May 10, 2018
Today is a little anniversary for our community.
160 years ago today, on May 10, 1858, Fr. Isaac Hecker returned to New York City after a difficult journey to Rome in which he was expelled from the Redemptorists and given permission to start a new society of priests.
In his book “Isaac Hecker: An American Catholic,” David O’Brien writes:
” … The five men who gathered in May 1858 were in the prime of life, mature, talented and energetic. They were all converts but familiar now with the Catholic community. Each brought distinctive gifts, and each was a strong, independent personality. Their commitment to the church, the priesthood and missionary work had been forged from that same situation of freedom and self-consciousness with shaped Hecker’s vocation. There could be little doubt of the sincerity and finality of their Catholicism, but because it developed through difficult, personally painful choices, it had a unique quality of deliberation, a lack of taken-for-grantedness that set them apart from many other Catholics. … “