Bishop William Quarter Diary Part IV: January 1845 to April 22, 1845

January 1845 

January 8th 

Henry Coyle arrived from N.Y. in hopes of joining the seminary. 

January 19th 

Sunday morning, the Rev. John S. Drew, recently of Frankford (sic), in Kentucky, arrived in Chicago on Tuesday morning the 21st. He set out for the missions assigning him in Peoria on the Illinois River. 

January 21st 

Rev. John Faughnan started today for Elgin where he is appointed pastor. 

February 1845

February 12th 

Mr. Froeckle joined the seminary for the diocese of the Right Rev. Bishop Henni of Milwaukee. #13 

February 21st 

A bill passed both houses of the Legislature of the State of Illinois authorising (sic) the Bishop of Chicago & his successors to hold properties in trust for the use of the Catholic 

February 22nd 

Church of the Diocese. In the days afterwards passed the Council of Revision & became law. [p. 22] 

March 1845 

March 10th  

[again the handwriting seems slightly different] 

The 1st Anniversary of the Bishop’s consecration. The following are the seminarians – Misters Hoey, Bradley, Aughoney, Froelke, Tim Sullivan, & Henry Coyle.  The seminary is governed by Rev. Jeremiah Kinsella, who is president of the university.  In the evening, the seminarians presented the Bishop with a big flattering address and gave him a concert. The musical performances by themselves. 

March 11th 

This evening the students of the university following the example of the seminarians gave the bishop a concert & paid him a beautiful compliment in their elegant & handsome address. 

#13 + The Diocese of Milwaukee was also established in 1843. Bishop John Martin Henni would serve as not only the first bishop but also first archbishop of Milwaukee until his death in 1881. See: Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, “Henni, John Martin,” s.v. Steven M. Avella. 

+ The bill from the State of Illinois Legislature allowing the Bishop of Chicago to hold property in trust was an important legal step to undermine the practice of Trusteeism. Bishop Quarter knew from his experiences in New York City the defects of the lay trustee system, i.e. appointment of pastors, payment of salary, and temporal use of church property. This bill would allow the ecclesiastical property in the Diocese of Illinois to be held by him and his successors in a trust without the need for other trustees. Bishop Quarter also was aware of the problems Father Timothy O’Meara had caused at Old St. Mary Church, when he secured the title for that property in his name in 1839. In January 1845, Bishop Quarter wrote to Bishop Anthony Blanc (New Orleans) about the pending bill. Bishop Quarter believed the bill “’will be highly beneficial to Religion, I trust. It is a bill authorizing myself and my successors to hold all properties ecclesiastical for which they have been granted, purchased, etc. This bill if it passes, will obviate the necessity of anything in the form of trusteeism in this diocese forever. There is not a trustee in the diocese nor shall there be as long as I live’” [quoted in Koenig, History of the Parishes, v. 1, 581. This 1845 act would be amended in 1861 to create The Catholic Bishop of Chicago as a corporation sole. 

March 10th 

[additional note following the entry for the 11th#14 

A Mr. Foley, and [illegible word], Taylor occasioned some unpleasant feelings at this setting of the fees in the Ch[urch]. The first has evinced a disposition of dictation since the Bishop arrived. Has endeavoured (sic) to impress (?) on the minds of many Catholics that the various acts of the Bishop were sinister & selfish and to be viewed with “suspicion” (?). The act for the Incorporation of the University he accounted as nothing. The act in favor of the Bishop & his successors holding properties in trust for the use of Catholics he pronounced dangerous & [illegible word]. Very thing undertaken for the advancement of religion is in his estimation a mere [illegible word] – poor “thoughtless” (?) creature! He (Foley) gave not once to the Catholic Church & his adherents, the Taylors, are never seen approaching the holy Sacraments. No wonder then, that they are irreligious & troublesome, & disturbers of the peace of Catholics, as far as they can.  Some of the advantages resulting from the passage of “the bill” authorising (sic) the Bishop of Chicago & his successors in the episcopacy to hold property in trust may here be enumerated under the following heads.  All the advantages [p.23] cannot be here set down.  1st The properties being held in trust & not a personal property, much in every contingency be more secure. 2nd The title of Bishop of Chicago & the successorship (sic) to said episcopate are both recognised (sic) by laws in this state, by virtue of that act, [following is crossed out “also in any other state where a similar act may have been passed in favor of the bishop of that place”] & 3rd Properties willed or bequeathed to the Bishop of Chicago or his successors for charitable purposes can by virtue of this act be legally recovered & applied their (sic) desired uses & purposes.  Before this act they can not unless left to the Bishop in his individual capacity & not in his official capacity.  It is presumed that these foregoing remarks are perfectly correct although not penned by a lawyer. 

