Bishop Quarter’s diary is a hybrid document. It is not a personal, daily diary, like those of well-known diarists such as John Adams, Mary Chestnut, who wrote about the Civil War in the South, or Anne Frank. Quarter did not begin to keep a diary until January 1843. His diary does contain some personal information, commentary on his pastoral visits throughout the diocese, and sacramental reports. His entries are not done on a consistent daily basis.

Although a reader would like more personal information about the first Bishop of Chicago from the diary, it does provide insights into mid-19th century life in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois. The publication of the diary is meant as a scholarly contribution to the centennial celebration of Mundelein Seminary. Bishop Quarter founded the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in 1844, and Cardinal Mundelein founded Mundelein Seminary in 1921 under the university’s original charter.

Fr. Zielinski, emeritus professor of Church History, has worked on this project off and on for more than 20 years. He hopes that readers will find the diary of interest and help them get some understanding of the various pastoral, spiritual, and personal challenges facing the first bishop of Chicago.


Early Life and Education: 1806-1829

William Quarter, the first Bishop of Chicago, was born on January 21, 1806, at Killurin, near Tullamore in County Wexford, Ireland. Quarter was born just after a politically tumultuous time in Ireland. Less than ten years earlier, County Wexford was the site of three battles associated with the United Irishmen Uprising of 1798. The British government not only crushed the various uprisings of 1798, but also a subsequent one led by Robert Emmett in 1803. During the early years of William Quarter’s life, Irish politics shifted from a strategy of overthrowing the British rule in Ireland by violent means to gaining political rights for Catholics through legal means. This new strategy was led by Daniel O’Connell through the Catholic Board established in 1811 and eventually succeed when the Roman Catholic Relief Act was approved by the British Parliament in 1829.[1]

Although too young to directly participate in these notable events of Irish politics, Quarter began his education during this formative period of Irish history. He started his formal education in a boarding school run by a retired Presbyterian minister, Rev. Mr. Deran. The curriculum of the school emphasized the classics – Greek, Latin, history, and math. After two years, Quarter moved to another academy in Tullamore run by John and Thomas Fitzgerald. He would remain there for six years. At age sixteen, he decided to enter Maynooth College.[2]

The episcopal journal of Bishop Quarter does not give any indication when he decided to become a priest. However, another source, does provide some clues about his vocational decision. Rev. James J. McGovern, in his memorial volume celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Archbishop Patrick Feehan’s episcopal consecration, mentions that the Quarter family was friends with a Rev. McAuley, who happened to be visiting the Quarter family at the time that William was preparing to enter Maynooth Seminary. Father McAuley’s stories about the need for priests to serve Irish Catholics in the United States of America prompted a dramatic change in Quarter’s life. Instead of entering Maynooth Seminary, William asked his local bishop for a letter of good standing so that he could undertake his studies for the priesthood in North America.[3] Only after securing this letter, did William tell his parents about his desire to become a priest in North America.

On April 10, 1822, William Quarter departed Ireland. He would never return. No information is available on his port of departure, name of ship, or length of voyage. A voyage on a sailing ship of that time could be a short as four weeks or as long as fourteen weeks. William arrived in Quebec, probably in mid to late May. He hoped to be admitted as a student for the Archdiocese of Quebec, but Archbishop Joseph-Octave Plessis declined to accept him. Next Quarter went to Montreal where Bishop Jean-Jacques Lartigue also refused to accept him. Eventually, Quarter made his way to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where the president of Mt. St. Mary’s College, Rev. John Dubois, S.S, founder of the college, accepted him as a seminarian.[4] Quarter’s previous education proved to be an asset for Mt. St. Mary’s. In addition to pursuing his ecclesiastical education, he also was a teacher of Greek and Latin. He would remain at Mt. St. Mary’s until 1829, when he left for New York City.

Priestly Ministry in New York City: 1829-1843

On September 19, 1829, William Quarter was ordained a priest by Bishop John Dubois.[5] Fr. William Quarter served as an assistant pastor at St. Peter’s Church (Barclay St.)[6] for the first few years of his priesthood. He was instrumental in getting Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, the religious order founded by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, to run a free school at the parish. In 1832, New York City was struck by an outbreak of cholera.[7] Fr. Quarter was tireless in his efforts to help victims of this pandemic not only in the neighborhood surrounding St. Peter, but also in the neighborhood of St. Mary’s parish which had burnt down in November 1831. He helped find shelter for sixty children who were made orphans by the outbreak. His selfless attention to those suffering from cholera so impressed a family with whom he resided that the wife, three daughters, and two sons converted to Catholicism.[8]

For the remaining decade of his priestly ministry in New York City, Fr. Quarter would serve as the pastor of St. Mary’s Church. In the two years since a fire had destroyed the previous church, a new one had been built.[9] Bishop Dubois named Fr. Quarter as pastor on June 9, 1833. In addition to his usual pastoral and spiritual duties, Fr. Quarter paid special attention to Catholic education. He succeeded in convincing the Sisters of Charity to assign three members of that community to his parish to open, first a boarding school, and then a free school, which in a short time had five hundred students. He also encouraged the establishment of various confraternities and sodalities for the spiritual welfare of his parishioners.[10]

Another area of his ministry that deserves brief comment is Quarter’s work with converts. The Catholic Church in the United States of America primarily grew in numbers through the millions of immigrants that came to the country between 1820 and 1920. However, converts to the Church were another source of increased growth.[11] Two of the best-known mid-19th century converts to Catholicism were Orestes Brownson and Isaac Hecker. In fact, Isaac Hecker received instruction from Bishop John McCloskey, auxiliary bishop of New York and later the first cardinal of the Catholic Church in America. For his part, Fr. Quarter helped prepare John Oertel, a Lutheran minister, for reception into the Catholic Church in 1840.[12]

During the decade from being named a pastor until his appointment as the first bishop of Chicago, 1833-1843, William Quarter lived through a tumultuous time for the city of New York and the Diocese of New York. Just a couple of years after he had become pastor of a church that had burned down, the city of New York had a major fire. On the evening of December 16, 1835, a fire broke out in a warehouse on Merchant St. (now Beaver St.) and quickly spread due to very strong winds. By the time the fire was brought under control, over fifty acres of land were destroyed and over five hundred buildings. Damage was estimated at $20 million. Although his parish was spared, numerous warehouses, banks, and other businesses were reduced to ashes.[13]

Bishop Quarter (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

In the following year (1836), one of the best-known episodes of anti-Catholicism in U.S. history occurred. Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery in Montreal was published in the city. The book claimed to be an account of her time in a Montreal convent where she was subject to sexual abuse by a priest and other lurid details of convent life. Monk’s book added fuel to the fire of anti-Catholicism that had started with the burning of the Ursuline Convent in Charleston, Massachusetts in 1834. The aggrieved party in that episode was a woman named Rebecca Reed, who also published a book in 1835. Although the claims made by Reed and Monk proved to be lies, their stories captured the imagination of many Protestants. Although Fr. Quarter had no direct contact with either of these episodes, he lived in a city with growing religious tensions that could erupt in riots and violence as it did shortly after his departure for Chicago.[14]

The religious tensions in New York City were not just between denominations. Sadly, Bishop John Dubois experienced numerous examples of internal tensions among the Catholics of the city. One source was the disappointment many Catholics, clergy and laity, felt with the appointment of the French-born and French-speaking Dubois. Given the fact that the Catholic population in New York City was more and more of Irish background, New York Catholics expected Rome to appoint an Irish-born priest as bishop.[15] This led to a tense relationship with several the Irish-born clergy of the city and with parish trustees, especially at St. Patrick Cathedral.[16]

Trusteeism involved the legal rights of lay boards of trustees, who often had incorporated to buy property and build churches. Their initiatives helped in the expansion of the institutional Church throughout the United States of America. Serious difficulties arose when lay boards of trustees claimed the right to appoint and dismiss pastors. This set them at odds with the local bishops, who argued that the right claimed by the trustees, infringed on the powers of episcopal jurisdiction. It is not an exaggeration to say that trusteeism was one of the persistent challenges to bishops throughout the 19th century.[17] For Bishop Dubois, the trustees of St. Patrick Cathedral adopted the stance “’to give him trouble as one intruded on them by undue influence.’”[18]

For the Irish-born Fr. Quarter, this hostility of some Irish clergy toward Bishop Dubois must have been painful. The bishop was a mentor, father-figure, and someone whom Quarter worshipped.[19] He probably accompanied Bishop Dubois when the bishop made a pastoral visitation of the diocese in 1837.[20] Quarter was aware of the troubles with the trustees of St. Patrick Cathedral. He would be sensitive to the fact that such internal disputes hurt the image of the Catholic Church in New York City and provided further fuel to anti-Catholic nativists in their media attacks on the Church. He also would be keenly aware of the toll that such internal disputes were having on the bishop. In 1837, Bishop Dubois requested that a coadjutor be appointed. Pope Gregory XVI named John Hughes as the coadjutor.[21] Over the next couple of years, Bishop Dubois suffered several strokes that limited his ability to serve and to manage the diocese. He died on December 20, 1842 at age seventy-eight. Fr. Quarter was chosen to give the eulogy for Bishop Dubois.[22]

Appointment as First Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago

Starting in 1829, the year William Quarter was ordained, the bishops of the United States of America held the first of seven provincial councils in Baltimore.[23] By 1829, the Catholic population of the United States had grown from 25,000 in 1790 to 500,00 in 1829. The number of dioceses had increased from one to eleven.[24] The number of states had increased from thirteen to twenty-three. This growth in the population of the country, and the geographical expansion of the nation, prompted the American hierarchy to meet o address new pastoral challenges and plan for the expansion of the Catholic Church in the country. In some cases, the establishment of a Catholic diocese in a particular state took place many years after the state was admitted into the Union. For example, the diocese of Chicago was only erected twenty-five years (1843) after Illinois was admitted into the Union (1818). On the other hand, the diocese of Milwaukee (1843) was established five years before Wisconsin was admitted into the Union (1848).[25] Depending on the geographical location of the new dioceses, the American hierarchy was either being proactive in requesting the establishment of new dioceses, or was responding to the reality of a large Catholic population needing the ecclesiastical organization of a diocese.

When the American bishops met in Baltimore in May 1843 for the Fifth Provincial Council of Baltimore, one urgent item was the establishment of new dioceses. They petitioned the Holy See to establish five new dioceses – Chicago, Hartford, Little Rock, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh. It was easier to establish new dioceses than to find competent and qualified priests to be the first bishop. In places like Chicago, where the Catholic population included German-speaking and French-speaking Catholics, the ability to speak one of those languages would be helpful. This did not seem to be a primary consideration for the bishops meeting in Baltimore as they nominated William Quarter for the see of Chicago. However, Bishop Rosati (St. Louis), was so concerned about the need to have a bishop who spoke more than one language appointed to Chicago that he sent a letter to Rome objecting to Quarter’s nomination. Also, Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick (Philadelphia) made his objections to Quarter’s nomination known to the Congregation of Propaganda Fide.[26] These objections did not sway the Holy See, and Father William Quarter was appointed the first Bishop of Chicago in a decree of Propaganda Fide dated November 16, 1843.[27] The Apostolic Letters of Appointment arrived in New York City in February 1844. On March 10, 1844, Father William Quarter, along with Father Andrew Byrne, bishop-elect of Little Rock, and Father John McCloskey, coadjutor bishop of New York, were consecrated by Bishop John Hughes assisted by Bishops Whelan (Richmond) and Bishop Fenwick (Boston) as co-consecrators.[28]


[1] Thomas E. Hachey and Lawrence J. McCaffrey. The Irish Experience Since 1800: A Concise History, 3rd. Ed. (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 2010), 21-37.

[2] Prior to 1795, the majority of Irish students studying for the priesthood did so in Belgium, France, Spain, and Italy. The Henrician and Elizabethan religious reforms of the 16th century dissolved the institutional structures of Roman Catholicism in Ireland. With the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, the British government was concerned the Irish seminarians studying in Europe might be influenced by revolutionary ideas and return to Ireland to promote such radical ideas among the Irish people. To undermine this potential danger, the British government supported a bill in 1795, passed by the Irish Parliament, to establish a Roman Catholic seminary at Maynooth. An annual grant was approved to finance the support of the seminary. Ibid., pp. 23-24.

[3] James J. McGovern. The Catholic Church in Chicago (n.p., 1891), p. 19.

[4] McGovern, p. 20. There is no clear indication as to why Quarter went first to Canada and then to the United States of America. McGovern indicates that one reason Quarter was refused by the Archbishop of Quebec and the Bishop of Montreal was because of his youth. Also, Quarter’s fluency in French may have not been sufficient for the needs of these two Canadian dioceses. The decision to seek admission at Mt. St. Mary’s College may have been at the suggestion of either of the two Canadian bishops or friendly, but unnamed, Canadian priests.

[5] For background on John Dubois see: Thomas J. Shelley, A Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York: 1808-2008 (Strasbourg, France: Editions du Signe, 2007), 90-106, or the shorter entry in Michael Glazier and Thomas Shelley J. Shelley, eds. The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997), s.v. “Dubois, John,” by Thomas J. Shelley. William Quarter had formed a close relationship with Fr. Dubois, and when the latter was made the Bishop of New York in 1826, Dubois convinced Quarter to join that diocese after completing his seminary studies.

[6] St. Peter on Barclay Street is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the state of New York. Among its notable parishioners were Pierre Toussaint and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was received into the Catholic Church at St. Peter. The parish, located near the World Trade Center, served as a staging point for rescue and recovery efforts on 9/11. The body of Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, chaplain of the New York Fire Department, was brought to the church after its discovery in the ruins of the World Trade Center.

[7] For information on the 1832 cholera outbreak in New York City see: The outbreak resulted in the deaths of approximately 3500 people in the city.

[8] McGovern, pp. 24-25.

[9] The cause of the fire likely was arson. See: Shea, pp. 498-499.

[10] McGovern, pp. 26-28.

[11] For some information on Catholic converts in the 19th century see: Lincoln A. Mullen, “The Contours of Conversion to Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century,” U.S. Catholic Historian 39 (Spring 2014): 1-27. This article indicates that an estimated 60,000 people converted to Catholicism between 1831 and 1860.

[12] For background on John Oertel and his conversion see: McGovern, pp. 29-32, John Gilmary Shea. History of the Catholic Church in the United States (Rahway, NJ: The Mershon Company Press, 1890), 521-522 and The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), s.v. “John James Maximilian Oertel,” by Thomas Meehan, accessed September 14, 2017, Oertel would later establish a German Catholic newspaper in Baltimore. In 1875, Pope Pius IX made him a Knight of St. Gregory for his service to the Catholic Church. Bishop Dubois claimed there were between 300 and 600 converts a year in the Diocese of New York (See: Thomas J. Shelley, The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York: 1808-2008), 73.

[13] For a short description of the 1835 fire see:

[14] For a short history on anti-Catholicism in the United States see the article by Mark Massa, S.J. at

[15] Bishop Dubois was aware of the disappointment among New York City Catholics. In fact, he addressed the issue in his first pastoral letter to the diocese. “’We are aware that our appointment to this See has been objected to by some whom we have not been acquainted with and who do not know us. They were probably influenced by the best, most patriotic, and generous motives’” quoted in Richard Shaw, John DuBois: Founding Father (New York: United States Catholic Historical Society, 1983), 117.

[16] Evidence of the poor relationship between Bishop Dubois and the Irish clergy can be found in a letter from Father Thomas Levins to Father Paul Cullen, rector of the Irish College in Rome. “’Bishop Dubois has no funds. He cannot derive any from the Catholic Community. They will not contribute for he is disliked, unpopular, hated. It is his own fault. His favorite theme is abuse of the Irish people and Irish priests,” quoted in Shaw, p. 147. The relationship between Bishop Dubois and Father Levins, rectory of St. Patrick Cathedral, was tense. See: Shelley, A Bicentennial History, 103-104.

[17] For background on trusteeism see: The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, s.v. “Trusteeism,” by Patrick W. Carey.

[18] Quoted in Florence D. Cohalan, A Popular History of the Archdiocese of New York (Yonkers, New York: United States Catholic Historical Society, 1983), 42. See also: Shea, p. 505.

[19] McGovern, 20 and Shaw, 173.

[20] Shaw, 163.

[21] Hughes was a former student of Dubois. The relationship between the two men was not friendly. On this see: Shaw, 173.

[22] The lack of friendship between Hughes and Dubois was evident at the funeral of the bishop. Bishop Fenwick (Boston) was to have preached at the funeral, but was delayed in his arrival. Bishop Hughes refused to give the eulogy, claiming the service has lasted long enough. Bishop Hughes said the eulogy would be given at a later date. See: Shaw, 172-173.

