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Prayer for the Cause of Bishop Bruté

Heavenly Father, source of all that is holy, in every age, you raise up men and women who live lives of heroic love and service.

You have blessed your Church through the life of Simon Bruté, first bishop of Vincennes and spiritual director to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Through his prayer, his intellect, his love, and his pastoral care, Simon Bruté formed future priests and guided your Church in the early days of our country.

If it be your will, may he be proclaimed a saint.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. —Amen.

(Contributions to defray the expenses in furthering the Cause should be sent to Bishop Bruté Fund, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, P.O. Box 1410, Indianapolis, IN 46206.)



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The Death of Bishop St. Palais

Today, June 28th, is the anniversary of the death of Bishop St. Palais (Jacques-Maurice des Landes d’Aussac De Saint Palais) in 1877.

Bishop St. Palais is overlooked in many ways. Bishop Brute, of course, is remembered as that “saintly” bishop, the man who began the long and proud tradition of the Catholic Church in Indiana. Then Bishop de la Hailadiere, the one who is not held in so high esteem partly because of his relationships with his clergy, with St. Mother Theodore Guerin, and Fr. Sorin. I’ve written before of these things as well as Hailandiere’s qualities. Then there was Bishop Bazin, who began the healing, and who served such a short time.

Then comes St. Palais. Bishop for almost 30 years. He is the one who oversaw and guided the Church in Indiana through the largest growth ever seen up to that point. He is overshadowed in many ways by Bishop Chatard, mainly because Chatard saw the relocation of the See to Indianapolis and the entrance into the 20th century. But, St. Palais was here when the growth first began and when the Church underwent some persecution and began to see a large influx of immigrants. Not only that, he was one of the “early” ones. He came to Indiana in 1836 with Bishop Bruté. He saw the Church in Indiana grow from infancy to adulthood.

Born at LaSalvetat, France, November 15, 1811, he was ordained a priest at Paris on May 28, 1836. Shortly after his ordination he left France with Bishop Bruté, as mentioned above. He served in the village of Chicago and helped the Catholics in that city as they began their rapid growth. He was Administrator of the diocese of Vincennes after the death of Bishop Bazin and was named bishop on October 3, 1848. He was consecrated in the Cathedral at Vincennes on January 14, 1849, by Bishop Pius Miles, OP, of Nashville, assisted by Coadjutor Bishop Martin John Spalding of Louisville and Very Reverend Hippolyte Du Pontavice, vicar general of Vincennes. He died at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. That, I think, tells you something about his support of the Sisters. His body is interred in the Old Cathedral, Vincennes.

Here is an article which appeared in 1916 in the “Catholic World”, the organ of the Paulist Fathers. Louis P. Harl wrote:

Within ten years after the death of Bishop Bruté, the Catholic population of the territory comprising the diocese of Vincennes had grown so rapidly that it had been found necessary in 1844 to separate Illinois from Indiana and create the new see of Chicago. Even with this loss, when Bishop de St. Palais took charge of the diocese of Vincennes it comprised thirty thousand souls, to care for whom there were only thirty-five priests. Quite different was the state of affairs when after forty-one years of fruitful labor, thirteen of which had been spent as a humble missionary priest and twenty-eight as the head of the see, Bishop de St. Palais died in 1877. At that time, despite the fact that the diocese had again been divided and the diocese of Fort Wayne established in the northern part of the State in 1857, there were in the diocese of Vincennes ninety thousand souls, one hundred and fifty-one churches and one hundred and seventeen priests, besides those included in the religious houses of the Franciscans, Benedictines, and the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

St. Palais was the last of the French born bishops in Indiana. More importantly he oversaw tremendous growth as well as the split of the diocese and the establishment of the Diocese of Fort Wayne. He carried on the healing that began under Bishop Bazin after the “problems” that occurred under the leadership of Bishop de la Hailadiere.

You can read an account of his funeral that appeared in the Fort Wayne Sentinel from July 11, 1877 (requires PDF reader). From this reading we can see just how beloved the Bishop was and how one of his most important accomplishements was the establishment of the orphanage at Vincennes.

The photo, below, was taken at the Cathedral of Saint Francis Xavier at St. Palais’ funeral. 1

  1. Courtesy of the Indiana Album and Joan Hostetler – []

The Death of Simon Bruté

June 26th is merely a weekday in “Ordinary Time”, but one day it could be the Feast Day of “Saint Simon Bruté”!

