September 14, 2009
Mission at St. Peter’s Church, Troy, NY, April 10-20, 1859.
Missionaries: Fathers I. Hecker, A. Hewit, G. Deshon, and F. Baker.
The Pastor of the church is the Rev. C.A. Walworth who was for many years associated with our missionary band and was one of its principal ornaments. It was with special pleasure that we went to Troy at his invitation to open a mission in his church, although the thoroughly exhausted condition of this company, (after our labours at Quebec) afforded an indifferent prospect of success. The results, however, proved better than our fears. The mission went on with a great deal of spirit, and it was the general impression that in point of solidity and thoroughness it was superior to the mission given in the same church seven years ago. The number of communions was not so large, owing to the rigid exclusion of all persons not belonging to the parish, but as a consequence of this those who did receive were much better prepared. A large proportion of the people had neglected the sacraments for years and not a few had left off attending Mass on Sunday, but they all attended the mission and came to confession with every indication of a sincere intention to reform their lives. A great many young men and women who had never performed any Christian duty presented themselves at the confessional but not being found sufficiently instructed to receive the sacraments were put in communication with the Pastor to be prepared by him. Unrelenting war was made on dram selling, and with such success that several of those who kept groggeries, including some of the most prominent men in the congregation, gave them up. Those who persisted in the traffic found the public opinion of the congregation against them, and (what they complained of most) their profits gone in consequence of all the drunkards having been stopped off from liquor. One of the fraternity who lived just opposite the church was in such an advanced state of low spirits at the close of the mission that he came to the Pastor and offered to give up the business if he would buy his house. The effects of the mission were very striking on Easter Sunday, in the crowds that filled the church and the mutual salutations and words of kindness that passed between many members of the congregation who before had been at enmity.
At the request of the Fathers, Father Walworth preached one of the evening sermons, to the satisfaction and delight of all.