[23] For a brief history on the Provincial and Plenary Councils of Baltimore see: The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, s.v. “Provincial and Plenary Councils of Baltimore, by Michael J. Roach.

[24] Hugh J. Nolan, ed., Pastoral Letters of the United States Catholic Bishops, v. I: 1792-1940 (Washington, D.C.: National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1984), 467.

[25] Robert F. Trisco, The Holy See and the Nascent Church in the Middle Western United States (Rome: Gregorian University Press, 1962), 9.

[26] Ibid., 88. Bishop Rosati did not attend the Fifth Provincial Council of Baltimore. He was in Europe at the time having completed a successful diplomatic mission for the Holy See to Haiti that concluded with a concordat between Haiti and the Holy See. Rosati made his objections known to the Nuncio in Paris. Rosati was not in good health and died on September 25, 1843, about eight weeks before Quarter’s formal appointment.

27] Trisco in his book does not indicate any other reasons as to why Bishops Rosati and Kenrick objected to Quarter’s nomination. He does mention that Bishop Kenrick commented that he thought neither Quarter nor Byrne were “commendable.” One wonders why he would make that comment if he knew anything about Quarter’s priestly ministry. It is possible Kenrick had other candidates in mind for Chicago and Little Rock who did not receive the support of other bishops at Baltimore when the list of nominations was composed.

[28] McGovern, 32.

Part I

FIRST NOTATION [handwritten and no page number]

Father [blank] Quarter ordained 25th of May 1793 by Bp. (bishop) Carroll and takes charge of Bourbannais Grove 12 June 1846 — In October year — first came to C [blank]gsey, not more than 20 families then in city, not 20 catholics, men, women, & children

SECOND NOTATION (Obituary of Bishop Quarter from the Truth Teller) [no page number] #1

Never has it been our lot before to perform a duty so painful to our feelings as that which we have now to perform. We have to place on record the removal from us of one whose friendship we had long enjoyed and whose literary support we had possessed. A wide circle of friends are left to mourn his loss, and the Catholics of the United States, are all in a greater or less degree sufferers by it. The benefits bestowed by him on his own diocese, were reflected all over the United States, producing a holy spirit of emulation in his brother Bishops and strengthening the more feeble members of our faith. All rejoiced in the progress of Bishop Quarter’s diocese, and all who loved our holy faith had reason to rejoice. From his childhood religion was the object of his heart. While yet a child he would build his Altar and ornament it – devotion flowed from his lisping tongue and reproved vice from the moment that his mind could discern right and wrong. Truth and virtue, always were supported by him, but falsehood and vice he ever abhorred. Wealth could never screen the vicious or immoral from his strong condemnation, nor could poverty prevent the virtuous from his best attention. How many in this city, who are now in sorrow for his loss, poor and rich, can bear witness to our words. His influence, his tongue and his pen were ever ready to crush vice and uphold truth.—Tens of thousands in this city – hundred of thousands in America—can tell with what power and effect. Whilst yet a child his piety and demeanor obtained for him the title of “the little Bishop.” His family were of that respectable class that has given to the church bright ornaments in Europe and America, and few families, indeed, have so many Bishops and Priests to boast at the present day as that of the deceased. The number of Catholic clergymen among his relatives here and in the diocese of Meath is little short of twenty – and they have to display an unsullied fame. Never has one of them received the least censure from his Bishop, yet there have never been any men in the ministry more firm in upholding the rights of the priesthood.

Bishop Quarter (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

#1: Walter Quarter, brother of Bishop Quarter, indicates in a hand-written note that William was born in King’s County (Ireland) and not Queen’s County.Walter gives the date of William’s birth as January 16, 1806.One sentence later the obituary has the line “The time of his birth was January 31, 1805.” Walter’s note is a correction of a factual error in the newspaper obituary. However, the website for the Archdiocese of Chicago indicates that Quarter was born on January 24, 1806. Another website – Wikipedia – indicates that he was born on January 21, 1806. 

St. Peter, Barclay Street, New York City
St. Peter, Barclay Street, New York City

The Right Rev. Dr. Quarter was born in the Queen’s County, Ireland [N.B. at bottom of the article is a written note that Quarter was born in Kilburine, King’s County not Queen’s County on the 16th day of January 1806. Signed WJ Quarter] – his birth place is on the border of the county, adjoining the King’s county, where his relations are most numerous and respectable. The time of his birth was January 31st, 1805. Having laid the foundation of a thorough classical education in Ireland he came to America, where he was raised to the priesthood by Bishop Dubois, who was strongly attached to him. His early mission in St. Peter’s church in this city is well remembered by many a bursting heart amidst us – his subsequent career in St. Mary’s, where he was for many years pastor, is too well known for us to speak of. He found the parish overrun with vice and he left it the pride of the city, for [unable to make out this word], and all that elevates the Christian character. In 1844 he was elevated to the high position of Bishop, and was known to the world how he has laboured for the faith, and what glory he has reflected on his diocese and the [unable to make out the word]. Bishop Quarter studied Moral Philosophy and Divinity in Mt. St. Mary’s under the venerable Dr. Brute, since consecrated Bishop of Vincennes – and among all the Professors and students he was highly esteemed for a clear mind, sound judgment, gentle, kind disposition, firm friendship, and perfect devotion. For four years he laboured as no other Bishop would labour for the advancement of his new diocese, and he laboured successfully –his endeavours were all realised and God crowned it all by taking him to himself – removing him a little further from us – and only for a very little while. May our passage through life be marked by the light he reflected on our path and our rest be with him in the kingdom he has taken possession of recently.

We have taken the following statement of his death from the Chicago Journal:–

On Monday morning a [sic] 3 o’clock, William Quarter, Bishop of Chicago, yielded up his spirit to his Maker. On the preceeding [sic] beautiful Sabbath morning this faithful servant of God, stood in the House consecrated to the Worship of the Most high, and there, before his beloved people, fervently proclaimed the oracles of life.

Scarce had that Sabbath sun, gilded with its rays, the evening cloud, ere his ransomed spirit joined in the melody of the heavenly choir.

To-day, the wise, the gifted, the beloved pastor, is leading his flock, beside the still waters of Salvation; — to-morrow, the eloquent voice is still – the beaming eye is closed – the generous heart no longer pulsates; and all that remains of him, on earth, is the cold corpse

In the midst of extensive usefulness—in the midst of a congregation, by whom he was beloved—in the midst of a community, by whom he was respected—in the very prime of a mature and active manhood, a true—a sincere—a devoted Christian, is, almost without a moment’s warning, called away to his Father’s House.  Surely this sad dispensation of an all-wise Providence, should not fall listlessly upon our ears.

It is not our purpose, [for we cannot obtain the materials] to write an extended obituary of this truly good, and eminently distinguished man.  Other, and abler pens than ours, will, doubtless, prepare an account of his useful life, others will do ample justice, to those virtues and graces which adorned his simple but lovely character.

It was however our good fortune, to have become acquainted with Bishop Quarter, soon after his arrival in Chicago, and we esteem it now, a most fortunate circumstance, that we enjoyed frequent opportunities of improving that acquaintance.

By nature, Bishop Quarter was endowed with talents of a high order; and laboriously had the natural powers of his mind, been cultivated by unremitting industry.  Strong and decided, in the advocacy of his own religious opinions, he was always tolerant of the opinions of others.  Charity, seemed to be the ruling trait of his character.

In all his tastes and habits, he was simple.  Enterprising and persevering, he was diligently employed, in advancing the interests of the Church of which he was a bright ornament, and in beautifying and adoring our City, by the erection of Schools, and Colleges, and Cathedrals.  He was an enthusiastic friend of education, and proved his devotion, by contributing his own small private fortune, to the advancement of that noble cause.

As a divine, he was learned, logical and profound; as scholar, he was ripe and matured; as a friend, he was true and unselfish, as a Christian, he was faithful, humble and sincere.

In the social circle, he was beloved by all who knew him.  In his public sphere of duty, he was universally admired and respected. Enemies he had none; for his king (sic) and gentle spirit disarmed oppressors, and converted them into warm and devoted friends.

Such a man’s departure, to another sphere, is a great calamity.  Who can supply his place? Who can in so short a sojourn in a land of strangers, again make so many true and sincere friends?

But he is gone—gone to his great reward.  Peace to his ashes.  Honor to his memory!

THIRD NOTATION [Fifth Provincial Council of Baltimore and List of Assembled Prelates –1846]

Provincial Council of Baltimore

This august assembly, which was in session for one week, closed its deliberations on last Sunday, when each Prelate of the twenty-three assembled in attendance, ascended successively the High Altar of the Cathedral, and signed the Decrees that had been passed at their several private sessions. These decrees are to be forwarded now to Rome, the centre [sic] of Catholicity, where they are to be submitted to the Holy Father for his sanction and approval, and will, on their being returned here, be published for the benefit of the faithful. These decrees regard the discipline of the Church, in this country – and it is truly delightful to find every part of this immense continent harmonizing in all that appertains to the beauty and splendor and heavenly order of Catholicity; and humbly and respectfully submitting the result of calm and deliberate decisions to the father of the Catholic family that branches throughout all parts of the world, for his final approval and fiat. The various rumors that are running the rounds of the papers are without authority—all is conjecture, and will remain so for some three or four months yet to come.

Never has Catholicity witnessed a more glorious spectacle than Baltimore presented last week, and the Catholics of this vast continent rejoice therein—the hearts of all fraternise (sic) throughout the Union, and wish God-speed to the good worked.The Continent, a paper published in Baltimore, says that as the Bishops, than whom a body of more distinguished looking persons could not have been assembled even by selection—men in the maturity of their years and powers—met at the high altar and separated around the marble shrine, and the choir commenced the services of the day, a foreigner of distinction who was present declared, that a more imposing religious spectacle he never witnessed in any country.

The following are the names, &c. of the several prelates and Theologians that were in attendance at the Council.

Prelates Assembled in Council

The Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore, Samuel Eccleston, born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, 27th June 1801.

Right Rev. Michael Portier, Bishop of Mobile, born in Montbrion, France, 7th September 1795.

Right Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick, Bishop of Philadelphia, born in Dublin, Ireland, 3rd December 1797.


Bishop John Hughes
Bishop John Hughes, New York
Archbishop Samuel Eccleston
Archbishop Samuel Eccleston, Baltimore
Bishop Matthias Loras
Bishop Matthias Loras, Dubuque

Right Rev. Guy Ignatius Chabrat, Bishop of Bolena, Coadjutor of the Bishop of Louisville, born in Mauriac, France, 25th December 1786.

Right Rev. John Baptist Purcell, Bishop of Cincinnati, born in Mallow, Ireland, 26th February 1800.

Right Rev. Anthony Blanc, Bishop of New Orleans, born in Sury, France, 11th October 1792.

Right Rev. Matthias Loras, Bishop of Dubuque, born in Lyons, France, 30th August 1792.

Right Rev. John Hughes, Bishop of New York, born in Clogher, Ireland, 20th June 1798.

Right Rev. Richard Pius Miles, Bishop of Nashville, born in Maryland, 17th May 1791.

Right Rev. Celestin Rene Laurence De la Hailandiere, Bishop of Vincennes, born in Combourg, 3rd May 1798.

Right Rev. John Joseph Chance, Bishop of Natches, born in Baltimore, 4th October 1795.

Right Rev. Richard Vincent Whelan, Bishop of Richmond, born in Baltimore, 28th January 1809.

Right Rev. Peter Paul Lefevre, Bishop of Zela, Administrator of Detroit, born in Roulers, W. Flanders, 30th April 1804.

Right Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, Bishop of St. Louis, born in Dublin, Ireland, 17th August 1806.

Right Rev. John M. Odin, Bishop of Claudiopolis, Vicar Apostolic of Texas, born in Ambierce, France, 25th February 1801.

Right Rev. Michael O’Connor, Bishop of Pittsburgh, born in Cork, Ireland, 27th February 1810.

Right Rev. Andrew Byrne, Bishop of Little Rock, born in Navan, Ireland, 5th December 1802.

Right Rev. William Quarter, born in King’s County, Ireland, 31st January 1806.

Right Rev. John McCloskey, Bishop of Axiern, Coadjutor of the Bishop of New York, born in Brooklyn, 20th March 1810.

Right Rev. Wm. Tyler, Bishop of Hartford, Connecticut, born in Derby, Vermont, 5th June 1806.

Right Rev. Ignatius Reynolds, Bishop of Charleston, born in Bardstown, Kentucky, 22nd August 1799.


Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget

Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget

Bishop of Louisville

Bishop Martin John Henni

Bishop of Milwaukee

Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick

Right Rev. John Martin Henni, Bishop of Milwaukee, born in Obersaxony, Switzerland, 15th June 1805.

Right Rev. John Fitzpatrick, Bishop of Caliportanus, Coadjutor of the Bishop of Boston, born in Boston, 15th November 1812.

Absent on account of distance, Right Rev. F.N. Blanchet, Vicar Apostolic of Oregon.

On account of advanced age, Right Rev. Benedict Joseph Flaget, Bishop of Louisville, born in Auvergne, France.

On account of ill health, Right Rev. Benedict Fenwick, Bishop of Boston.

Right Rev. Edward Barron, Bishop of Eucarpia, in partbus infidel.

Part II

[Note on top of page 11] on the 11th of November 1843 the names of the new bishops, published in the New York Truth Teller – on the 22nd of November, 1843 received a letter from the Archbishop of Baltimore informing he had official information of my appointment to the new See of Chicago.

April 1844

The departure of the Right Rev. William Quarter for the See of Chicago #4

He left New York on the evening of the 18th of April 1844 accompanied by the Rev. Misters Mark Murphy and Lawrence Connely – the latter was returning to his own mission in Rochester [New York] – the former, accompanied the bishop, through friendship, and [illegible word] being his associate vicar (at) the Church of St. Mary in N.Y. On the Friday following, which was the 26th of April, the Rev. Walter J. Quarter, reached Utica from N.Y. and both himself & the Bishop depart for Rochester. Sunday the 28th was spent in Rochester.  On Monday afternoon, they reached Buffalo and on Tuesday evening the 30th of April they sailed in the Wiskansan [sic] for Detroit. They landed in Cleveland and reached Detroit on Thursday morning the 2nd of May about 10 o’clock. On Friday morning they started for Chicago crossing Michigan, part of the way by railroad & and the rest of the journey by stage as far as St. Josephs. Then they took the steamboat Champlain, on Saturday evening, and arrived on Sunday morning, the 5th of May, in Chicago. The bishop said Mass the same morning in the old church [St. Mary’s] & preached in the new one at 10 o’clock – This old church is a long, low frame building, having a small steeple & hall, surmounted by a cross.  The new Church is of brick & is a respectable brick building. Its dimensions are 100 ft. in length by 55 in width. There is a lot of grass [?] adjoining the new church – suppose which may yet be erected a respectable building. There is also a lot in rear of the Church where a free school for the poor Children of the Congregation may in course of time be [illegible word]. There are 10 acres of land a short distance out of town where is now the Catholic burial ground – Here may be built at some future day a charity hospital.  The residence of the Bishop and of the clergy is, at the present time, a small [illegible word] stone frame building – fronting the lake.  There are, at the present, only two priests doing duty in Chicago – the Rev. Mr. [Maurice de] St. Palais – French & Rev. Mr. [Francis] Fischer (German). There are two seminarians. Misters Pat McMahan and Bernard McGorisk and one boy of the age of 15, Timothy Sullivan, who is destined for the priesthood.

2nd Sunday after the arrival of the Bishop, May 12th #5

He preached at the high Mass. Published that the two seminarians named above, would receive Subdeaconshipon the following Thursday (Ascension Day) at 8 o’clock Mass. & that there would be a meeting of the Congregation on Monday evening at 7 to take into consideration the [illegible word] of raising subscriptions to plaster the walls & finish the cathedral. The meeting was held.  A grand spirit prevailed. The City was divided into districts & collectors appointed in each. [Illegible word] with a Central Committee consisting of 5 or 6. Actions (?) of this [illegible word] collectors are to be made in a [illegible word].

[p. 13 Ordinations – the first in Chicago]

“Ascension Thursday” May 16, 1844

Today the Right Rev. William Quarter, Bishop of Chicago, conferred the tonsure, minor orders, and Subdeaconship on Mr. Patrick McMahan, a native of County Cavan, Ireland and the Subdeaconship on Mr. Bernard McGorisk, County Armagh, Ireland at 8 ½ o’clock Mass. The ordinations took place in the Cathedra. The Rev. Mr. St. Palais acted as Archdeacon & Rev. Misters Fisher & Walter J. Quarter assisted. The morning was very wet and unpleasant.