June 26th is the 178th anniversary of the death of Servant of God, Simon Gabriel Bruté de Remur . It was on this day that he breathed his last. After suffering the effects of Tuberculosis, the “Saintly Bishop” (as he was always referred to), died at about 1:30 A.M. The bishop had written a letter on June 18th, knowing that he was going to die soon. This letter was addressed to all the people of his diocese, Catholic or not. He told them that “…in life, or in death, I humbly rejoice before my God.”.

Brute had labored for five short years as bishop. He had seen many of his priests die before their time and now he himself was about to go. Although he was always “French” and loved his native Brittany, he also truly loved the Church in Indiana. He spent almost 20 years in Maryland ministering to Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Sisters of Charity, as well as to the colleges of St. Mary’s, the one in Baltimore, which was the first seminary in the United States and remains open to this day, and Emmitsburg, known as “The Mount”, the second oldest Catholic College in the United States which Bruté referred to as his “beloved mountain”. Yet, he took to this new place, Indiana, as though it had always been his home.

Brute had a great deal of influence on the Church in America and not just in Indiana. Having been a theologian sought out by many bishops, especially the bishops of Baltimore, Brute’s thoughts and words were highly prized. He had an opinion and always a learned opinion, on just about everything having to do with the American Church.

In his last days he was ministered to by Father Jean Vabret, a member of the French, “Society of Eudists” who were asked to run St. Gabriel Seminary at Vincennes. Ironically, there is very little known about Vabret. The Eudists eventually left the diocese and Vabret’s fate is unknown except that he probably died about 1860.

After his death, Elihu Stout, editor of the Vincennes newspaper, the Western Sun, wrote:

The news of his death produced a general and almost unanimous expression of grief amongst our citizens: and well have we cause to lament this even, for to many, very many he was dear; to the one as a friend, to the other as a comforter, to the third as a teacher or literary companion, and to all as a pattern of goodness, morality and pure piety. His character was truly amiable and his manners so conciliating, that whenever he could not make friends, he was sure not to make enemies and we can safely affirm, that he died without the latter.

Perhaps the best tribute to Brute came from a man who arrived in the United States at the same time as Brute, (1810), but who was not ordained until much later, reportedly at the urging of Simon Brute. His name was Antoine (Anthony) Deydier, founder of the Church of the Assumption at Evansville. He himself was a very saintly man and he preached at the 1844 Diocesan Synod. In his sermon he said of Brute:

“Is it not true that when he was with us, we did not feel our weariness? Is it not true that nothing was hard to us; that we scarcely knew we were poor, though really devoid of every necessity of life? …These are men whose labors we have to continue to perpetuate–the models we have for our imitation in life and in death!”

John Gilmary Shea (1824-1892), the 19th century church historian, who has been called the “Father of American Catholic History, wrote in one of his many works, A History of the Catholic Church Within the Limits of the United States about Simon Bruté. He spoke in glowing terms. You can read that chapter of his book here

Brute was buried on June 28, 1839 in the crypt of the (Old) Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier in Vincennes. Since that time, there have continued to be efforts made on Bishop Bruté’s behalf to make his name and his work known. In 2005, Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, retired Archbishop of Indianapolis, began the long and arduous process to seek canonization for Bruté. Archbishop Joseph Tobin has continued that process. There have been schools named in his honor. For many years the Archdiocese ran the Bishop Bruté Latin School. Archbishop Buechlein founded the Bishop Bruté College Seminary for young men, from many dioceses, who are studying for the priesthood. The seminary is affiliated with Marian University in Indianapolis.

One of the themes of this website is… “Keeping the memory alive of those who have gone before us” This applies particularly to Simon Bruté and his work.

Last but not least, please say the prayer for the canonization of Bishop Bruté, which you find to the top left of this article.


A Tale of Two Bishops

This week marks the remembrance of two of the most important figures in Indiana Catholic Church History. The first is, of course, Servant of God, Simon Gabriel Bruté whose ordination anniversary takes place on June 11th. At least that is what I believe.

June 11 (or perhaps June 10th) is an important day in the history of the Catholic Church in Indiana. On this day in 1808 Simon William Gabriel Bruté de Rémur was ordained to the priesthood (or was it June 10th?) There is a debate, albeit among only a few, about the day that Bruté was actually ordained. brute2 It was ‘probably’ June 11th, but some sources say he was ordained on the 10th of June. See the explanation below.

