Isaac Hecker

This Sunday in New York at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, the cause for the canonization of Father Hecker was opened at a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Edward Egan. Hecker is the founder of the Paulists Fathers, an order dedicated to missionary work, reconciliation and ecumenicism in North America. The Paulist Fathers originated in Hecker’s belief that Catholicism and the American democratic ideals were in fact compatible. Like many great American Catholics Hecker converted to the faith. Prior to his conversion he was involved in the great philosophical movements of the day such as Transcendentalism and was friends with people like Henry David Thoreau. All these experiences helped inform a uniquely American approach to Catholicism and a lifelong effort as a spiritual seeker.

I’m very excited and inspired that Hecker’s cause for canonization is begun. I am aquainted with Hecker and the Paulist Fathers through my involvement with the Paulist Center community here in Boston. It also starts off the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Paulist Fathers. I was fortunate to hear Jon Fuller, S.J., M.D. speak on Saturday night as he received the Isaac Hecker Award “for his lifelong devotion and dedication to the service of a marginalized population through his work with HIV/AIDS treatment and research.”

To learn more about Fr. Isaac Hecker and his cause for canonization, visit the official Paulist Fathers website.

For more coverage on Sunday’s event, visit the following links:

Which Church Father Are You?

An odd quiz/meme via Baptized Pagan.

I’m not quite sure what my results mean as I’m rusty on this period in Church history/theology.

You’re Origen!

You do nothing by half-measures. If you’re going to read the Bible, you want to read it in the original languages. If you’re going to teach, you’re going to reach as many souls as possible, through a proliferation of lectures and books. If you’re a guy and you’re going to fight for purity … well, you’d better hide the kitchen shears.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Ireland/Britain 1998 day 11: Galway

30 January 1998 involved another set of long bus trips from Dingle to Tralee to Limerick and finally to Galway. This was better than the alternative as I was actually due in Williamsburg City General Traffic Court to face a charge of Failure to Yield Right of Way – Accident (to date my only auto accident, and I was responsible dammit!). Arriving in Galway I checked into the Quay Street Hostel, another recommendation of Pa’s but this one didn’t turn out so well. I was placed in a ginormous 18-bed dorm with a spring-loaded door that would slam shut every time one of my drunken bunkmates staggered in and out. All 18 beds were full, and some of them had more than one occupant if you get my drift.

Galway City however is a wonderful place with a great street vibe from the bustle of youthful people and the many buskers performing. I began my first evening in Galway by stuffing my face at Couch Potatas, a brilliant potato-themed restaurant. My evening pub crawl brought me to Monroe’s Tavern where a lively session was in full-swing. My luck was good that night as an attractive young woman named Corrine – from Connecticut of all places – struck up a conversation and I ended up spending part of the evening hanging out with her and her friends all of whom were students at University College Galway. We talked about going out dancing but the clubs were too far away so we finished off the night getting chips & vinegar at a fast food joint instead.