Sunday within the Octave of Ascension, May 19th, 1844 (Feast of St. Peter Celestine)

At half past 10 o’clock Mass the Rev. Misters Bernard McGorisk & Pat McMahan were promoted to the Holy order of Deaconship by the Right Rev. William Quarter, who celebrated pontifically & and preached on the ministry immediately after Mass. The Rev. Mr. St. Palais acted as Archdeacon, The Rev. Misters Fischer and Walter J. Quarter assisted in the sanctuary. The Congregation was large – a number of Protestants were present.  The forenoon pleasant. The afternoon wet and disagreeable. Every day already of this month has been wet and unpleasant.

Today May 20th

It blows and rains much.

Riots in Philadelphia May 9, 10, 11, 12

We have had accounts here of the most [illegible word] riots in the above named city between the Catholic Irish and the Native American party.  Many killed on both sides & two Catholic Churches (namely St. Michael’s & St. Augustine’s) [p. 14] burned to the ground. The homes of the clergymen, attached to both these Churches sacked and burned, both torn into pieces & the libraries of both torn into pieces, & made fuel for the fires!!!

May the 24th, 1844 Friday

Today the Bishop officiates pontifically and raised to the dignity of the priesthood the Rev. Misters Pat McMahan & Bernard McGorisk.

May the 25th

The Rev. Mr. Parodi, C.M. arrived from his mission in Peru [Illinois], is to return next Monday

[May] 29th

The Rev. Mr. Kinsella (deacon) arrived this afternoon, bringing letters of recommendation from his bishop [and] some of the New York clergymen.

June 1844 #6

June 3rd

On this day the new Catholic college of “St. Mary Chicago” was opened for the reception of students. The professors are Rev. Misters McGorisk & Kinsella. Rev. Mr. McMahan will assist when necessary. The college opened with five students. Timothy Sullivan making the sixth. Today received a letter from B[ishop] of Vincennes, recalling to his diocese Rev. Misters de St. Palais, Fischer, Mr. Pont[avice] & Gueguen.

June 8th

Martin John Bradley (nephew of Rev. Mr. Bradley) arrived from Auburn, N.Y. this evening about 7 o’clock and entered the seminary as a student for the Holy ministry.

[p. 15]

June 15th

On this morning the Bishop set out in company with the Rev. Mr. De St. Palais for Joliet with the intention of visiting a portion of the diocese. Arrived at Joliet about 8 p.m. Said mass next day & preached at 10 ½ o’clock. Preached again at Vespers. Met with Rev. Mr. Carroll of Alton.

June 17th

Set out for Ottawa accompanied by Rev. Misters Connolly, de St. Palais, Dr. Pontavice & Mary McMahan, sister of Rev. P. McMahan. Mr. Sutliff of Joliet drove the carriage. The roads were very bad. [illegible word] the homes over the LaSalle river. Stopped that night at Verniets within 9 miles of Ottawa. Reached Ottawa next day early. Had some difficulty in passing the sloughs [muddy or swampy area]. Had to apply rails to lift the carriage over them twice. Found a steamboat ready to sail down the Illinois River. #7

June 19th

Stopped at Peru & walked to LaSalle. Saw the church & the clergyman. Left the next day [June 20th] in the steamboat Rositan. Stopped a short time at Peoria and at the different villages along the Illinois where the [illegible words] are landing. Observed many villages almost entirely submerged in water owing to the recent extraordinary flood.

June 21st

Reached St. Louis on the 21st. The water was up to 2nd street. Remained there until Monday.

June 24th

And then set out for Kaskaskia accompanied by Right Rev. Dr. [Peter Richard] Kenrick and the Rev. Misters de St. Palais and [Father John] Timon. Stopped that night at the St. Genevieve. Set out next morning for Kaskaskia. Found the town submerged with water. The nuns at Col. Menard’s [p. 16] being obliged to quit this community, the waters being as high nearly as the 2nd story. The inhabitants of the village all crowded along the bluff. Witnessed much destruction of property, of animals, by the waters. Chartered the boat Indiana & took nuns & many ladies (boarders) to St. Louis.

June 30th

On this day (Sunday) preached in the Cathedral of St. Louis for the benefit of the sufferers by this flood. Met Mr. Chanche, of Natchez, in St. Louis. Traveled together from there to Ottawa. Catherine Cassidy (housekeeper) & Thomas Aughony (student) arrived this month on the 15th from N.Y.

July 1844

July 7th

Bishop [John Mary Joseph] Chanche preached today (Sunday) in the Cathedral of Chicago.

July 16th

Ordained Mr. Jer[emiah] Kinsella (Deacon) [a] Priest).

#4 + Although Bishop Quarter does not specifically write that he travelled by way of the Erie Canal, his line of travel from Utica to Rochester to Buffalo makes it likely he used the canal. This “eighth wonder of the world” was completed in 1825 and allowed the opening of new markets in western New York, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Because of the Erie Canal, agricultural surplus from the northern part of the Midwest could now be shipped to New York City and other European ports.

+ In 1844, Bishop Quarter could travel as far as Kalamazoo, MI by railroad from Detroit.

Old St. Mary’s Church

#5+ The town of Chicago was founded in 1833 and incorporated as a city on March 14, 1837. The population in 1837 was 4170. By the time Bishop Quarter arrived in the city, the population had grown to nearly ten thousand. Almost a third of the population was foreign born, with Germans being the largest number, followed by Irish and then Norwegians. [See: Bessie Louise Pierce, A History of Chicago, Volume I: “The Beginning of a City – 1673-1848 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937), 44 n. 4 and 179].

+ There is some question regarding the name of the ship on which Bishop Quarter travelled from St. Joseph (MI) to Chicago. In his diary, he indicates that the name of the ship was the “Champlain.” An initial search on the website of the Maritime History of the Great Lakes revealed that the Champlain had run aground and broken up near St. Joseph in 1840. Walter Lewis, who manages the website for the Maritime History of the Great Lakes, provided through email further information. It seems likely that the “Champion” was the ship on which Bishop Quarter travelled. It ran every day between Chicago and St. Joseph.

+ Old St. Mary Church was established as the first Catholic parish in Chicago in 1833. For further information on the history of this parish see: Harry Koenig, ed., A History of the Parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago, v. 1 (Chicago: The New World Publishing Co., 1980), 578-588.

+ Father Maurice de Saint Palais and Father Fischer were priests of the Diocese of Vincennes (Indiana). Bishop Quarter was so short of priests that both Fischer and de Saint Palais remained working in the city of Chicago until threatened with suspension by the own ordinary.

+ The May riots in Philadelphia were the first of two clashes, the second on July 5-8, 1844, between supporters of the nativist American Republican Party and Irish Catholic immigrants. For information on these riots see: Ray Allen Billington, The Protestant Crusade: 1800-1860 (New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1952) 220-237.

#6 + Father Parodi, CM., along with Father Raho, had established a Vincentian mission in LaSalle, IL in 1838. The primary purpose of the mission was to provide spiritual and sacramental resources for the Irish Catholic canal workers, who were building the Illinois-Michigan Canal. For a history of this Vincentian mission see: Thomas A. Shaw, C.M., Story of the LaSalle Mission, First Part (Chicago: M.A. Donohue & Company Publishers, n.d.), 17-33.

+ St. Mary’s College was a school for boys, the first of its kind claims one historian of the Catholic Church in Chicago. See: Gilbert J. Garraghan, S.J., The Catholic Church in Chicago: 1673-1871 (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1921), 112. On December 19, 1844, the Illinois Legislature incorporated the University of St. Mary of the Lake. This became the seminary for the Diocese of Chicago. Bishop Quarter did not have a sufficient number of priests. He was following a practice adopted in many other dioceses of establishing a feeder school (St. Mary’s College) for the seminary (University of St. Mary of the Lake).

+ On June 15, 1844, Bishop Quarter set out for his first pastoral visit of the new diocese which covered the whole state of Illinois.

+ The clergy and church visited in LaSalle would have been the Vincentian mission of Fathers Raho and Parodi. It was at the time of this visit that the Vincentians turned over their churches in LaSalle and Ottawa to Bishop Quarter. This was done at the suggestion of Father Timon, superior of the Vincentian Province in the United States. See: Thomas Shaw, 97.

#7 + For further information on the Great Flood of 1844 see:

Contributing to the enormity of the flood was the six weeks of steady rain in June 1844.

+ Peter Richard Kenrick was the brother of Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick (Philadelphia). Peter Richard had been named coadjutor with right of succession to Bishop Rosati (St. Louis) in 1841. When Rosati died in September 1843, Peter Richard Kenrick succeeded. Kenrick would become the first Archbishop of St. Louis in 1847 and remain as archbishop until his death in 1896.

+ Father John Timon, who had worked in Illinois, became the first superior of the American Province of the Vincentians in 1835. Four years later, he was named the Prefect Apostolic for the Republic of Texas. In 1847, he would be named the Bishop of Buffalo. He remained in that See until his death in 1867. See: Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, s.v. “Timon, John,” by Joseph G. Hubbert, C.M.

+ Reference to Mr. Chanche is Bishop John Mary Joseph Chanche, the first Bishop of Natchez (MS). For further information see: Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, s.v. “Chanche, John Mary Joseph,” by Charles E. Nolan.

Part III

August 1844

August 5th #8

* Here the handwriting changes again and seems to be Quarter’s brother who may be making the entries in this diary.

The bishop conferred the tonsure, minor orders, & subdeaconship on Misters John Brady & John Ingoldsby.  Had a visit from Rev. Ed Lourin, of Philadelphia. Bishop delivered [missing word but might be “talk”] in this Cathedral on Sunday afternoon. His subject was “The Christian Church.”

August 8th

* Another change in handwriting and seems to be that of Bishop Quarter.

Set out in company of Rev. Walter J. Quarter for Galena. Arrived about 12 ½ a.m. Saturday morning. Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg just beginning Mass. After Mass saw Rev. Mr. Petiot. Preached on Sunday at 10 o’clock [p.17] and in the afternoon at early candle light.

August 11th

On Monday morning at 9 o’clock administered the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Church of Galena, (it was the first time the bishop administered this sacrament) to about 42 persons. Some were converts to the Catholic faith.

August 12th

On Tuesday morning the bishop and his brother set out for Chicago. Arrived Friday afternoon at 3 o’clock.

August 17th

On Saturday morning at 7 o’clock Mass (the bishop officiating pontifically) conferred the tonsure, minor orders, & subdeaconship on Mr. Thomas) O’Donnell & conferred at the same time the deaconship on Rev. Misters John Brady & John Ingoldsby.

August 18th

On Sunday morning (the feast of St. Joachim) the Bishop officiating pontifically at 6 ½ o’clock Mass conferred the order of deacon on Rev. Thomas O’Donnell and at the same Mass, raised to the dignity of the priesthood Rev. Misters John Brady & John Ingoldsby.

This morning Mary Donohue arrived from New York. She is to assist the housekeeper.

August 22nd

Octave of the Assumption of the B.V.M. On this day ordained Rev. Thomas O’Donnell priest. Rev. John Ingoldsby left for Joliet where he is appointed pastor of the Catholic Congregation [this looks like entry added later and the handwriting is different than what precedes and follows]

August 23rd

Rev. Maurice de St. Palais took his departure from Chicago for the Diocese of Vincennes

August 24th

Today Rev. Mr. Fisher took his final leave of this diocese returning to his own of Vincennes. This evening Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg arrived from Galena to take charge of the German Congregation.

[p. 18]

August 27th

* handwriting seems to be different again and may be that of the bishop

Today Rev. John Brady set out for Galena where he is to officiate as assistant pastor to the Rev. Mr. Petiot. The Bishop spent this day in Milwaukee & returned to Chicago on the 29th.

August 29th

Today Rev. Thomas O’Donnell left for Ottawa being appointed pastor of the Catholic congregation of that place.

August 31st

Rev. Misters Walter J. Quarter & P. McMahan left for Little Fort, where the former proposes erecting a Church.

September 1844

September 15th

Had a visit from the German priest, which has been for some time officiating in Utica, New York. Rev. Mr. Ainarna.

October 1844

October 6th

The bishop gave confirmation in the Cathedral at Chicago. About 175 persons confirmed.

#8 + In August 1844, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were the 11th, 12th and 13th NOT Monday (11th) and Tuesday (12th) as Quarter has in his diary.

+ The first German parish in Chicago was St. Peter in 1846. Eventually Father Ostlangenberg would serve as pastor of St. Peter in the 1850’s. See: Koenig, 768-769.

+ Father John Ingoldsby would serve as pastor of St. Patrick, the oldest Catholic Church in the city, from 1844-1850. For further information on Father Ingoldsby’s service in Joliet and subsequent priestly ministry, see: Norman G. Werling, O. Carm., The First Catholic Church in Joliet, Illinois, 2nd ed. (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1987), 63-68.

+ Little Fort was a former French trading post and settlement for the Potawatomie tribe. In 1849, the name was changed to Waukegan. See:

Little Fort, IL
October 8th

He set out in company with his brother Rev. Walter J. Quarter on the visitation of the diocese. Reached Joliett that night. Rev. Thomas O’Donnell of Ottawa was with them from Chicago. Stopped at the hotel. Rev. Mr. Ingoldsby had left in the afternoon on a mission to Aurora. Rev. W[alter]. J. Q[uarter]. & Rev. Th[omas] O’D[onnell] and the Bishop started the following morning for Ottawa. #9

October 9th

Reached there about 7 p.m. and remained for the night at the Fox River Hotel where Rev. T[homas] O’D[onnell] boards. Started on the next day for LaSalle.

October 10th

Met on the way Rev. Mr. Montouri, who returned with them & entertained them the remainder of that day & that night.

Bishop Maurice de St. Palais, Vincennes

October 11th

Following day we went aboard of the steamer Panama and sailed down the Illinois River as far as [p. 19] Erie where they went ashore, and having their own horses & waggon (sic) travelled (sic) as far as Mt. Sterling where they remained Saturday night. #10

October 13th

On Sunday morning they both said Mass at the house of a widow woman (Mrs. Foley). 4 or 5 went to communion, and after breakfast on Sunday morning they set out for Quincy which place they reached same day at 2 ½ o’clock.

October 14th

The bishop preached on Monday evening in the Catholic Church under the charge of Rev. Mr. Brickwedde.

October 15th

On Tuesday morning at 8 o’clock gave confirmation in the ch[urch] of Rev. Mr. Brickwedde (German) to about 10 persons. Left same day & reached Versailles aboard Indiana (?). Stopped at the house of a Mr. McCormick (cooper) and started next morning for Meredosia.

October 16th

Remained there until about 4 p.m. Went aboard of the steamer Lexington which got aground on the bar near Beardstown. Remained there until Friday morning where they got off the boat in a flatboat.

October 18th

Drove to Beardstown. A snow storm commenced. After dinner left for Virginia (?). Remained over night.

October 19th

Left next morning Saturday for Springfield.

October 20th

On Sunday the Bishop preached at 10 & again at Vespers & gave confirmation to about 10 persons. Left Springfield on Monday.

October 23rd to 26th

Reached LaSalle on Wednesday evening. Gave confirmations there next morning to about 15. Left same day for Ottawa. Gave confirmations on Friday morning to some 10 or 12. Left for Joliett (sic) & reached Chicago about 3 p.m. on Saturday.

[p. 20] November 1844

November 3rd

Had a visit from a German priest of the name of Kramer, who was making his way to New York, being invited there by the Very Rev. John Raffiner

November 1st

On All Saints day, formed a society among the children of the congregation having for its object their religious instruction. The Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella is the guardian of the society.

November 21st

On feast of remembrance of B.V.M. arrived Mr. John Faughnan from New York [handwriting seems to change again with the following sentence]. Arrived Mr. Lawrence Hoey (seminarian) from Williamsburg, L[ong] I[sland] near New York. In the beginning of this month the spire of the steeple was elevated on the base. The steeple erected this month also. The first & only spire, as great, in the city of Chicago.

November 29th

The Rev. Bernard McGorisk left today for Little Fort [Waukegan], probably to remain there as pastor. Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella took charge of the college. Feast of St. Lawrence. #11

November 30th

Conferred the minor orders & subdeaconship on Mr. John Faughnan & on the 1st December [handwriting seems to change again] the same gentleman received the Holy Order of Deacon.

