Bishop William Quarter Diary Part VII: March 1846 to July 6, 1846

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. columba