March 15th 

[following entry is found on p. 22 of the diary but the above entry for March 10th  runs longer and onto p. 23] 

Saturday 9 o’clock. Just noticed the steamer Champion sailing out of Chicago harbor for St. Josephs – Mich[igan] – her first trip there this season. 

Lent (1st spent by the Bishop in this new diocese) 

[handwriting seems slightly different again] 

The first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday) was unusually early this year occurring on the 5th of February. Every Sunday evening during Lent the Bishop lectures on doctrinal points of the Catholic Church. On Palm Sunday, the 16th of March, he made the following publication. 

#14 + The additional entry, dated March 10th, but following the entry of March 11th in the diary is important for a few reasons. The beginning of the entry clearly establishes the fact that Bishop Quarter was having problems with some lay Catholics in Chicago, i.e. Foley and Taylor. In McGovern’s book, The Catholic Church in Chicago (p. 70), he omits this additional entry dated March 10th. However, McGovern does include at the end of his February 21st entry the three advantages of the bill. Here would be one example where Father McGovern acts more as an editor than providing an accurate account of what is contained in the diary. 

“Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.” — St. Peter Chrysologus 

“Holy Week” 

Tomorrow (17th March) there will be High Mass at 9 o’clock and the panegyric of St. Patrick the Apostle of Ireland will be preached. 

  There will be a spiritual retreat given to the congregation during the (holy) week. The retreat will be opened tomorrow (Monday) evening at 4 o’clock. There will be an instruction at that hour.  Every morning during the week, there will be prayers at six o’clock followed by a short meditation.  Mass at 6 ½. Instructions at 7 o’clock.  Confession will be heard after the instructions until 11 o’clock. All will then return home for dinner. In the afternoon at 4 o’clock there will be [p. 24] another instruction then confessions. At 6 o’clock a part of the Rosary of the B.V.M. then night prayers, after which all will return to their homes.  Silence will be observed as far as possible during the Retreat. 

The offices of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday will commence at [illegible but may be “9”] o’clock.  The Tenebrae on the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday will commence at 4 o’clock.” 

March 17th 

The Panegerick (sic) of St. Patrick was preached by the Rev. Walter J. Quarter.  The High Mass, the mass of Thursday, was sung by Rev. Jeremiah Kinsella.  In the afternoon at 4 o’clock the Bishop opened the retreat. Gave a short instruction on its necessity & advantages.  Prayers were read next morning at 6 o’clock by Mr. Lawrence Hoey, seminarian, [illegible name] also.  At 9 o’clock the Bishop lectured & again at 4.  He lectured at the same hours [“on the two succeeding days” – this line inserted above the word “hours”] Wednesday. & on Holy Thursday he officiated pontifically.  The Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg acted as deacon & Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella as subdeacon.  Mr. Henry Coyle (seminarian) was master of ceremonies. Mr. Hoey as thurifer. Mr. Froelke as crozier bearer & Master Timothy Sullivan (seminarian in peto) mitre bearer.  The following clergymen communicated at the hand of the Bishop. Rev. Misters Walter J. Quarter, Ostlangenberg, Jer. Kinsella, & B. McGorisk. After the congregation came Rev. Mister O’Mara, who is not officiating, to the railing and communicated.  He was followed to the railing by the Rev. James Cuminskey who has been tarrying in the city this winter.  On Good Friday the Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg officiated.  The Bishop preached the Passion of the Lord.  On Holy Saturday the Bishop officiated pontifically, blessed the new fire, the paschal candle, & fonts.  He also celebrated Mass. The deacons & subdeacons were the same as on Holy Thursday.  The master of ceremonies & thurifer also. 