December 1844 

December 3rd

and on the feast of St. Francis Xavier, he was raised to the dignity of the Priesthood in the Cathedral of St. Mary Chicago by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Quarter. Mr. Faughnan is appointed to assist for the present the Rev. P[atrick] McMahan on his mission in Donelly’s settlement; both Rev. Mr. McM[ahan] & Rev. Mr. Faughnan [p. 21] leave for their mission tomorrow the — 5th. Rev. Mr. McM[ahan] is now convalesced being sick with bilious & intermittent fever & absent from his mission since the beginning of last October. #12

#8 + In August 1844, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were the 11th, 12th and 13th NOT Monday (11th) and Tuesday (12th) as Quarter has in his diary.

+ The first German parish in Chicago was St. Peter in 1846. Eventually Father Ostlangenberg would serve as pastor of St. Peter in the 1850’s. See: Koenig, 768-769.

+ Father John Ingoldsby would serve as pastor of St. Patrick, the oldest Catholic Church in the city, from 1844-1850. For further information on Father Ingoldsby’s service in Joliet and subsequent priestly ministry, see: Norman G. Werling, O. Carm., The First Catholic Church in Joliet, Illinois, 2nd ed. (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1987), 63-68.

+ Little Fort was a former French trading post and settlement for the Potawatomie tribe. In 1849, the name was changed to Waukegan. See:

Little Fort, IL

#9 + Aurora is approximately 40 miles west of Chicago.

#10 + The distance from LaSalle (IL) to Mt. Sterling (IL) is 157 miles. It is located in the western part of Illinois.

+ Mt. Sterling to Quincy is 39 miles.

+ Father Augustine Brickwedde, native of Germany, was the first resident pastor of Quincy (IL). He was appointed by Bishop Rosati in 1837. For further information on Brickwedde, see: Joseph J. Thompson, ed., Diocese of Springfield in Illinois: Diamond Jubilee History (Springfield, IL: Hartman Printing Co., 1928), 133-135.

+ Quincy to Versailles (IL) is 49 miles, and Versailles to Meredosia (IL) is 8 miles.

+ Beardstown (IL) is 46 miles northwest of Springfield (IL).

+ This second pastoral visit of the diocese concentrated on central (Springfield) and western Illinois (Quincy). This was a part of the state where a number of German immigrants had settled.

#11 + Father Kinsella would serve as the president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake until 1855 when Bishop Anthony O’Regan (third Bishop of Chicago) requested his resignation, along with three other faculty members. In his will, Bishop Quarter had left property to the University of St. Mary of the Lake. Both Bishop Van de Velde, Quarter’s successor, and Bishop O’Regan, opposed how the property was to be disposed. Father Kinsella and the three other priests, Fathers William Clowry, John Breen, and Lawrence Hoey, left the Diocese of Chicago for the East. Father Kinsella would serve as pastor of St. Raymond Church in New York City until his death in 1875. See: Koenig, History of Parishes, I, 4.

+ Father McGorisk did not become the pastor of Immaculate Conception in Waukegan until late in 1845. See: Koenig, II, 1594.

December 1844

December 3rd

and on the feast of St. Francis Xavier, he was raised to the dignity of the Priesthood in the Cathedral of St. Mary Chicago by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Quarter. Mr. Faughnan is appointed to assist for the present the Rev. P[atrick] McMahan on his mission in Donelly’s settlement; both Rev. Mr. McM[ahan] & Rev. Mr. Faughnan [p. 21] leave for their mission tomorrow the — 5th. Rev. Mr. McM[ahan] is now convalesced being sick with bilious & intermittent fever & absent from his mission since the beginning of last October. #12

#12 + For information on St. Patrick parish in Hartland (Donnelly’s Settlement, IL) see: Cornelius J. Kirkfleet, O. Praem., A History of the Parishes of the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois (Chicago: John Anderson Publishing Company, 1924), 310-312. Hartland is 67 miles northwest of Chicago.

+ For a short history of the University of St. Mary of the Lake see: Harry C. Koenig, Caritas Urget Nos: A History of the Offices, Agencies, and Institutions of the Archdiocese of Chicago (Chicago: The New World Publishing Company, 1981), v. 1, 315-332.

Part IV

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.

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.

[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!

[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

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

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

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.

#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.

#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.

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

Piero della Francesca
Ca. 1463

#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.

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

#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. 

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.

Part V

April 28th (?)

Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg [illegible word]. Threatening to leave diocese. [illegible words] & threatening again.

April 30th
Rev. Mr. McMahan in Chicago again. [illegible words] Taylor’s Settlement on work done [illegible words] of Church. Old Andreas (?) German priest (?) departs for Milwaukee.

May 2nd

Rev. Mr. Rattigan arrived looking for mission. Leaves after one or two days. Rev. Mr. McMahan gone to St. Louis to see his sister.

[p. 30] [There are no entries between May 2nd and September]

September 1845 

Together with the foregoing the bishop received a donation of a bell from Felix Ingoldsby priced at $185(?). This bell will be in the steeple of the Cathedral. After a lapse of about 4 months the bishop returned to his diocese and found on his arrival the Cathedral which was being plastered during the summer nearly finished. The plastering was done under the superintendence of Mr. Daniel Sullivan, architect; and liberal contributions were raised from the congregation of Chicago by the active exertions of Rev. W. J. Quarter & the Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella.

September 1845 Ordinations

September 8th

On the 8th of September, the feast of the Nativity of the B.V.M., the bishop held an ordination in the Cathedral and tonsured Misters John Bradley, Henry Coyle, James Griffin, Francis Derevin and John M. Herbst (?). On the same occasion Misters Griffin, Derevin, & Herbst received minor orders & the Misters Derevin & Herbst were ordained subdeacons.

September 17th

In quatnor tenke (?), Mr Lawrence Hoey received the tonsure and minor orders. Whilst Mr. Griffin was ordained subdeacon and Mr. Philip Conlon also subdeacon.

September 19th

Quatttuor-tense, feast of St. Januarius

The bishop officiating pontifically ordained the subdeacons Rev. Misters Francis Derevin, Philip Conlon & Griffin deacons.

September 20th
Quattuor-tense the feast of St. Eustachius

The bishop officiating pontifically in the cathedral raised the Rev. Misters Francis Derevin & Philip Conlon, deacons, to the dignity of the Priesthood.

Friday, about 1 ½ p.m. the Rev. Mr. Jong arrived in the “Steamer Empire.” He is of Strasburg, Germany & is appointed pastor of the German congregation Chicago.
September 27th

Died on Saturday morning of the 27th Rev. John Faughnan, pastor of Elgin in the 42nd year & three months of his age. R.I.P.

September 30th

Arrived from N.Y. today Mr. Joseph Rogan to join the seminary.

[the three entries of September 20, 27, & 30 seem in different handwriting than what precedes and what follows]

October 1845

October 5th

The First Sunday of October

The new Cathedral of St. Mary was consecrated by the Right Rev. William J. Quarter, the bishop of the diocese. The ceremony of consecration commenced about 6 a.m. The bishop was assisted by Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella as deacon, Rev. Mr. Conlon as deacon & Rev. Mr. Griffin subdeacon. After the consecration the bishop celebrated Mass on the consecrated altar. Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella said the next mass. The High Mass at 10 o’clock was celebrated by the Rev. Walter J. Quarter. The Rev. Mr. Conlon acted as deacon & the Rev. Mr. Griffin as subdeacon & Rev. Mr. Jong (German priest) as archdeacon. Mr. Coyle was master of ceremonies. Mr. Lawrence Hoey thurifer. There were present in the sanctuary the following [p. 32] #18 seminarians, viz.: Misters Thomas Aughoney (sacristan), Henry Coyle, Lawrence Hoey, James Kean, Joseph Rogan, young Mr. O’Donnell, brother of Rev. Mr. O’Donnell of Ottawa, John Bradley, Mr. Gallagher & Rev. Mr. Herbst subdeacon. The bishop preached at the last Mass and gave out Vespers. The discourse at Vespers was in German and presented by Rev. Mr. Jong. The Right Rev. Dr. Lefevre [sic] of Detroit was invited, as also the Right Rev. Dr. Henni of Milwaukee. Letters of apology were received from both. Duty & circumstances preventing their attendance.

#18 + As he had done with his description of his first Holy Week in Chicago, so Bishop Quarter provides a thorough description of the consecration of the cathedral. However, he makes no mention of prominent Catholic laity or any civic officials who might have attended.

October 15th

(Feast of St. Teresa) Ordained Rev. Ja[mes] Griffin (deacon) priest.

October 18th

Mr. Hamilton arrived & joined seminary.

October 19th

Administered Sacrament of Confirmation at Little Fort (Waukegan, IL) where Rev. B[ernard] McGorisk is pastor, to 56 persons.

October 21st

Administered the Sacrament [of Confirmation] at Donnelly’s Settlement (Hartland, IL) where Rev. P[atrick] McMahan is pastor to 31 persons.

October 22nd
Visited Elgin. Saw the pastor Rev. Mr. Scanlan. On the 20th the Bishop of Milwaukee was here on his way to Cincinnati.

October 17th

This entry is out of numerical sequence of the previous ones, but this is the way the entry is recorded in the diary.
On this day the workmen began to dig the foundation of “the University of St. Mary of the Lake.” The name of the man who has contracted to build it is James O’Donnell. The name of the architect is Daniel Sullivan. In digging the foundation they found shells, an evidence it would seem, that the lake once flowed there, but has since receded.

[p. 33]

November 1845 

November 4th

The Bishop & Rev. John Ingoldsby started today in the buggy of the latter for Galena. They stopped the first night at Elgin. The 2nd night at Rockford. The 3rd at New Dublin where Rev. Francis Derevin is pastor. They found him engaged with several of his congregation in raising a log house for his residence. Next morning they proceeded on their journey accompanied for some miles by the Rev. Mr. Derevin & a young man of the name of Murphy. They dined at the house of a German of the name of Weaver near Elizabeth and reached Galena same afternoon – Friday the 7th. #19

#19 + A search of maps and history of Illinois has not found where “New Dublin” is located. Since Bishop Quarter was headed to Galena (IL), a guess would be that this town is somewhere near Freeport (IL).

November 15th

On Saturday evening of the following week, Right Rev. Dr. Loras arrived in Galena. Bishop Quarter invited him to give Confirmation at the 8 o’clock Mass the following day. He agreed. He preached also at Vespers & left for Dubuque next morning. On the following Tuesday in the afternoon [November 18th] Bishop Quarter left for Chicago in a private carriage, owned and driven by a Mr. Gavin. Rev. Mr. Ingoldsby left for home on the day preceeding (sic). #20

November 22nd

The Bishop reached Chicago on Saturday evening and found the new university under roof. The bishop collected 425 dollars towards building the ecclesiastical seminary in Galena. During the bishop’s absence on this visit, there had arrived the Rev. Mr. Plathe a German priest from Boston who was yesterday [November 25th] appointed pastor of the German congregation at Grosse Pointe & also Mr. McLaughlin from the college at Emmitsburg [MD], a student of theology, [p. 34] and also a young man of the name of Brady who has joined the ecclesiastical seminary.

November 26th

A violent snowstorm commenced early this morning and still continues. Towards the close of this month, the Bishop was waited on by a gentleman of the name of Babbitt from Nauvoo who represented himself as the agent of the Mormons to city and authorised (sic) to make sale of their property to the Catholics. The Bishop wrote to Rev. Misters Hamilton of Springfield & Tucker of Quincy to go to Nauvoo & see what arrangements could be made regarding the leasing at least if not purchasing of the Mormon Temple. #21

December 1845

December 16th

Received today a letter from the Society of the P[ropagation] of the F[aith] of France.

December 18th

[handwriting seems to change again]

This is the coldest day I have experienced for years. And even the snow drifts. It blows hard [from] n[orth]w[est] and freezes tightly.

January 1846 [Handwriting seems to change again]

Heavy rain. O’Donnell, builder, said to be neglecting his building at the university. On 2nd [O’Donnell] confined to prison by Mr. Luckerman, lumber merchant, for not paying his bills. #22

January 3rd

On this day (Saturday) the bishop erected the Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral.

[p. 35] January 4th

On Saturday, D[aniel] Sullivan, architect, served O’Donnell with notice in the prison, that he (Sullivan) would get on in constructing the university, as O’Donnell had violated the terms of his contract. On Monday D[aniel] S[ullivan] proceeded to prosecute the work.


#18 + As he had done with his description of his first Holy Week in Chicago, so Bishop Quarter provides a thorough description of the consecration of the cathedral. However, he makes no mention of prominent Catholic laity or any civic officials who might have attended. 

#19 + A search of maps and history of Illinois has not found where “New Dublin” is located. Since Bishop Quarter was headed to Galena (IL), a guess would be that this town is somewhere near Freeport (IL). 

#20 + Bishop Mathias Loras was made the first Bishop of Dubuque (Iowa) in 1839. For more on his life see: Shelley, ed., Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, s.v. “Loras, Mathias,” by William E. Wilke. 

#21 + After the expulsion of the Mormons from Missouri in 1838, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints bought property in Hancock County (IL) and established a town they named Nauvoo. Because of continuing social and political tensions, the leaders of the Mormons decided to sell their property. Elder Almon Babbitt was sent to visit the Catholic bishops in St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Chicago. Bishop Quarter’s Diary notes Babbitt’s visit to Chicago on November 26, 1845. On December 2, 1845, Father Tucker (Quincy) and Father Hamilton (Springfield) visited with the Mormon leaders and toured the property. A proposal for the sale of the lands was given to the two priests. Father Tucker suggested that the proposal be published in various Catholic newspapers. Father Tucker offered the opinion that he believed that Catholic men in St. Louis, New York and other cities had the money to buy the property, but he wondered if it could be done on such short notice. The Mormon leaders also indicated that they were willing to lease the Nauvoo Temple for five to thirty-five years. On January 7, 1846, the Elders received a letter from Father Tucker indicating that the Catholic bishop of Chicago could not raise the money to buy the property. However, the bishop was interested in either buying or renting one of the buildings on the condition that he did not have to insure it against fire or mobs. This was not acceptable to the Mormon leaders so no further discussions took place between Bishop Quarter and the Mormons regarding the Nauvoo property. See: Smith, Joseph. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957), v. 7, 537, 539-540, 565. [Accessed October 4, 2017] 

#22 + McGovern does not include the information about O’Donnell not attending to the building of the university or being imprisoned for failure to pay the lumber bill. 

+ McGovern in his entry for January 4th writes: “On Saturday D. Sullivan, architect, stated that there was some difficulty in getting the contractor to do the work…” [p. 77]. McGovern does not have the actual words from the diary “served O’Donnell with notice in the prison that he (Sullivan) would get on…”

Part VI

January 11th

On this day, Sunday, the bishop held an ordination in the Cathedral & conferred tonsure, minor orders & subdeaconship [sic] on Mr. Patrick James McLaughlin.

January 13th

Today the same gentleman was ordained deacon & on the 15th raised to the dignity of the priesthood.

January 22nd

[handwriting seems to change again]

On this afternoon (Wednesday) Mr. Burch (?) of Lake St. came and presented the Bishop with an anonimous [sic] letter which he had received thro[ugh] the post office. Threatening to burn down the university, in less than six weeks, unless the men that worked there, when O’Donnell was contractor were paid their wages. Burch is the agent of the company that insures the university. And as the men are paid pretty generously (?) the malicious intent of the writer cannot be well accounted for. #23

February 1846

February 15th

Sexagesima Sunday, this year – A meeting called for after Vespers in the basement of the Cathedral of persons who had previously taken the total abstinence pledge. The constitution previously drawn up by the Bishop was submitted and a society was organized and officers elected. The name of the society is “the Chicago Catholic Benevolent Temperance Society.” #24

February 18th

Rev. Mr. Carroll of Alton in Chicago on a visit to the Bishop. Business connected with his church.

February 19th

A violent snow storm from the N[orth] E[ast]. The whole month stormy.

[p. 36] March 1846

March 10th

The frame of the building being erected for “St. Patricks Church” on the west side of the river of Chicago raised today. The building was undertaken at the earnest desire of Rev. Walter J. Quarter, who undertook to collect & pay for it. #25

The 2nd anniversary of the Bishops consecration. The seminarians invited by the bishop in the evening to attend in the college hall where a beautiful piece of poetry in honor of the occasion was read by Mr. Ja[mes] A. Kean. The piece was his own composition. The reading was followed by a reply from the bishop and the seminarians performed some excellent pieces of music. The seminarians at present are Rev. John Herbert (subdeacon), Misters Lawrence Hoey, John Bradley, James Kean, James Rogan, Hugh Brady, George Hamilton, James Gallagher, Henry Coyle, Thomas Aughony, & Tim Sullivan.

#25 + St. Patrick was built by Augustine Deodat Taylor for the cost of $750. The frame church opened for services on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1846. See: Koenig, History of Parishes, I, 751.

