their visits and
the doctors. Being informed of Father                   concern.
McDonald's physical situation, the Provincial,          He was buried from St. Ann's Redemptorist
Father Brown, ordered that one of our priests           Church in Montreal on the Feast of St.
from Detroit, the nearest house, be sent to his         Alphonsus. At his death, Father McDonald
side. Father Henry Reimbold was sent. This              was 39 years of age; 14 years professed; 10 years
Father wrote to the Provincial: "Father                 ordained. R.I.P. ***
McDonald was growing weaker; he had hae-
morrhages every 24 hours and the loss of blood
increased every time. Saturday morning (July
30, 1910), the haemorrhage was severe enough
to cause alarm. The doctors, who are good,
skillful surgeons, not wishing to have him bleed
to death, for the blood was flowing from the
opening made at the first operation he had,
determined to operate a second time to try to
stop the bleeding. Hence, at 11:00 a.m.,
Sunday morning (July 21, 1910), they opened
him again and found large clots of blood in sev-
eral places. After removing them, they found
the vein carrying the blood from the intestines
to the heart was badly torn. As they could not
sew it, they began to pack it to stop the bleed-
ing but before they got through, he expired. I
was present at the time and heard the Angelus
Bell ringing when the doctors declared him
dead.
He had previously received the last sacra-
ments. That very morning he had received
holy Viaticum. During his stay in the hospital
he had received holy Communion as often as
his condition allowed. Just before being taken
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