Jesus Enters Jerusalem
Pietro Lorenzetti
14th c.

Come you all: enter into the joy of your Lord. You the first and you the last, receive alike your reward.  You rich and you poor, dance together.  You sober and you weaklings, celebrate the day.  You who have kept the fast and you who have not, rejoice today. The table is richly loaded: enjoy its royal banquet. The calf is a fatted one: let no one go away hungry. All of you enjoy the banquet of faith!  All of you receive the riches of his goodness! 

St. John Chrysostom 

[p. 25] On Easter Sunday the Bishop officiated pontifically.  The Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella acted as deacon & Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg as subdeacon. The Rev. Walter J. Quarter preached.  At the close of Mass the deacon announced to the people that in virtue of the powers and faculties which the bishop had received from the Holy See, he was about to give the papal benediction, together with a plenary indulgence to all those who sincerely contrite had humbly confessed their lies, received absolution & received Holy Communion.  The bishop then, according to the form laid down & in full pontificals, from the episcopal throne, gave the benediction & plenary indulgence.  The deacon then read again what was inscribed and admonished all to pray for the Pope, the bishop, and the Holy Catholic Church.  In the afternoon, at 3 o’clock, the bishop in pontificals sang Vespers.  He gave the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  The deacon, subdeacon & other officers as in the forenoon. 

Some weeks, prior to Holy Week, Margaret Donahoe, a domestic at the bishop’s [residence], inquired of the bishop if there would not be a depository prepared for the Blessed Sacrament during Holy Week.  The bishop had but little hope of being able to make such preparations for Holy Week owing to the unfinished state of the church.  But when the question was asked he told this pious girl to make what preparations she could.  She immediately set to work and the following pious girls, all of whom are living out, lent their aid, viz. Margaret Long, who was indefatigable, Mary Casey & Margaret Gleason.  These girls collected amongst others of their acquaintances many an ornament.  Mr. Thomas Aughoney one of the seminarians had already constructed a neat altar in the basement of the Church & this these [p. 26] girls purposed dressing up for a repository. When Holy Week arrived, they spread out on the platform of the little altar a carpet they had already purchased and then went on arranging the drapery, flower vases etc. until all was tastefully & very neatly arranged before Holy Thursday. It is worthy of remark, that when the funds gave out & they could not purchase all the artificial flowers they wanted to weave a wreath for the front of the altar, they stripped their bonnets of their ornaments and made a wreath of those flowers to adorn the Altar of their God, which before might have subserved (sic) their own vanity!  May a heavenly father reward such devotions, such piety! in his humble handmaids.  At his birth the poor were the first to wait on the Infant Jesus.  In his death also, and in the new see of Chicago the poor girls were the first to prepare for our Lord the Repository! 

Piero della Francesca
Resurrection
Ca. 1463

[p. 26] March, 1845 

[this is a continuation of the entry from file marked “quadia”] 

Mr. Thomas Aughoney made the triangular candlestick.  The Tenebrae was conducted as well & performed as solemnly as if larger preparations had been made & the church had been in better conditions for the ceremonies. The pious excellent dispositions of each one of the 5 seminarians made up for any deficiencies & their zeal & devotedness & industry that all be right & in readiness, edified, consoled & justified much hope for the future. Rev. W. J. Quarter sang the first lamentation.  Mr. Henry Coyle the second. Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg the third.  The lesson of the second nocturn was read 1st by Mr. Lawrence Hoey. 2nd by Mr. John Bradley. 3rd by Mr. Froelke. The 1st lesson of the 3rd nocturn was read by Rev. W[alter] J. Quarter. The 2nd by Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg & the last by the bishop.  The number of communicants [p. 27] on Easter Sunday was large.  On Holy Saturday after blessing the fonts, the bishop administered the Sacrament of Baptism to two ladies, converts, & the child of one about 18 months old.  The name of the lady who together with her child was baptized was Mrs. Ellis. The other lady was a German.  