March 17th

Pontifical High Mass in the Cathedral at 10 o’clock. Rev. W. J. Quarter preached the Panegric (sic) of St. Patrick. Rev. Mr. Kinsella acted as deacon & Rev. Mr. McLaughlin subdeacon. First column raised under the university this afternoon about 4 p.m.

[note in the margin by this date]

Received abusive letter from Bagley (?) one of the contractors employed in finishing the cathedral, because he was not satisfied with the amount of his contract, thought he should have more. #26

March 18th

The steamer Champion is to leave Chicago for St. Joseph’s this evening at 8 o’clock.

#26 + McGovern makes no mention of the letter from Bagley. Both the building of the Cathedral and the University had created financial and construction problems for the bishop.

March 19th

A snow storm this night. Next day the ground covered with snow. Rev. Mr. Brickwedde arrived from Quincy on the 16thand left Chicago for Quincy again on the 19th. He was absent in Europe since last June. Collected some paintings & vestments & 100 dollars in money for the diocese.

[p. 37] Notes and remarks giving more detailed particulars – pages 11 & 12 regarding the new cathedral.

The brick walls roofed with 4 posts standing up where is now the steeple. The inside not plastered. A temporary altar against the end wall. No vestry. The sanctuary enclosed with rough boards. The children seated on either side of the altar on benches, where are now the vestry rooms. The basement not plastered. No columns. No steps. No doors except temporary ones made of rough boards. Mass said for the Germans at 8 1/2 a.m. The last mass at 10 ½ a.m. All the Catholics assembling in same church. Debt on the building nearly $3,000. That amount borrowed by Rev. Mr. De St. Palais from different individuals and some of that money [illegible word] paying at 10 & 12 per cent. The bishop had to assume much debt and pay it.

On the lot adjoining the church was due the whole of the price of its purchase not much [illegible word] of $1000. The bishop had to pay that amount also. On the loan (?) was due nearly $4000, the bishop had to pay that sum. Shortly after the bishop arrived he called a meeting of the congregation, and spoke to them about the debt and needing (sic) of finishing the Church, but deeming it impossible to raise sufficient funds to pay the debt & finish the church. He thought it better to apply whatever would be collected to the finishing of the church & was [or might be “not”] satisfied to pay the debt himself. A good spirit [p. 38] was manifested at that meeting, and all promised to do their best in collecting. The city was divided into districts and collectors appointed. The next meeting went off harmoniously. 

About this time three men were appointed, as a committee, to wait on the bishop from what was called a Catholic book society. The object of their calling on the bishop was professedly to have his approval of the society if it met his approbation, but in reality to have it continue under the sanction of his name whether it met his approval or not. The two principal persons were, A.D. Talley (?), painter, and Brown, chair maker. When the bishop had read the constitutions of the society, he found in it many articles objectionable. He proposed to take the constitution and amend it, & appoint the pastor of the church president of the society. To this proposition the members would not agree, and dissolved the society, and divided the books among themselves. The unfortunate men above named, together with others, who even probably as bad, but did not appear, finding that they would not be permitted to act as they pleased, and guide themselves, resolved opposing everything undertaken for the benefit of religion by the bishop. That this was their resolution their after acts sufficiently proved altho (sic) did not make this profession so as to be thus heard by the bishop. [p. 39] As the bishop was about to visit the diocese, he resolved before he set out to consecrate a burial ground for the Catholics. Ten acres of land had been purchased previous to his arrival for a burial ground. The bishop was of [the] opinion that five acres would be amply sufficient for the wants of the Catholics for graves, and that the rest might be reserved for the purposes of erecting religious institutions thereon. Accordingly he consecrated but five acres, and then set out on the visitation 15th of June (one month and a few days after his arrival in the diocese). When it was announced on the following Sunday that a portion only of the land purchased for a burial ground, was consecrated, the individuals named above went to work to stir up the worst feelings of the Catholics against the bishop. Misrepresented his actions and even his intentions, and on his return in July called a public meeting, but printed placards, of the Catholics to take into consideration the affair of the graveyard. The placards were printed and poster up by A. M. Talley and his [illegible word]. The meeting was published to be held at one of the public buildings of the city, but when it was understood that the bishop would be there, and at his request the meeting was held in the old church. The bishop spoke then for himself, explained his views, motives and intentions, and no person spoke in reply. All agreed to go out on the following day & select lots in the [p. 40] in the (sic) consecrated ground. They did so and even Talley selected a lot, altho (sic) he said afterwards he would not keep it, but [illegible word] hold onto a lot he had already selected in the other land, not consecrated and where he had one or two children interred. The pious Catholics raised the remains of their friends and transferred them to the consecrated ground in obedience to their bishop.

The bishop thought the matter had then ended, but soon found that the evil spirit was still at work, and employed the unfortunate Talley as his instrument, [handwriting seems to change after this]to oppose as far as his limited influence with everything undertaken by the bishop for the advancement of the holy cause of religion. Being deeply mortified in not being able to carry on the book society according to his own [illegible word] notions and of taking advantage of the meetings of those that they themselves appointed officers, without the sanction of the pastor, to discuss matters foreign from religion. He resolved to seize upon an opportunity apparently favorable for his wicked purposes, to stir up the bad (?) passions of the Catholics in opposition to their bishop. He cared not [illegible word] much about the burial ground, as about the loss of the opportunity of diclaiming (sic) or rather raving his mad, and it is to be feared, irreligious motives, at certain meetings of the members & officers of the aforesaid book society.

The bishop and his clergy heeded him not. Paid not attention to his calumnies [p. 41] and altho (sic) they would hear of his stopping, and haranguing some [illegible word], digging up some [illegible word], and of his speaking upon those occasions most disparagingly of the bishop. For the bishop and the graveyard were his constant themes. The subject, it would seem, of his dreams at night, and of his conversations by day. Yet the bishop & his clergy pursued the even tenor of their way, and altho (sic) his words might have had the effect of preventing some from contributing towards the church that was in process of finishing, and altho (sic) he might have dried up many a source of charity, yet Almighty God was pleased to enable the bishop to prosecute to completion the religious work he had undertaken and altho (sic) his means were limited yet a kind providence furnished abundance for all wants. Oh! How good is God! The jaws of hell cannot prevail against his Church!

At a subsequent meeting of the Catholics called by the Bishop devise the best made (sic) [means] of raising subscriptions to pay for finishing the Church. A.D. Talley, Horace Taylor (father in law of Talley) and Brown tried to make some confusion, and by their untimely remarks caused the bishop to bring the meeting hastily to a close without effecting any thing (sic) beneficial towards the object in view. All further public meetings were discontinued thereafter fearing confusion & disorder.

On the 14th of April following year [1845] the bishop left for New York with the intention of making collections towards building [p. 42] a new college and seminary for the diocese. When he had left Talley wrote to the Archbishop of Baltimore, complaining of the Bishop of Chicago. Talley [illegible word] that the Archbishop was an American by birth thought it would serve his purpose to state the he himself was an American also, and accordingly signed himself an American Catholic. The Archb[ishop] unfortunately answered that letter. Altho (sic) for the purpose of giving the writer [illegible word] counsel no doubt. Yet any sort of a reply was welcome, as he had it in his power to boast of being answered by the Arbhb[ishop]. The letter written by Talley full of abuse & misrepresentation was handed to the Bishop of Chicago by the Archb[ishop] and is still kept among his papers.

It is not necessary to remark here as it is already stated in the foregoing pages that the Rev. Misters De St. Palais & Fisher (sic) the clergymen of the B[ishop] of Vincennes, and [illegible word] in Chicago before the bishop’s arrival, returned to their own diocese in August of 1844. The Rev. Jer[emial] Kinsella & Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg (German) were the only priests left in the city of Chicago by the bishop when he was absent in N.Y. Shortly after the b[ishop’s] departure for N.Y. the Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg became discontent. And as the course of his dissatisfaction was not known. It is not necessary, nor would it be proper, to stay as a missionary out here. Suffice it to say he had no apparent cause. At all event he has left the diocese, and repaired first to [p. 43] St. Louis, where he met no kind reception from the b[ishop], who would not sanction his course, and next to Milwaukee, where he remained for some time. But was finally obliged to return to his own Diocese of Chicago. His departure however had the effect of causing some to believe, and especially those of his own country, that he left under a [illegible word] of injury. The whole weight of church building, praying [illegible word], [illegible word] doing to the spiritual wants of the people, preaching, collecting, teaching seminarians devolved on the shoulders of the only priest left, Rev. Mr. Kinsella. It is not necessary to state, it can be imagined, all he had to suffer mentally, as well as phisically (sic) in such a state of things until the brother of the bishop, Rev. Walter J. Quarter, returned from the East, whither he had travelled (sic) with the b[ishop] & lightened him of much of his burden. He being already a priest of long experience, and not unacquainted with the troubles of a new place. [He] looked upon these things which usually happen, despised them, and carried out his [illegible word] with determination and courage. When the b[ishop] returned from the East in August the new Cathedral was nearly finished. It was announced that the consecration would take place the first Sunday of October. It was expected that the B[ishops] of Milwaukee & Detroit would be present, both disappointed, and accordingly the B[ishop] of Chicago had to perform the whole ceremony of consecration himself. He commenced at 6 a.m., an hour [p. 44] at which few of those who wished to witness the ceremony attended.

“Discontent with this world gives such a painful longing to quit it that, if the heart finds comfort, it is solely from the thought that God wishes it to remain here in banishment.“

– Saint Teresa of Avila

#23 + McGovern does not include the January 22nd entry on the threat to burn down the university in six weeks. Clearly, Bishop Quarter had gone ahead with the building of the university without having raised enough funds for the material and wages. The threat to burn down what was completed was not carried out.

#24 + In their 1840 Pastoral Letter, the American bishops addressed the issue of temperance. They wrote: “Endeavoring to imitate their prudence, if we do not emulate their austerity, we neither feel ourselves warranted to require, nor called upon to recommend to all our flocks, a total abstinence from a beverage which the sacred Scriptures do not prohibit, and of which the most holy persons have occasionally partaken. . . Hence we would desire to see established amongst us, those pious confraternities, which at all times have done so much good to true religion and to pure morals, by mutual encouragement to partake of the sacraments, which are the channels of grace established by our blessed Savior, to convey to our souls this precious treasure, by which we may be enriched and strengthened to every good work, to sobriety, to temperance, to justice, to benevolence, to charity, to patience, to chastity, to the fulfillment of the law, to the observance of the counsels, to the adornment of the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” Nolan, Pastoral Letters, I, 136-137. The Chicago Catholic Benevolent Temperance Society was one of many such organizations in Catholic dioceses throughout the United States of America to promote temperance.

#25 + St. Patrick was built by Augustine Deodat Taylor for the cost of $750. The frame church opened for services on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1846. See: Koenig, History of Parishes, I, 751.

#26 + McGovern makes no mention of the letter from Bagley. Both the building of the Cathedral and the University had created financial and construction problems for the bishop.

Part VII

And as many thought the ceremony of consecration would not begin before 10 1/2 o’clock and came at that hour finding it already finished. They felt some disappointment. Few, however if any, would have expressed displeasure, were it not that the afforesaid (sic)Talley & some of his adherents circulated that the bishop hoaxed the people & that the whole was only a scheme to get money. This was another opportunity to [illegible word] their spleen and seek their vengeance. Even on the morning of the consecration Talley went to the door of the church where he assaulted some and harangued them not to pray on going in. That no one had a right to prevent them. Many went in without making any offering, at his bidding. For such conversation is always agreeable to those who do not feel charitably disposed. In the announcement published of the consecration it was that that 50 cents would be expected from each person on entering to help to defray the heavy expenses incurred in finishing the cathedral, but altho (sic) that am[ount] was expected, yet no one was asked to pay, except they felt disposed. Consequently there was no charge. Under the circumstances the amount of the collection would have been considerable, but owing to the assault made to prevent or disuade the people from [p. 45] contributing, the sum collected was very small for the occasion about 150 dollars.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,* and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

[Matthew 11: 28-30]

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.

[Luke 6: 22-23]

Altho (sic) no charge was made, as will appear from the advertisements published in the city journals at that time, still did an individual write a communication for a small paper published in Litte Fort, Lake Co, assuming the quaint signature of Recoboam Ben Abram (sic) finding fault with the bishop for making any charge at all, and, asserting (?) that “mamom (sic) put him (the bishop) up to it.” And yet in the same communication the writer admitted he knew not whether the b[ishop] arranged the affair or if he alone had to saddle (?) it being the highest religious functionary in the state. The real name of the writer of that communication was, it appears, a Mr. E. A. Gilbert, and who is not a Catholic. This Gilbert is said to be a aspiring (?) student of medicine in the office of Dr. Brainerd of this city.

It may be well to state that Talley whose name so often occurs in the foregoing pages left off going to the Catholic Church, shortly after the time he first spoke disparagingly of the bishop and did not approach the sacraments before that time in Chicago to the knowledge of any of the Catholics. Whether he was really a Catholic at any time, or only a pretended convert, God knows. No notice was ever taken by the b[ishop] or his priests of any of these travails in the church or even in conversation [p. 46] with the people, and altho (sic) they were continued as long as possible yet most likely they finally died for want of [illegible word]. These amazing, altho (sic) petty & [illegible word], persecutions, lasted for nearly two years. Another instance of amazing conduct took place on the day of the consecration of the cathedral. A Mrs. Rickard (German) was employed as organist, and had been performing on the organ of the church for nearly a year at the salary of $100 per annum when the day of the consecration of the ch[urch] approached, her husband applyed (sic) for an increase of salary for his wife. But as his application met no countenance, the lady absented herself on the day in question and left the singers to make out as best they could. She [illegible word] by the act, however, for she was immediately informed that her services were no longer required. The principal singer, Brown, was receiving a salary of $50 per annum, which was then raised to $100. The lady being discontinued, $50 per annum was saved to the Church.

Prior to the arrival of the B[ishop] of Chicago at his See, the B[ishop] of Vincennes called away from the new diocese all of his clergymen who had been before [in the] state and in which fact that belonged to Vincennes, but as those that were stationed in Chicago, viz. Rev. Mr. de St. Palais, & Rev. Mr. Fisher, as well as the pastor of Joliet (Rev. Mr. Dupantavice) and the pastor of Little Fort, [p. 47] Rev. Mr. Gregon, did not return at his bidding, he wrote them & withdrew their faculties. The bishop of Chicago not being aware of the intention of the B[ishop] of Vincennes to take away those clergymen was surprised on his arrival to find them without permission to say Mass. He wrote to the B[ishop] of Vincennes requesting him to permit those clergymen to remain for some time, but he would not consent. They did however remain for some months until Providence was pleased to send young men ready for Holy Orders & who when ordained took their place. The clergymen being returned, the B[ishop] of Vincennes next wrote to the B[ishop] of Chicago to pay him $1000 for the lot on which stands the small house that was occupied by the clergymen on the bishop’s ground & which is at present occupied as a residence by the bishop himself & the clergymen of the city, except the German clergyman. So this lot was bought by the B[ishop] of Vincennes from the Rev. Tim O’Mara, whom he (the B[ishop] of Vincennes) had suspended, & as the whole amount of the purchase [illegible word] was not paid to the said O’M[ara], and as a suit was entered against the B[ishop] on [the] property, for the recovery of the am[ount] in question, which is said to be about $600, and as that suit is still pending, and as there is a probability, if decided in favour (sic) of O’M[ara], the B[ishop] of Chicago would have to pay that sum in addition to the $1000 claimed by the B[ishop] of Vincennes. The B[ishop] of Chicago has not settled the matter with the B[ishop] of Vincennes up to this date, 29 March 1845, and this tardiness on the part of the B[ishop] [p. 48] of Chicago, which is considered by him only an act of prudence, is not pleasing to the B[ishop] of Vincennes. What course this business may yet take it is not easy to determine, but it is hoped matters will be adjusted amicably, & to the satisfaction of both parties by & by. [illegible word] even now, there is no unkind feeling on either side, certainly not on the part of the B[ishop] of Chicago.

March 28th

Wrote a letter of appointment for Rev. Philip Conlon to the pastorship of the Catholic congregation of Springfield instead of Rev. George (?) Hamilton who is appointed to Dresden & neighborhood. Rev. Mr. Jong signed a contract today with A.D. Taylor to build two Catholic German churches in Chicago. Present the bishop and Misters Diversey (?), Shaller, Burck & Hettingen. Both to be built for $1000. #27

#27 + McGovern deletes the reference to the letter of appointment for Fr. Philip Condon in his edition of the diary.