Regardless of what day it was, we celebrate and give thanks to God for Servant of God, Simon Gabriel Bruté, and we continue to pray for his eventual canonization. We invite you to pray the prayer to the left and to pray it often. We also encourage you to make a donation, however big or small to the Archdiocesan fund to further Bishop Bruté’s Cause.

In addition to the date issue, there is also the issue about the place he was ordained. He was ordained in Paris, in the Church of St. Sulpice. Some sources say he was ordained in his hometown of Rennes. That is incorrect.

Here are a few quotes, from various sources, concerning Bruté’s Ordination date:

    The 2014 Archdiocesan Directory — Born in Rennes, France, March 20, 1779. Ordained priest at Rennes, June 11, 1808. Consecrated bishop of Vincennes in the cathedral at St. Louis, MO, October 28, 1834, by Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget of Bardstown, assisted by Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis and Bishop John Baptist Purcell of Cincinnati.

    Father Robert Gorman’s History of the Catholic Church in Indiana — At the age of twenty nine he was ordained June 10, 1808 and shortly after was received into the Society of St. Su1pice.

    Father Albert Ledoux, in his 2005 dissertation, The Life and Thought of Simon Bruté, Seminary Professor and Frontier Bishop said: “If one includes the time that Brute spent taking preliminary theology courses prior to his formal entry into the seminary, his formation lasted five years. …While Bayley did not know the date of Brute’s deacon ordination, we can surmise that it took place half way between his subdiaconate and his priestly ordination, which occurred in Paris on 11 June 1808

    WikiPedia — He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1808,

    New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia — Ordained priest on the 11th of June, 1808,

    Catholic — Ordained June 11, 1808

    Sr. Mary Salesia Godecker, in her biography of Bishop Bruté — Brute’ was ordained on June 10, 1808 at the church of St. Sulpice in Paris. He was ordained by the Right Reverend Andre’, the retired Bishop of Quimper. His first Mass was celebrated at the altar of the Blessed Virgin in the Seminary of St. Sulpice on Trinity Sunday, June 11, 1808.

    Alerding’s History of the Diocese of Vincennes — he was ordained Priest in the parish church of St. Sulpice by Msgr. Andre, the retired Bishop of Quimper, on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday, 1808.

    Brute’s “Memoirs” by Archbishop Bayley say that he was ordained on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday in 1808. That would mean JUNE 11th, according to a perpetual calendar and almanac, Trinity Sunday, in 1808, was 12 June.

    Manuscripts located in the Indianapolis Archdiocesan Archives, which appear to have been written by Brute say “Ordained Priest on the 10th of June 1808″.

    Father Vincent Eaton, former archivist of the Society of St. Sulpice, of which Bruté was once a member says, in a 1983 document, that Bruté was ordained on June 10, 1808.

    The “Biographical Cyclopedia of the Catholic Hierarchy of the United States 1784- 1898 — A Book for Reference in the Matter of Dates, Places and Persons, in the Records of our Bishops, Abbots and Monsignori by Francis X. Reuss [Milwaukee, Wis : M. H. Wiltzius & Co, Publishers. 1898] says June 11, 1808.

Regardless of when and where the Saintly Bishop was ordained, please say the prayer for the canonization of Bishop Bruté, which you find to the left of this article.

The second important even of this week is the anniversary of the death of Cardinal Joseph Elmer Ritter.

On June 10, 1967, Cardinal Joseph Elmer Ritter died in Saint Louis. The Archdiocesan Directory gives a brief description of his Church life:

Born in New Albany, IN, July 20, 1892. Ordained priest at Saint Meinrad, May 30, 1917. Named rector of the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul,Indianapolis, in 1924. Appointed titular bishop of Hippo and auxiliary to the bishop of Indianapolis, February 3, 1933. Consecrated in the cathedral at Indianapolis, March 28, 1933, by Bishop Chartrand, assisted by Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina of Corpus Christi and Bishop Alphonse J. Smith of Nashville. Made vicar general of the Diocese of Indianapolis, February 5, 1933. Bishop of Indianapolis, March 24, 1934. Installed as first archbishop of Indianapolis, December 19, 1944, by Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, apostolic delegate to the United States. Transferred to St. Louis by virtue of apostolic letters dated July 20, 1946. Formally installed in the Cathedral of St. Louis, October 8, 1946. Proclaimed and created a cardinal by Pope John XXIII on January 16, 1961. Died at St. Louis, June 10, 1967. Buried in Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.