March 24th 

On this evening at 6 o’clock the steamboat “Bunker Hill” left the harbor of Chicago for Buffalo.  The first boat on the lakes this season.  A fine cool evening, clear weather. 

March 30th 

Low Sunday Confirmation 

On this day the bishop administered the Sacrament of Confirmation, in the Cathedral of St. Mary’s Chicago to one hundred & thirteen persons.  Amongst the number were 4 converts to Catholicity (sic). The following clergymen assisted in the sanctuary viz. Rev. Misters Walter J. Quarter, Ostlangenberg, & Kinsella.  There was in the Church Rev. Bernard McGorisk who has been sojourneying (sic) in the city. Not being as yet recovered from the effects of the fall that he received from his horse last Feb. when he dislocated his shoulder. Rev. John Faughnan who had arrived from his mission at Elgin the day before. Rev. Ja[mes] Cummuinsky, who is sojourneying (sic) in the city since last fall. During his stay, he has published a catechism that has received the sanction of the bishop for this diocese. And a worked entitled “Rosarists Confession” for the use of the members of the different confraternities of which it treats.  These two are it is believed the first Catholic books ever published in Chicago.  A Catholic book store has been opened, last week, by Charles McDonnell. This is the first Catholic book store in this city. #15 

#15 + March 30th: Father John Faughan organized the first parish in Elgin (IL). His time as pastor in Elgin was not long, because he died at Bishop Quarter’s house on September 27, 1845. See: Kirkfleet, 244. 

On last Friday [p. 28] a young man of the name of Doyle arrived at the bishop’s residence from Detroit.  He states that he was on his way to Milwaukee in the expectation of being received as a candidate for the priesthood by the bishop of that place.  He afterwards came to terms with Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella & agreed to remain in the seminary at Chicago.  Yet strange today, he left this morning (Monday, March 31 for Milwaukee, without apprising any person.  It was after much search, an anxiety on his act, that Mr. Thomas Aughoney ascertained, at the stage office, that he took his seat in the stage for the aforesaid place. 

April 1845 

April 5th  

The handwriting for the entry on April 5th is too faded to be read clearly. 

April 7th  

Monday morning, about 9 o’clock, a violent snowstorm.  About an hour previous mountainous clouds hovered over the lake, towards the northeast their peaks sunclad, their flanks dark & shadowing. They have assaulted Chicago & emptied themselves of snow to the depth of 3 or 4 inches in the city. The lake swelled its waves & as the storm has not subsided entirely yet at 1 o’clock. The troubled agitated waters of the lake still rage (sic) & rave. The steamer Champion was seen returning into the harbor, having made probably a fruitless attempt to reach Milwaukee. #16 

April 10th 

The Rev. John Brady of Galena & the Rev. Patrick McMahan of Donnelly’s Settlement here on a visit.  Secured a canal lot for Church purposes.  It is donated. 

April 12th Saturday 

This morning at 1 o’clock arrived s[team] b[oat] Madison from Buffalo. First this season. 

#16 + Bishop Quarter regularly makes comments on the weather throughout the diary. 

[p. 29] 

April 14th 

The bishop and his brother Rev. Walter J. Quarter left Chicago in the steamboat Champion for St. Josephs on their way to N.Y.  They arrived in Buffalo the Saturday evening following [April 19th].  When the Bishop arrived in N.Y. he applied to Bishop Hughes for permission to collect funds in the different Catholic churches of the city & diocese to enable him to build a Catholic college & seminary in Chicago.  The permission was granted altho (sic) not very cheerfully and the Bishop [Quarter] commenced operations & collected the following sums. #17 

#17 + Bishop Hughes likely was concerned about the growing number of Catholics both in the city of New York and the state. He needed to provide churches for these Catholics, and a fund-raising tour by Bishop Quarter could hurt Hughes’ own efforts to raise funds. 