March 29th Passion Sunday

Announced that the cathedral would be open every day during next two weeks from 5 to — p.m. that the people of the congregation might at that hour perform devotions of the Stations of the Cross, that confessions would be heard every morning after Mass & the spiritual retreat for the members of the congregation would be opened on Palm Sunday evening.

April 1846

April 5th

During Holy Week the congregation of the cathedral enjoyed the benefit of a spiritual retreat. The bishop gave instructions at 9 a.m. and at 3 p.m. each day. The confessionals were thronged with penitents. The bishop officiated on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, & Easter eve [Holy Saturday].

April 11th Easter Eve

Two steamboats arrived from Cleveland and Buffalo today, the Madison first & Bunker Hill next. Good Friday the rain fell all day in torrents. The wind blew high all day & night. The winter very severe. The spring also so far. Today rain & snow, and high wind. A Mr. Murray student of theology arrived from St. Louis.

April 12th Easter Day

St. Patrick’s Church, on the west side of the river, opened today for divine service by the Rev. W.J. Quarter.

April 19th

[handwriting seems different again]

Dominica in albis. The bishop administered confirmation in the cathedral and about 60 children & adults were confirmed.


The same Sunday the bishop officiating pontifically in the cathedral conferred tonsure on Misters Joseph Ryan, Hugh Brady, Michael O’Donnell, James Kean, & James Gallagher, & minor orders on James Gallagher, James Kean, Henry Cail & George Hamilton.

April 21st

[hangwriting seems different]

The bishop left Chicago for Baltimore to attend at the Provincial Council what was to be opened the 10th of May.

June 13th

[handwriting seems different]

[this entry is on the bottom of the page following the information from the May 10th entry]

Arrived from Council of Baltimore via Boston, Albany, & Detroit. Very Rev. James Van Velde (sic), Provincial of the Soc[iety] of Jesus in the West [here ?], and left on Tuesday 16th for stage for St. Louis.

[p. 51] [handwriting is different]

June 16th

Four of the seminarians took possession of the new college viz. Misters Joseph Ryan, Thomas Aughney(?), James Gallagher, & Michael O’Donnell.

June 20th

Bishop Loras of Dubuque arrived the evening (?) in steamer Champion.

June 21st Visitation

Gross Point. German Catholic Church. On Sunday morning, (John Davlin) took the bishop in a carriage to the above named place where he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 24 persons. The Rev. Mr. Plathe, the pastor, preached in German & 41 received their Holy Communion.

June 25th

Thursday the bishop administered the Sacrament of Confirmation at Joliet, where Rev. John Ingoldsby is pastor & Rev. James Griffin as[sistant] pastor, to about 34 children and adults.

June 28th

Sunday at 11 a.m. the bishop laid the cornerstone of the new church of St. Columba or Columkille (sic) at Batavia, where the Rev. Thomas O’Donnell is pastor & Rev. Joseph Cuming (?) as[sistant] pastor.

July 1846

July 4th

The fourth of July the new University of St. Mary of the Lake was opened by appropriate exercises.

July 6th

Ordination was held in the chapel of the new seminary. Rev. Mr. Badin, the first ordained priest in the U.S., acted as archdeacon & Rev. Mr. Kinsella & Rev. Walter J. Quarter assisted. The tonsure, minor orders & subdeacon [p. 52] subdeaconship (sic) were conferred on Misters Terence Murray & James McAuley. The seminarians were removed today to the new university.

Be a bright flame before me, O God

a guiding star above me.

Be a smooth path below me,

a kindly shepherd behind me

today, tonight, and for ever.

Alone with none but you, my God

I journey on my way;

what need I fear when you are near,

O Lord of night and day?

More secure am I within your hand

than if a multitude did round me stand.


Prayer of St. Columbia


July 14th

Rev. Misters Murray & McAuley (subdeacons) were ordained deacons.

July 16th

The aforesaid men were ordained Priests. Thomas Auphney (?) left seminary of his own accord.

July 18th

Rev. Mr. McAuley appointed to assist Rev. Thomas O’Donnell of Ottawa. On same day Rev. John Brady appointed pastor of the new church at Galena & Rev. Mr. Murray appointed as[sistant] of Rev. Mr. Petiot (?).

August 1846

August 2nd [handwriting seems different]

Dedicated the German Catholic Church of St. Peters. #30

#30 + St. Peter was the first German parish in Chicago. For additional information on its history see: Koenig, History of Parishes, I, 768-770.

August 15th

Dedicated the G[erman] C[atholic] C[hurch] of St. Joseph. #31

September 1846

September 16th

Misters George Hamilton & James Gallagher received in the cathedral the subdeaconship.

September 18th

The same men were ordained Deacons.

September 19th

The same promoted to the dignity of the Priesthood.

#31 + St. Joseph served the German Catholics on the north side of the Chicago River while St. Peter served German Catholics south of the Chicago River. For additional information see: Koenig, History of Parishes, I, 506-508.

September 23rd

The Rev. Walter Quarter returned from Pittsburgh bringing 6 Sister of Mercy to establish a convent of their order in Chicago.

September 29th

Mr. Joseph Ryan received in the cathedral the minor orders & subdeaconship.

Catherine McAuley
Founder of the Sisters of Mercy

September 30th

The same was ordained Deacon.

October 1846


The Rev. Joseph Ryan ordained Priest.

[p. 53] September 23rd

[additional note on Sister of Mercy]

the following are the names of the Sisters of Mercy that came in company of V[ery] Rev. W. J. Quarter from Pittsburgh to form the first foundation at Chicago viz. Sister Mary Frances Ward, superior of the community of Sisters of Mercy at Pittsburgh, Sister Mary Agatha O’Brien to be superior of the new foundation at Chicago, Sisters Mary Vincent McGirr, Mary Gertrude McGuire, Mary Elza[beth] Corbitt & Mary Eva Smidt (?). #32

October 1846

October 9th

see outside [not sure of the meaning of this entry]

October 13th

Bishop left Chicago in company of Rev. Mr. Carroll pastor of Alton and of Rev. George Hamilton as[sistant] pastor at Alton on the visitation of his diocese south.

October 14th

Layed (sic) the cornerstone of a new church at LaSalle, that is being built by Rev. Misters Mantuon(?) & Mark Anthony Culle(?).

October 18th

On the River Illinois (Sunday) preached in the boat in the afternoon.

October 19th

At Alton

October 21st

At St. Louis

October 22nd

At Belleville. Left same day for Vincennes, In[diana]

October 25thPreached in the cathedral at Vincennes, forenoon and afternoon.

#32 + Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland in 1831. The first group of Mercy Sisters arrived in the United States on December 10, 1843. Waiting for them in New York City were Bishop Michael O’Connor (Pittsburgh) and Bishop-elect William Quarter. He was able to secure a promise from Mother Francis Xavier Warde to send a group of Mercy Sisters to Chicago in the future. In less than three years, the first group of Mercy Sisters arrived in Chicago on September 23, 1846. For ten years, they were the only group of religious women working in Chicago. For further information on their arrival in Chicago and early pastoral work see: Sr. Mary Josephine Gately,[ R.S.M.], The Sisters of Mercy: Historical Sketches, 1831-1931 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1931), 260-264; Sr. Mary Eulalia Herron, [R.S.M], The Sisters of Mercy in the United States, 1843-1928 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1929), 49-58; n.a., Reminiscences of Seventy Years (Chicago: Fred J. Ringley Company, 1916), 37-46; and Garraghan, The Catholic Church in Chicago, 117-119.

October 26th & 27th

Visited St. Francisville, Mt. Carmel, Coffee(?) #33

#33 + St. Francisville and Mount Carmel are in the southeastern part of Illinois near the border with Indiana. The distance between Chicago and those two cities is between 280-290 miles.

October 28th

Left Vincennes for St. Marie, Jasper Co[unty] Picquet’s Settlement. #34

#34 + Ste. Marie is 54 miles northwest of St. Francisville. It was established in 1837 by French immigrants called the Colony of Brothers. Joseph Picquet played a key role in organizing the colony and recruiting members for it. See:,_Illinois.

November 1846

November 1846

November 1st

Gave Confirmation at St. Marie to 39 persons

November 3rd

Left for Teutopolis, Effingham Co[unty].

November 4th

Gave Confirmation in same place to about 39 persons. Left for Highland.

November 5th

At Highland & next to Shoal Creek.

[p. 54] November 5th

Left Shoal Creek afternoon & reached Belleville same evening.

November 6th

Left for St. Louis

#34 + Ste. Marie is 54 miles northwest of St. Francisville. It was established in 1837 by French immigrants called the Colony of Brothers. Joseph Picquet played a key role in organizing the colony and recruiting members for it. See:,_Illinois.

November 7th

Left St. Louis for Alton & continued on the stage for Springfield.

November 8th

In Springfield. Preached forenoon & afternoon.

November 9th

Left for Peoria. That night in Peoria & 10th in same place.

November 10th

Left same place in boat for Peru. Continued on in stage from Peru.

November 12th

reached Chicago in the afternoon.

November 21st

Sister Gertrude professed as a religious of the order of our Lady of Mercy in the cathedral. Ceremony commenced at 9 o’clock. A Pontifical High Mass. Sermon by the bishop. Church crowded with Protestants.

October] 9th

[this entry follows that of 11/21]Sisters Mary Eliza[beth] Corbitt (called in religious Sister Josephine) and Mary Eva Smidt (called in religious Sister Veronica) took the white veil. A Pontifical High Mass in the cathedral. Service commenced at 9 o’clock. Sermon by Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella, president of the University of St. Mary of Lake.

December 1846

Nothing of interest #35

#35 + Not sure why the diary, beginning in October 1846 through March 1847, has such brief or no entries. It does seem strange that Bishop Quarter, who in previous diary entries offered a wide range of comments, found nothing of interest to note in almost a six-month period. Maybe health reasons limited his energy for writing, although no direct evidence supports this. The lack of entries from October 1846 through March 1847 remains a mystery.

January 1847

February 1847

March 1847

no entries in the diary for these months
April 1847

April 3rd Holy Saturday

Bishop officiating pontifically conferred tonsure on Misters Burns, Baltes [later Bishop of Alton/Quincy], & Pendergast. Minor orders Misters Hugh Brady, Mich[ael] Pendergast. Subdeaconship Misters James Kean, Lawrence Hoey, Hugh Brady, Michael Pendergast & Henry Cail. #36

#36 + Although the first name is not given in the diary for “Baltes” who received tonsure on April 3rd, he likely was Peter Joseph Baltes who became the second Bishop of Alton (IL) in 1869.

Bishop Joseph Baltes

April 4th Easter Sunday

Bishop officiated pontifically and conferred subdeaconship on Mr. John Bradley [p. 55] & deaconship on Hugh Brady, James Kean, and Mich[ael] Pendergast.

April 11th

Dominica in Albis. Bishop officiated pontifically & raised to the dignity of the Priesthood Rev. James Kean & Rev. Mich[ael] Pendergast.

Nuns Taking White Veil

[April 10th] [entry out of chronological order]

On Saturday morning before Low Sunday the bishop gave the white veil in the chapel of the convent of the Sisters of Mercy to two young ladies both from N. York City — Miss Mary Murholland(?) called in religion Sister Mary Francis De Sales & Miss Ellen Reiley called in religion Sister Mary Theresa.

Spiritual Retreat for the Clergymen of the Diocese of Chicago 

#36 + Although the first name is not given in the diary for “Baltes” who received tonsure on April 3rd, he likely was Peter Joseph Baltes who became the second Bishop of Alton (IL) in 1869.

Bishop Joseph Baltes
April 18th

The exercises of the spiritual retreat for the clergymen opened Sunday evening the 18th of April in the chapel of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, chapel of “The Holy Name of Jesus,” by a Jesuit father from St. Louis of the name of Rev. Di Maria, S.J. This father is the Jesuit Professor of Theology in the Ecclesiastical Seminary of the Jesuits attached to the University of St. Louis. Nearly all the clergymen of the diocese assembled at the retreat. Some 3 or 4 are absent owing either to indisposition or the difficulty of travelling from a remote part of the diocese, but even then may yet arrive before the exercises of the retreat are brought to a close. #37

#37 + Information on Father Francis Di Maria, S.J. (1808-1870) can be found in Eleanor C. Donnelley, A Memoir of Father Felix Joseph Barbelin, S.J. (New York: Christian Press Association Publishing Company, 1886), 219-234 accessed through The Donnelley book provides information on Di Maria’s childhood and early life as a Jesuit, but little information of his time as a seminary professor. He also is mentioned briefly in Gilbert Garraghan, S.J., The Jesuits of the Middle United States (New York: America Press, 1938), v. III, 301-302.

The sermon at the High Mass on Sunday was [p. 56] preached by the Rev. Mr. Feely (?) as[sistant] pastor at Ottawa. The subject of his discourse was mysteries in general & the Holy Eucharist in particular. In the afternoon at Vespers Rev. George S. Hamilton, as[sistant] pastor at Alton preached. Subject Purgatory.

[p. 57]

[p. 58] [numbering of the next two pages is out of sequence. The diary indicates the next two pages as 56 and 57, whereas they should be 58 and 59. The numbering will reflect the page as indicated in the diary]

Clergymen at Synod

[signed by their own hand]

Very Rev. Walter J. Quarter [crossed out]

Jeremiah S. Kinsella

Dennis Ryan

Patrick McCabe

Patrick McMahon

Augustus Brickwedde

Bernard McGorisk

John Ingoldsby

Andrew Doyle

G. H. (?) Fortmann (?)

Michael Connolly

John Brady

Berhard Hermann Plathe

John Cavanaugh

Patrick James McLaughlin

Philip Conlon

Patrick Thomas McElhearne

James Gallagher (?)

Mark Anthony

James A. Kean

Michael Pendergast

[illegible name] van Clostere (?)

Raphael Ranaldi

Alphonsus [illegible name]

P. Scanlan

J. G. Schafer

G. H. Ostlangenberg

William Feely

James Griffith

Francis Derwin

George Hamilton

W. Masterson

J. Rogan (?)William Quarter, Bishop of Chicago

[p. 57]

Clergymen absent from synod for just causes and with permission

V. Rev. W. J. Quarter

Rev. P. Donaho — Kaskaskia

Rev. W. Kinister (?) — Teutopolis

Rev. Murray — in Ireland for health

Rev. Brennan — deceased (?)

McAuley — sick in Galena

V. Rev. Mr. Badin — in New Orleans

Rev. Mr. Jung — Shoal Creek

Rev. Mr. Drew — Shawneetown (?)

Rev. Thomas O’Donnell — Brooklyn, N.Y.

[page numbering now continues with p. 59]

[p. 59] April 1847

April 29th

Rev. Tousaint Cour Jault [Courjoult] arrived from Vincennes and after three days retreat in seminary he received faculties, temporarily, and was sent to Burbonas Grove (sic). Rev. G[eorge] Hamilton appointed pastor at St. Francisville, Mt. Carmel, & Caffee(?). Rev. James Griffith to Nauvoo Fountain Green and St. Augustine’s. #38

May 1847

May 18th

Bishop left Chicago for visitation of southern part of the diocese. Rev. James Kean accompanying him.

May 23rd Pentecost Sunday

Administered Sacrament of Confirmation at Alton.

#38 + Father Jault was replacing Father Badin who was in New Orleans.

May 25th

Administered the Sacrament of Confirmation at Quincy. Laid the cornerstone of a new church for Germans. Rev. A. Brickwedde pastor. #39

May 30th Trinity Sunday

Administered the Sacrament of Confirmation at Belleville & blessed (?) the church. Rev. Mr. Ostlangenberg pastor.

June 1847

June 3rd Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Administered Sacrament of Confirmation at Kaskaskia.

June 4th

Administered Sacrament of Confirmation at Prairie du Rocher.

#39 + The Catholic Almanac (1848), [139] lists St. Boniface as the German parish in Quincy.

Part IX

June 6th

Second Sunday after Pentecost.

Administered Sacrament of Confirmation at Prairie du Long. English settlement.

June 8th

Left St. Louis for Chicago.

June 24th

Conferred minor orders & subdeaconship on Mr. Kennedy.

June 25th

Deaconship on same.

June 26th

Raised same to the dignity of the Priesthood.

July 1847

July 6th

Sent Rev. Mr. Kennedy to Galena.