Here are two clippings from the Terre Haute Tribune, June 10, 1967:


Mother Theodore Guérin

I am simply repeating, for the most part, what I have posted in past years because I feel that Mother Theodore’s simplicity and humility speak volumes about her.

Mother Theodore, Anne-Thérèse Guérin, Saint Theodora Guérin died on May 14, 1856 – 161 years ago. The official website of the Sisters of Providence . has the following posted

The “Catholic Telegraph and Advocate” in Cincinnati, Ohio, published the following notice about Mother Theodore’s death:

“Died – At Saint Mary’s-of-the-Woods (sic), in the 58th year of her age, Wednesday, 14th inst., Sister St. Theodore, Superior General of the Sisters of Providence in Indiana.

“This woman, distinguished by her eminent virtues, governed the community of which she was the superior from its commencement, to the time of her death, a period of nearly sixteen years. Being a perfect religious herself, and endowed with mental qualities of a high order, she was peculiarly fitted to fill the duties which Providence assigned her.

“Not only her Sisters are bereaved by her death, but all those who knew her excellence and the amount of good she did, join in lamenting that she should have been removed from the sphere of her usefulness. To judge from the celestial expression of her countenance as she lay in death, there is every reason to believe that she has already taken her abode among the Saints in Heaven, enjoying the munificence of God, who rewards His servants ‘according to their works.’”

One of the overlooked heroes of the early Church in Indiana, Father John Corbe wrote, upon the death of Mother Theodore:

“Mother Theodore and Sister Saint Francis both loved God with all the strength of their ardent souls; they served Him with the most perfect devotedness, and both terminated their careers of virtue and good works in the most cruel suffering, but they loved and desired these sufferings, and their happiness as they said themselves, was to be on the cross with their Beloved … If God has sent them almost the same sufferings, He has also bestowed upon them the same favors. He has given them a foretaste of the joys of heaven by visions and extraordinary consolations.

Both have already given indubitable marks of their power with God … I hope that these proofs will multiply and that God will glorify before men those who have sacrificed everything for Him with so much generosity.”1

Sister Mary Thedosia Mug, who wrote the first extensive history of the Sisters and Mother Theodore said, speaking of the reaction of those who knew Mother Theodore:

When Father Chasse visited Mother Theodore during her last illness she asked him to return to sing her Requiem Mass as Father Corbe she knew would feel her death too much to be able to sing It was as she expected Father Corbe was deeply affected but he was present beside the Bishop in the sanctuary The funeral oration was delivered by Rt Rev Bishop St Palais whose emotion was evident Rather than a highly wrought panegyric it was an effusion of tenderness and personal reverence for the one whose great and limpid soul he had known so intimately His own tears blended with the grief of the Community and he promised that now as they had lost their Mother more than ever would he be their Father All accompanied the remains to their last resting place near the Chapel of St Ann where four of their number had already been laid to rest Some years later seeing that the spot chosen would eventually be too small the remains of all buried there were transferred to the present cemetery in the centre of which is the grave of the venerated Foundress.2

[Fr. John Chasse was a member of the Society of Eudists, brought to Vincennes by Bishop Bruté. He had succeeded Fr. John Corbe as chaplain to the Sisters]

Pretty simple stuff for such a holy woman! But, perhaps that is the point. How blessed we are to have a Saint of the Universal Catholic Church here in Indiana!

  1. John Corbe to A Mme. Le Fer de la Motte, 11 June 1856-SMW Archives []
  2. Life and Life-work of Mother Theodore Guerin: Foundress of the Sisters of Providence… By Mary Theodosia Mug, p.491 []

The Death Father Michael Shawe

If you are from Madison Indiana, you know the name Shawe. You may not know who Shawe was, but you would know the name. If you are not from Madison, you may have never heard the name.

This all refers to one of the early priests in the Diocese of Vincennes and the only English speaking priest of the group of ordinands of Bishop Bruté, who arrived in 1836, namely Michael Edgar Evelyn Shawe, a frontier priest with a very “stuffy” English name! And yet, many of Bishop Bruté’s early recruits were from a noble background. How and why did this missionary end up in Detroit, only to be killed after he was thrown from his buggy? May 12th is the 164th anniversary of his death.

This article, from Illinois Catholic Historical Review tells part of his story:

…Young Shawe, De St. Palais.’ and some other young French nobleman accompanied Bishop Brute to Indiana at the time, the most God-forsaken State in the Western Country. Shawe, with other young volunteers, was ordained, and soon put on his missionary harness. Then he became Father Shawe, the only English-speaking priest on the mission, but French and German were as familiar to his tongue and no less eloquently preached. With his own personal fortune he built a stone church at Madison, which he dedicated to his patron, Saint Michael.