St. Mary’s Church – Grand St. N.Y. $350.00 

St. Peter’s – Brooklyn St. $232.00 

St. Joseph’s – Sixth Avenue $257.00 

St. Paul’s – Brooklyn $225.00 

St. James – James St. N.Y. $281.00 

St. Andrew’s – City Hall Place $130.00 

Church of Nativity Corner of Third $210.25 

Transfiguration Church Chambers St. $34.18 

German Catholic Church – Third St. $54.00 

St. James – Brooklyn $150.00 

Church of Assumption – N.Y. $64.50 

St. Peter’s – Jersey City $130.00 

St. John’s – Patterson $260.00 

St. Mary’s – Williamsburg, N.Y. $144.20 

Catholic Church – Syracuse, N.Y. $127.37 

St. John’s – Utica $120.00 

St. John’s – Albany $150.00 

St. Joseph’s – Albany $80.00 

St. Mary’s – Albany $70.00 

St. Peter’s – Rome, N.Y. $  43.50 

St. Patrick’s – Rochester $100.00 

St. Mary’s – [illegible word] $70.00 

St. Patrick’s – Buffalo $81.00 

St. Mary’s – German Church $45.00 

[illegible word] #18 

There is a discrepancy regarding the collections between the Quarter Diary published in McGovern and the actual diary entries. In the actual Quarter Diary, he lists four additional churches that contributed to his collection. These are St. Patrick (Rochester), St. Mary, St. Patrick (Buffalo), and St. Mary (German Church). The total amount Bishop Quarter received on this fund-raising tour was $3,330. 

+ This was Bishop Quarter’s first visit to New York since becoming the Bishop of Chicago. One of the families that Bishop Quarter knew in the city was that of James Kerrigan, a merchant. His daughter, Sarah, has an entry in her diary of Quarter’s visit to New York. 

“The bill was passed, the institution was forthwith endowed with all the privileges of an University, and is called the University of St. Mary of the Lake. All this is very gratifying to the Bishop, but he looked around in vain for the means wherewith to erect this University. He thought of New York, knew its Catholic wealth and power, and concluded to make his New York Christian brethren participators in this glorious act. 

The Bishop arrived in New York for that purpose on the 2nd of May 1845, worn much by the fatigue and anxiety of the preceding year. We were very sorry to look upon his whitened hair, sunken eye, and hollow cheek, for they were many indications of the trials that he had undergone. But he soon recruited [sic], and soon our sorrow gave place to admiration for the powerful energetic man before us, who threw aside every obstacle in his path to attain his end. He seemed to ever keep University of St. Mary’s of the Lake in his mind’s eye. For almost three months, he preached every Sunday in one of the New York churches; at every church a collection was raised for Chicago. Sometimes he would preach twice; and indeed on one occasion he preached three times a day. By this means he collected nearly three thousand dollars, a handsome sum to commence with. With this sum he returned home, commenced operations, and with money collected elsewhere, the building progressed rapidly. On the 4th of July, 1846, it is to be opened for the reception of students” quoted in Sara M. Murphy, “James Kerrigan, Merchant,” in Historical Records and Studies, v. 28, ed. Thomas F. Meehan (New York: The United States Catholic Historical Society, 1937), 145. 

N.B. The following entries are difficult to read since they were written in the margin of page 29 of the actual diary. These entries might have been added later after Bishop Quarter returned to Chicago in September 1845. 

April 15th 

Mr. Froelke, student sent by the Bishop of Milwaukee, left in [illegible word][illegible word] impertinence to the President Rev. Mr. Kinsella. Rev. Mr. McMahan in Chicago on a visit to bishop. 

April 19th 

Rev. Misters Ingoldsby of Joliet & Brady of Galena in Chicago on a visit to bishop.Rev. Misters Carroll (?) of Alton and O’Donnell of Ottawa in Chicago on a visit to bishop. 

April 22nd 

Rev. Mr. Brickwedde left Chicago for Europe on the 22nd


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