August 1847 #40

August 31st

About this date an article appeared in two of the daily papers of this city (“The Democrat” & “Tribune”) stating [p. 61]that there was a move on foot by the German Catholics to obtain a coadjutor bishop of this diocese who was to be acquainted with their language & manners etc. It was promptly contradicted in “Journal” & also in the two papers aforesaid. Journal came out again stating it was [illegible word – under?] the authority of some Germans. The Germans that caused the first article to be written(?) were Michael Diversey, Andrew Schaller, & (?) Bumgarten(?). They were accompanied to the office of “The Tribune” by the individual named Tally, whose name [is] connected with opposition to the Bishop & the arrangements made by bishop for ch[urch] improvement figures already in preceding pages. Indeed it was(?) believed that Tally was the writer of the article that appeared. A few days after the publication of the article in question, & the corrections of the editing an extract was made from a letter written by Cardinal Fransoni to the Archbishop of Baltimore recommending that persons be chosen hereafter for bishops of those dioceses whose population was German, that were acquainted with the language & this extract was also published in the daily newspapers as a kind of justification of their other proceeding. The matter might have gone further had not the bishop summoned the 3 Germans above named to his presence [p. 62] and threatened that in case they made any move to denounce them as schismatics.

#40 + McGovern does not include the August 31st entry in his published version of the diary. The entry deals with two important issues in the American Catholic Church – lay trusteeism and language abilities of bishops. In this particular case, Bishop Quarter had long-standing tensions with Tally and some other lay Catholic leaders. In his meeting with the German Catholics responsible for the article, Bishop Quarter saw the primary problem as the challenge to his leadership. He did not comment on the issue contained in the letter of Cardinal Fransoni, Prefect of Propaganda Fide, to Archbishop Eccleston on the need for bishops to speak the languages of the Catholics in their dioceses. A copy of the letter from Cardinal Fransoni to Archbishop Eccleston can be found in Donald Shearer, O.F.M. Cap. (ed.) Pontificia Americana: A Documentary History of the Catholic Church in the United States: 1784-1884 (Washington, D.C.: n.p., 1933), 246-249.

+ The issue of the Bishop of Chicago being able to speak German became a concern after the death of Bishop Quarter. A committee of German Catholics, including Diversey and Schaller, sent a petition to the bishops of the United States arguing for the need of the next bishop to speak German. They argued that, since the state of Illinois had approximately 35,000 German-speaking Catholics in the diocese of Chicago, it was imperative the next bishop speak German. For further information on this see: Trisco, Nascent Church, 93-96.

September 1847

September 24th Feast of the BVM de Mercede

On this morning at 8 o’clock the bishop gave in the cathedral the white veil of a novice to Miss Cath[erine] Kildea called in religion, Sister Mary Aloysius. Same day in the beginning of this month, Rev. John Fahy arrived from Ireland & was appointed as[sistant] pastor at Ottawa.

October 1847
October 1st

Rev. Mr. Shafer arrived from Picquets’ Settlement appointed pastor of St. Jospeh (German Church in this city). Rev. Mr. Plathe sent to St. Marie in his place. Rev. Mr. Plathe was accused by the Germans afforesaid (sic) of improper conduct, and as he was not found guilty by the Church & punished, or sent away immediately. There being no proof the publications alluded to above were set on foot (sic). #41

#41 + McGovern edits the October 1st entry. He drops any mention of the accusations against Father Plathe by German Catholics for misconduct. Bishop Quarter seemed to have investigated the charges and found them not verified.

October 4th

Left for McHenry to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. Purposing to stop the first night at the residence of Mr. Dwyer, near Little Fort took the wrong road and had to remain the night at a tavern at a place called “Half Day.” Started next morning a 6 and arrived at McHenry about 11. The Rev. Mr. Fortman, the clergyman that attends that mission, had commenced Mass & was at the Offertory. #42

# 42 + Half Day is 34 miles north of Chicago. Many people believe that the town was named Half Day because it was a half day carriage ride from Chicago.

October 5th

Immediately after Mass, Confirmation was administered to 41 persons, male and female. After some short delay for refection, set out again for Chicago, and stopped that night at Mr. Murray’s near whose residence is a Catholic Church. There is in that neighborhood about 25 Irish families settled, who are visited occasionally by the clergyman of Little Fort [Waukegan].

[The entries for October 15th, 16th, and 17th were not in the original diary] #43

#43 + The entries of October 15th, 16th, and 17th are ones that McGovern has in his version of the diary, but not included in the hand-written version. One possibility is that McGovern got the information for these entries from Father McElhearne, who accompanied Bishop Quarter from Chicago to Bourbonnais Grove, before returning to Chicago as indicated in the entry for October 18th.

October 15th Feast of St. Theresa (Friday)

The bishop left Chicago in a private conveyance, a wagon owned and driven by John Gavin, with the view of going to Vincennes to assist at the Consecration of Right Rev. Dr. Bazin, the successor of the Right Rev. Dr. De la Hailandiere, which was to take place in the Cathedral on the 24th. The bishop was accompanied on the setting out by the Rev. Mr. McElhearne. The day previous a snow storm visited Chicago, and extended for some miles around, rendering traveling unpleasant; but a few miles from the City south no rain or snow had fallen, and the roads were good to Joliet.

+ The reference to the snow on October 15th was likely the local phenomena known as “lake effect” snow.

October 16th

Left Joliet for Bourbonnais Grove.

#43 + The entries of October 15th, 16th, and 17th are ones that McGovern has in his version of the diary, but not included in the hand-written version. One possibility is that McGovern got the information for these entries from Father McElhearne, who accompanied Bishop Quarter from Chicago to Bourbonnais Grove, before returning to Chicago as indicated in the entry for October 18th.

+ The reference to the snow on October 15th was likely the local phenomena known as “lake effect” snow.

October 17th

Feast of the Maternity of the B.V.M. #44

The Bishop administered the Sacrament of Confirmation at Bourbonnais Grove. This congregation is composed almost exclusively of Canadian French; the present pastor is Rev. Mr. Conjault, a native of France. The congregation is increasing daily, especially from Lower Canada. A new church is about to be erected and dedicated under the invocation of the B.V.M. of the Nativity.

#44 + This feast used to be celebrated in October but was moved to January 1st after the Second Vatican Council.

October 18th Monday

The bishop went forward on his journey towards Vincennes having caused the Rev. Mr. McElhearne to return to Chicago. Altho (sic) the morning was fine up to 10 o’clock after that it commenced to rain & continued all day. The first stopping place was Middleport, the county seat of Iriquois (sic) county. Here runs a creek and after some rest he travelled on and reached Millford that night. The Iriquois (sic) & Sugar creeks are close to the town on either side.

October 19th

Set out for Danville. Passed there the small and poor village of Denmark.

October 20th

Left Danville for Paris. Heavy rains prevented the bishop from advancing further on his way to Vincennes. He remained and administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on Sunday [October 24th] to several children and adults. The Rev. Hugh Brady is at present pastor.

October 25th Monday

The bishop set out on his return for Chicago where he reached on Friday.

[p. 65] November 1847

November 1st

The bishop officiated pontifically in the cathedral. Rev. Hugh Brady, deacon; Rev. Mr. Coyle, subdeacon; Rev. Mr. Hoey, thurifer & Rev. Mr. McElhearne, master of ceremonies.

November 10th Theological Conference #45

# 45 + One would wish for more details on the first Theological Conference of the diocese. Bishop Quarter was interested not only in the initial education of the clergy, i.e. the establishment of the seminary, but also the continuing education of them. Since many of the priests worked in areas with little opportunity for contact with other priests, the Theological Conference provided some time for those attending to develop a presbyteral fraternity as well as for Bishop Quarter to get to know his priests better.

The first theological conference of the diocese was held this morning in the chapel of the “Holy Name of Jesus” of the theological seminary. The Right Rev. W. Quarter presided. The following clergymen were in attendance viz. V[ery] Rev. Walter Quarter, Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella, president of the university, & Rev. Misters Michael McElhearne, P. McLaughlin, Rainaldi (Naperville), Montuori & Mark Anthony of LaSalle, T. O’Donnell (Ottawa), Fahy of Kaskaskia, Scanlon (college), Brady (Galena), It was the intention of Rev. Mr. Brady to remain there until he would have arranged his affairs. Accordingly when he settled there, he wrote to the bishop for his exeat and obtained it. Much frost all this month. The fence was put up around Cathedral. School house removed to near by cathedral. #46

#46 + McGovern does not include the reference to Father Brady obtaining his “exeat” from the diocese.

[p. 66] December 1847

December 8th Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM

Miss Mary Ann McGirr, called in religion, Sister Mary Vincent received the black veil and made her solemn vows, as a Sister of Mercy in the cathedral. The Right Rev. W Quarter officiated. The Rev. Jer[emiah] Kinsella presided. The aforesaid lady is a native of Pittsburgh [crossed out] Youngstown, Westminster County, Pa.

January 1848

[the first Sunday of the year in 1848 was January 2nd]

About the first Sunday of the new year, Sister Mary Agatha O’Brien, first mother superior of the “Sister of Mercy” in Chicago, formed a society amongst the female children of the congregation called the society of “the Children of Mary” about 60 female children entered this their names as members.

[January 8th]

On the Saturday before the first Sunday after the Epiphany Mr. Hampston, one of the seminarians, formed a society amongst the boys under the patronage of “St. Joseph.” #47

#47 + The formation of the two sodalities, “the Children of Mary” and “St. Joseph,” would be a means of providing further religious and spiritual education for the Catholic youth of Chicago.

[p. 67] January 9th #48

The first Sunday after Epiphany the following named Catholic gentlemen met in the bishop’s room after Vespers. Misters John Breen (?). Charles McDonnell, [William] Snowhook, John McGovern, Thomas Kinsella, John Devlin, all Irish & Mr. Ellis, Scotch and Canadian and had a conversation regarding the propriety of establishing a society to be known by the name of the “Hibernian Benevolent Emigrant Society.” The bishop said he approved highly of the designs of forming such a society. That it was called for by every feeling of humanity, benevolence, & charity, and that it would have his hearty cooperation. He showed that the active efforts of such a society could not fail to benefit the state whilst they would be of service to the emigrants in a variety of ways. Many had sought the West during the past year. It was likely that a large number would turn their steps westward the coming Spring, and every feeling of sympathising (sic) humanity seemed to require that there be some one to bid this stranger “welcome.” Whoever looks into his own heart, be he to the manor born or not, if he has even wandered from the paternal roof & bade farewell to those that went by him cherished, revered, and loved knows something of the pangs that such a seperation (sic) causes, but if he has left

Part X

[p. 68] the land of his nativity, friends & home and seeks to find a new home & new friends in a foreign land he knows well how much needed is sympathy, encouragement and kindly greeting to say nothing of assistance to the stranger landing on a foreign shore altho (sic) the feelings of most foreigners were once sensitively alive to these truths & knew them by their own experience, yet time may have worn off the impression, and they may forget that any heart can feel, that any heart can sorrow & bleed, that any heart can need comfort and consolation and advice, and that any heart can be grateful for any attention received amongst strangers notwithstanding their forgetfulness. It is true there can. Yet it is hoped that selfishness has not taken such fast hold of Irishmen, as to cause them to forget, altho (sic) they may be now affluent, joyous, and happy in the circle of their amiable & kind hearted (sic) friends, that they were once strangers, and then a midst hung around every object that met their view because their hearts were sad, that when they would recall in their heart of hearts the one which gave them a kindly word because they were strangers. The many poor that emigrate need the helping hand of charity. They need too protection from those that might at times unscrupulously take advantage [p. 69] of their poverty. All, of whatever [crossed out] class, that purposed to emigrate desire to have in advance the particulars of that section of the country where they purpose to settle for life and to secure homes for themselves, their children and their childrens (sic) children. They desire to be informed regarding the aspect of the country, its climate, produce & all which information might conveniently be given by the secretaries of the society now in contemplation.

January 11th

Bishop Henni arrived on his way to Rome. Left next morning in stage for St. Louis.

January 12th

Another meeting of the Hibernian Benevolent Emigrant Society held in school room. Next meeting to be in court house on Wednesday evening next, 19th, when constitution is to be submitted and officers elected. Mr. Gregg in the chair last evening. Gregg, Hoyne, and Kinsella appointed to purpose the constitution for society.

February 1848

February 2nd

Misses Mary Kildea & Cath[erine] Donovan received the white veil of Sisters of Mercy in the chapel of the convent. The former is called in religion Sister Stanislaus and the latter Sister Lucy. One a choir and the other a lay sister. Bishop Quarter presided at the ceremony.

[p. 70] March 1848

March 17th

A Pontifical High Mass in Cathedral. The panageric of St. Patrick preached by Rev. P[atrick] McElhearne. The Hibernian Benevolent Emigrant Society had a supper at the city hotel. Rev. Misters McElhearne, McLaughlin, & Scanlan were there.

March 19th

Heard of the deaths of 5 Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh

March] 20th

Steamboat Steamship “Ward” left at 9 o’clock a.m. for St. Joseph. First trip this season. #49

#49 + The reference to the first ship of the season to St. Joseph is a comment made several times in the diary. The sailing of the first ship seemed to be seen by the people of Chicago as “a first sign of spring.” 

April 1848

Account of the death of Right Rev. Dr. Quarter, first Bishop of Chicago [written on side margin]

April 10th

Died at his Episcopal residence, Chicago, the Right Rev. Dr. Quarter, the first Bishop of Chicago. On the day preceding his death, the Sunday of the Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, he lectured at the last Mass in the cathedral on the Apostolicity of the Church. We have never heard so powerful a discourse on the same subject. What an open and sincere profession of faith did the Apostle of this young church make the day before he gave up his pure spirit to Him who gave it!!! Shortly before the hour of three oclock (sic) on the morning of the 10th, the Rev. Mr. McElhearne, the clergyman who resided with the bishop and his housekeeper were awaken by his moans. They hurried upstairs to his apartment and found him walking through his rooms. He complained much of pain in his head and heart. He thought there was a necessity of medical aid, but wished for to see Rev. Mr. Kinsella, president of the “University of St. Mary of the Lake.” He began to sink rapidly and the time of his disolution (sic) appeared [p.71] to be at hand; so that the Rev. Mr. McElhearne deemed it necessary to administer to him all those consolations which our Holy Church prescribes to be given to the soldier of Jesus Christ at their dying moments. He lived only a few minutes afterwards. The soul of the disinterested, the zealous, the holy pious Bishop Quarter at the hour of 3 o’c[lock] on this morning fled to his God, whose vicar he was in truth, to render an account of his stuartship (sic) and to receive the great rewards that were due to his truly Apostolic labours (sic).

[signed] Rev. J. Kinsella, President of the University of St. Mary of the Lake #50

#50 + The symptoms described by Father Kinsella, “much pain in head and heart,” are descriptive of several serious medical conditions. From the brief description, a definite cause of death is hard to determine, but the symptoms are consistent with a brain hemorrhage.

+ Further information on the last days of Bishop Quarter is provided by Dr. John McGirr, who in addition to being Bishop Quarter’s physician also served as Professor of Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, and Botany at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. Dr. McGirr writes:

“During Lent he was engaged in delivering a series of lectures upon the marks of the True Church. — On Passion Sunday he lectured at last mass in the Cathedral on her Apostolicity, and while he, the apostle of this young church, stood in that pulpit, making as it were, his own profession of faith; as the burning words fell from his lips, who could have imagined the catastrophe that was impending?

On leaving the pulpit, he felt very much fatigued; and at vespers, his voice, as he gave his last blessing to his people, was remarked to want its usual full tone; but in the evening he conversed with his friends, in as lively a manner as usual. He ate a light supper, and retired early, remarking, however, to Rev. Mr. McElhearne, who resided in the house with him, that he did not feel as well as usual; but that he thought sleep would revive him.

About 2 o’clock in the morning of the tenth of April, Mr. McElhearne was awakened by his moans, and hurrying instantly to the Bishop’s apartment, found him seated on the edge of his bed. — He complained of a very severe pain in his head. Rapidly his strength seemed failing, and with a prudence worth of imitation, this zealous young clergyman proceeded, having sent for medical aid, to administer to his Bishop all those consolations which the Church affords to her departing children.

Scarce had this duty been accomplished, when having uttered the words, “Lord, have mercy on my poor soul,” the Bishop fell over into a deep slumber. – So thought those around him: but alas! It was a sleep that knew no awakening!

When I entered his room, his devoted clergymen of the city were around him; and though no relative was there to receive his last sigh, there were those beside him who loved him dearly, very dearly. Not a word was spoken as I passed to the bed side. The dear Bishop lay as if in a quiet slumber. I reached for his arm; explored the wrist for the pulse; but there was no pulse, and the cold hand dropped from my grasp. I placed my ear upon his chest, to ascertain whether life might not yet be standing, tottering upon the threshold of eternity; but I listened in shaken off its mortal shackles – had passed the bourne; and that the lately warm and noble heart had ceased its pulsations forever! – the tongue that pleaded so eloquently for the truths he taught, would plead no more.

I knew that for him life’s volume was closed, but how could I speak that knowledge? What a scene of woe would one simple word disclose! Oh how truly it is, that to us is given the power to cause the blush of hope to mantle the pale cheek, or to speak the words that will make it paler still! and how painfully did I feel this as I turned from that bed and whispered the word, “Dead!”– and ere my startled ear recovered from the shock that whisper made on silence, it was re-echoed amid the tears and the lamentations even of those without! He was dead! Yes, there he lay calmly and quietly, as in sweet repose. His spirit had passed away like a zephyr’s breath, and there was a lingering smile upon his cold lip, that told how happily.”

The above passage can be found in John E. McGirr, A.M., M.D., The Life of the Rt. Rev. Wm. Quarter, D.D,: First Catholic Bishop of Chicago (Des Plaines, IL: St. Mary’s Training School Press, 1920), 73-75. McGirr’s book was dedicated to Very Rev. Walter J. Quarter, brother of Bishop Quarter and Vicar General of the Diocese of Chicago. McGirr refers to the book as “this feeble effort to recall the labors and virtues of his deceased brother is respectfully dedicated, as a token of personal regard, by the author. The first version of the book was published in Chicago in April 1849.

+ No details of the funeral are given in the diary, which his brother, Walter, continued until the arrival of Bishop Van de Velde. McGirr does provided fuller details of the wake, funeral, and burial in his book. Bishop Quarter’s wake began the second day after his death and was held in his residence. McGirr comments that many civic officials and Protestant clergy viewed his remains. After two days of viewing the body was taken to the cathedral on April 12th for additional viewing. Over the next few days, Masses for the Dead, Offices for the Dead, and a daily Solemn High Mass were offered. On Friday, April 14th, the funeral Mass was celebrated. Rev. Mr. Feely preached the funeral oration. Bishop Quarter was buried in front of the main altar of the cathedral. See McGirr, 76-78.

Mount St. Mary’s
Emmitsburg, Maryland

April 18th

The Right Rev. Dr. Quarter, first Bishop of Chicago, was born in (sic) Killurine, Kings County, Ireland, on the 31st day of January 1806. He was the 3rd son of Mich[ael] Quarter & Ann Bennett. My parents have 4 sons, John who was the eldest, Walter Joseph, v[icar] g[eneral] to the bishop and now administrator of the diocese, and James who was raised for the Holy Ministry but died before he was ordained. My brother, the bishop, was sent at the age of 8 years to Tullamore to school. At the age of 17, he emigrated to this country, and entered college at Mt. St. Mary’s, Emmitsburgh (sic), M.D. [Maryland]. Dr. Dubois, afterwords 3rd Bishop of New York, was then pres[ident] of Mt. St. Mary’s College. He received my brother kindly. And he ever afterwards loved him as a father w[oul]d a child. And my brother [illegible words]. He was ordained [a] priest in New York by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Dubois on the 8th of September [illegible year][p. 72] and was sent as as[sistant] pastor to St. Peter’s church in the city of New York where he remained for 4 years with the Very Rev. Dr. Power, v[icar] g[eneral] of New York. In the year 1833, he was appointed by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Dubois [as] pastor of St. Mary’s Church, corner of Grand & Ridge Sts. where he remained as pastor, until he was consecrated Bishop of Chicago. He was consecrated on the 11th day of March 1844, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the city of New York by the Right Rev. Dr. Hughes, then and now Bishop of New York. The Right Rev. Dr. Byrne, Bishop of Little Rock, and the Rt. Rev. Dr. McCloskey, Bishop of Albany, were consecrated on the same day, and at the same time. Bishop Quarter took possession of his see Sunday May the 5th 1844. He [illegible word] poor, but gave [illegible word] to bless every thing he undertook. He died on Passion Sunday “as stated by Rev. Dr. Kinsella” on the 10th day of April 1848, the 4th of his episcopacy.

This is a short and hurried scetch (sic) of the life of my brother, the first Bishop of Chicago, but the notes are correct.

[signed] Walter J. Quarter, V.G. [illegible word] Administrator of the diocese pro tem.

[p. 73] [diary continues in the handwriting of Walter J. Quarter]

May 1848

May 28th

Six Sisters of Mercy left here this morning for Galena, in this diocese, to take possession of the new house, which was purchased last winter by the Very Rev. W.J. Quarter by the advice of his dearly beloved brother Bishop Quarter, who is now no more. Mother Agatha O’Brien accompanied them there. The Rev. Mr. McElhearne has charged of the sisters on the road. The Rev. Mr. McGorisk has been appointed pastor of St. Michael’s Church in the city of Galena on today by the Very Rev. Walter J. Quarter, V.G. and Admin[istrator] of the diocese. The Rev. Mr. McElhearne will assist the Rev. Mr. McGorisk.

May 29th

Rev. Misters Donahoe & Rogan came today to assist V.R. W.J. Quarter at the cathedral.

Part XI

December 3rd First Sunday of Advent

Sent on this day, the Rev. Dennis Dunne, deacon, & the Rev. Henry Coyle, subdeacon, to Detroit, to Bishop Lefevre, to have them ordained priests for this diocese. They went in the evening stage from this place, as the boat was not running to St. Joseph. The night was stormy, snowy, & unpleasant. May God send them safe, & grant them his grace. #60

#60 + The other bishops who might have ordained these men include Bishop Henni (Milwaukee), Bishop Kenrick (St. Louis), or Bishop Hailandiere (Vincennes). The choice to go to Detroit may have been a practical such as the Diocese of Detroit had an ordination scheduled that was convenient for the Chicago candidates.

December 5th

Rec[eived] a letter this morning from Rev. Fr. J. Fisher, a former priest of this place. I wrote to him to (sic) St. Louis, appointing him to the congregation of Highland in this state. I also wrote to the Archbishop of St. Louis, who is kind enough, to act as vic[ar] gen[eral]. This is snowy, disagreeable weather. This winter so far, is said to be the worst, that has been in many years.

Bishop Peter Paul Lefevre

December 14th

Rec[eived] a letter this morning from the Most Rev. Archb[ishop] of Baltimore stating that Very Rev. J. Van De Velde, of St. Louis, is appointed Bishop of Chicago in the place of my brother, the Right Rev. Dr. Quarter, 1st bishop. Glory be to God. May his episcopal reign be such, as will give glory to God and peace to the church is all I have to say. I rejoice however that the very Rev. Mr. Van De Velde is the person appointed. The Rev[erend] Henry Coyle & Rev. Denis Dunne returned this evening from Detroit. These two young gentlemen have been raised on last Sunday (the 10th) to the holy priesthood by the Right Rev[erend] Bishop Lefevre of Detroit at my request. #61

Bishop Peter Paul Lefevre
[p. 82] December 15th

The Rev. Misters Henry Coyle & Denis Dunne were ordained priests on last Sunday, (the 10th) for this diocese by the Right Rev. Bishop Lefevre of Detroit at the request of the administrator, the Very Rev. W.J. Quarter. No news as yet from any quarters. All on the alert. All anxiety (sic) about the new bishop. God [illegible word] that his reign may [be] a pleasant one to him, & a useful one for the Church. [first three words are illegible] which I hope he is, he will know nothing. [two illegible words], to fear.

December 17th 3rd Sunday of Advent

The Rev. Denis Dunne said his first Mass at 7 o’clock this morning, assisted by the Very Rev. W.J. Quarter. He preached at the 10 o’clock Mass on the love of God. His sermon was good & well delivered for a young priest. The Rev. Henry Coyle sung his first Mass at 10 o’clock to day assisted by the Very Rev. Walter J. Quarter. Rev. Mr. Coyle is a good singer and got through well. May God protect them both and give each a long life of usefulness.

Very Rev. Jan Roothaan
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
Pope Pius IX

p. 83] December 28th Holy Innocents

On this day in the convent chapel in this city, Mary Mulholland & Ellen Reilly were professed & made their last vows, as Sisters of Mercy. The Very Rev. W. J. Quarter officiated & the Rev. P.J. Donahoe preached. The name of the former in religion is Sister M[ary] De Sales. The latter Sister M[ary] Theresa.

December 29th

Rec[eived] a letter today from the Archbishop of St. Louis. Rev. Mr. Scanlon buried this morning. He departed this life yesterday the 28th p[ast]. The Rev. Mr. McLaughlin, Donaho, & Dunne at the funeral.

December 31st

Sunday the last day of the year 1848. The Rev. Henry Coyle preached his first sermon on this day in the cathedral. The Very Rev. W.J. Quarter preached in the evening. Many are the curious things which happened this year. But amongst them all, the most to be lamented is the death of our poor bishop! He was well this day twelve months [ago]. But Alas! He is gone! The world what is it? Why should we set our hearts upon it? May God have mercy on my brother.

[p. 84 & 85 are blank]

[p. 86] January 1849

January 1st

Four Sister of Mercy received their veils this morning. It was solemn indeed. Nothing remarkable today. Wrote to the Archbishop of St. Louis.

January 2nd

Nothing very particular today.

January 3rd

Cold today. Good sleighing. The sleigh bells are ringing merrily today.

January 6th Epiphany of our Lord

A large congregation and many communicants today. Mass at 9 ½ o’clock. Day very cold.

January 7th Sunday with the Octave

The Very Rev. Walter J. Quarter announced a meeting of the C.T.B. Society for tomorrow evening. Appointing the Rev. P.J. Donahoe to take charge of it in the future. Rosary Society met in the evening. All things are going well.

Adoration of the Magi
Edward Burne-Jones

January 14th

The Rev[erend] Denis Dunn appointed on today as as[sistant] pastor of St. Michael’s Church in the city of Galena, with the Rev. Mr. McGarick, pastor. Rev. Mr. Kennedy withdrawing. #62
#62 + McGovern does not mention the withdrawal of Father Kennedy.

January 15th

It is announced in the Pittsburgh Catholic that the Very Rev. M. De St.Palis (sic) is to be consecrated Bishop of Vincenes (sic) on today by the Archbishop of St. Louis, the Most Rev. P[eter] R[ichard] Kenrick. 2nd Sunday after Epiphany – Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. [p. 87] The Rev. Mr. Dunn preached his second sermon in the cathedral today. The Rev. Mr. Coyle left for Little Fort to assist the Rev. Mr. Keane.

#62 + McGovern does not mention the withdrawal of Father Kennedy.

January 16th

Received a letter this afternoon from the Rt. Rev. Bishop Van De Velde, the first he has written to this place since his nomination to the See of Chicago. #63

January 18th

Rev. Mr. Kennedy arrived today from Galena. Wrote today to St. Louis. Weather very cold. Nothing remarkable.

January 24th

Died this morning “Catherine Cassidy” for 17 years [the] housekeeper to the Right Rev. W[illiam] Quarter. May her soul rest in peace. She died a most holy death, perfectly resigned to the holy will of God.

January 31st

On this day, the children of the convent had their quarterly exibition (sic). It was truly delightful to witness the improvement of all. Many of the parents, a[nd] citizens were present, and all left highly pleased, for every piece that was acted, was done to admiration & gave the greatest satisfaction. Truly it may be said that the good Sisters of Mercy are a blessing to Chicago & to the diocese. Oh! If he who was the founder of the establishment were here today, how he would rejoice. But he is not forgotten. May the Lord have mercy on him.

[p. 88] February 1849

February 6th

Received a letter today from Right Rev[erend] Mr. Van Develde (sic), Bishop elect of Chicago. Will leave here tomorrow morning for St. Louis to be present to the consecration. Weather very cold.

February 11th The 2nd Bishop of Chicago

The Right Rev. Dr. Van Develde (sic) was consecreated Feb. 11th 1849 in St. Louis, Mo. by the Most Rev. Archbishop Kinrick (sic)

February 18th Sunday

The Right Rev. Dr. Van Develde gave confirmation for the first time in his diocese in the Catholic Church of Alton. He preached twice on that day. The Very Rev. W.J. Quarter & the Rev. Mi[chael] Carroll, the pastor of the congregation of Alton, were present on this occasion.

The Bishop’s sermons were both learned and practical. On Monday the 19th the Bishop left Alton for St. Louis accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Carroll. The Very Rev. W. Quarter left on the same day for Chicago.

Bishop James Van de Velde
Second Bishop of Chicago

February 20th

Rec[eived] a letter from France today.

February 22nd

Wrote to the Right Rev. Bishop Van Develde. Sent him letters to St. Louis.

Bishop James Van de Velde
Second Bishop of Chicago
February 23rd

Had a letter today from the venerable Father Badin, the first priest ordained in the U.S. #64

#64 + Again it would be interesting to know the contents of this letter from Badin to Walter Quarter.

[p. 89] March 1849

March 6th

Election of city officers to day. All went off quiet (sic). Mud enough. #65
# 65 + James H. Woodworth was elected as the Mayor of Chicago.

March 7th
Sent two letters to day to Bishop Van Develde directed to the University of St. Louis. One a general letter, the other from Cincinnati. Gave $50 to pay for new building to V[ery] R[everend] Mr. Kinsella.

# 65 + James H. Woodworth was elected as the Mayor of Chicago.

March 12th

This day will be long remembered in Chicago. Great has been the loss of property, on account of the fright (?) in the river, almost every vessel in the harbor, more, or less injured. Many totally destroyed and it is said many lives lost. Sent a letter to Bishop Van Develde to day from Kentucky. Sent him the paper giving an account of the distruction (sic) by the floods. #66

#66 + For more on the devastating flood see:

March 19th St. Joseph’s day

The first steam boat left the harbour (sic) for the lower lakes.

March 25th Passion Sunday

On this day twelve months [ago] my poor brother, the 1st Bishop of Chicago departed this life. Rather on 10th April, Passion Sunday last year.

#66 + For more on the devastating flood see:

March 26th Feast of the Annunciation of the B.V.M.

Ellen Donovan from N.Y. received the white veil in the convent of the Sisters of Mercy. Her name in religion is Sister Mary Martha.

March 27th

An anniversary Mass this morning for the repose of the soul of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Quarter, first Bishop of Chicago. The new choir did well. The church nearly crowded.

March 30th

On Friday, the 30th, the Right Rev. Dr. Van de Velde arrived in Chicago from St. Louis.

April 1849

April 1st “Palm Sunday”

Bishop Van de Velde took possession of his See.


1. Bishop William Quarter: Google Images –
2. St. Peter’s Barclay St.: Google Images –
3. Jesus as Good Shepherd: Pixabay License
4. Stained Glass: Google Images
5. Bishop John Huges: Google Images –
6. Bishop Samuel Eccleston: Google Images –
7. Bishop Matthias Loras: Google Images –
8. Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget: Google Images –
9. Bishop Martin John Henni: Google Images –
10. Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick: Google Images –
11. Baltimore Cathedral: Google Images –
12. Old St. Mary’s Church: Google Images –
13. Jolliet and Marquette: Google Images – chicago-outdoor-sculptures
14. Little Fort: Google Images — Research Library of Illinois History …
15. Bishop Chanche: Google Images – St. Mary Basilica Archives
16. Bishop St. Palais: Google Images – (copyright – Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods)
17. Entry into Jerusalem: Google Images –
18. Resurrection: Google Images –
19. Baptismal font: Google Images –
20. Gifts of the Holy Spirit : Google Images –
21. Nativity of Mary: Google Images —
22. St. Januarius: Google Images —
23. First Cathedral (St. Mary): Google Images –
24. Old St. Patrick (Chicago): Google Images –
25. Picture of Snow Storm: Google Images – Kaspar David Friedrich —
26. Angel of the Resurrection: USML Office of Institutional Advancement
27. Calumnies of Appelles (Botticelli): Google Images –
28. Justice and Peace Embracing (Antonio Balestra): Google Images – en.wikipedia. org
29. Stations of the Cross: Google Images –
30. Illustration of the University of St. Mary of the Lake (1846): Archives of the Archdiocese of Chicgo
31. Catherine McAuley: Google Images –
32. Concord Stagecoach:
33. Bishop Joseph Baltes: Google Images –
34. Picture of Irish Immigrants: Google Images –
35. Jesus with Angels: Google Images –
36. Bishop Dubois: Google Images –
37. Bishop Peter Paul Lefevre: Google Images –
38. Jan van Roothann: Google Images –
39. Pope Pius IX: Google Images –
40. Virgin and Holy Innocents: Google Images –
41. Adoration of the Magi (Edward Burne-Jones): Google Images –
42. Bishop James Van de Velde : Google Images –
43. Rev. Stephen Badin : Google Images –
44. Annunciation: Google Images –
45. Pentecost: Google Images –
46. Alpha and Omega: Google Images –
47. Gonzaga Family in Adoration of Holy Trinity (Reubens): Google Images –