The Bishop’s death was succeeded by intrigue among his French associates, and in disgust Father Shawe, at the invitation of Father Edward Sorin, left the sacerdotal family of Vincennes and became professor of English literature in the University of Notre Dame. He was intensely English, anti-American to some extent: while at that time Notre Dame’s faculty was to a great extent as intensely French, as Father Shawe was English, in their tendencies. Some of these gentlemen were ex-militarists, and quite sensitive about the misfortunes under which the military glory of their country had succumbed. The majority were too strong for Father Shawe in this sentimental battle, and after establishing the English chair in such a manner that the present staff of Notre Dame accord the highest tribute to his wonderful ability and method, he, with the blessing of Father Sorin and the love and esteem of his associates, left the university and came to Detroit, to resume the active functions of his sacerdotal state and to enjoy life in a city so Catholic as was and is Detroit, and in society which his aristocratic attributes so well fitted him to adorn. His advent was a God-send to Bishop Lefevre. His learning, his eloquence, his experience and his personal fortune and sincere piety, soon became effective aids in the pastorate of the Irish congregation of Holy Trinity Church, to which he was assigned upon his arrival in 1845. Father Shawe was thrown from his carriage in April, 1853, and died May 10, following. R. I. P. 1

I don’t quite know what “The Bishop’s death was succeeded by intrigue among his French associates” means. Perhaps they were referring to Bishop Hailandiere, or, this is another way to explain how a lot of “behind the scenes” activities, or “clerical politics” went on. There were a number of priests who left the Diocese during the episcopate of Bishop Hailandiere. This was standard procedure in those days. Father Sorin and his band of brothers went from Saint Peter’s, near what is now Washington Indiana to South Bend, some say, to get as far from the good bishop as possible. Father Shawe went to Notre Dame and spent some time before he went there “officially”

The Notre Dame Archives has a hand written letter from Father Shawe to Father Sorin, taking him up on his offer to come to Notre Dame. In the letter Shawe says that he had permission from the bishop. Many did not, including the Vicar General, August Martin who left the diocese claiming ill health. You can view the letter Father Shawe sent to Father Sorin by going to the Notre Dame Archives to view this PDF file which was written March 4, 1846.

After he joined the faculty at Notre Dame, Shawe taught Latin, Greek and English and continued to preach, which by all accounts was excellent. His sermons were apparently heard by Bishop Peter Paul Lefevere, Coadjutor of the Diocese of Detroit who convinced Shawe to come to Detroit where he became the pastor of the new cathedral when it opened.2

It has also been suggested that another reason for Shawe’s departure from the diocese was the failure of St. Gabriel College in Vincennes, run by the Eudist Fathers who were recalled to France. Shawe, while serving at the Cathedral in Vincennes, also taught at St. Gabriel’s. I am sure there had to be some “rub” between the Englsih Father Shawe and the French clergy who were obviously very numerous in the Diocese of Vincennes.

Here is an account, published in 1897 which is typical of the way many disagreements were described.

St. Michael, Edgar, Evelyn, Shawe, was ordained by Bishop Brute at Vincennes, March 12, 1837, and soon afterwards commenced missionary work in a district of country which would be difficult to describe. The greater part of Indiana at the time comprising the spiritual fold of Bishop Brute was sparsely settled and by a population to whom the expression ^poor white trash,” would most fitly apply to their condition generally.

Crude as this people are reported to have been, they appear not to have-been adverse to religious instruction; here and there, were to be found Catholic families, or groups of settlers originally Catholics, but who for want of pastoral care had lapsed, in some cases to Methodism, or who in other cases, and frequently, had become disinclined to submit to religious-control ; but there were also to be found many Catholic families of intelligence and respectability.

Father Shawe was the only priest to whom the English language was. natural, on this mission during the early years of its history. Whenever he found himself in a place of any considerable size, he made arrangements to preach; it was all the same to him whether his audience was to be Catholic or mixed; he usually drew full houses, for an English sermon from a man as eloquent as he was reputed to be and so gifted in the use of his mother tongue, was a rare treat in those days and in those regions; rough mannered as the people are reported to have been, they seemed to have had a great inclination to hear eloquent preachers. So familiar had he become in the use of the French language, that he could preach a French sermon whenever such became necessary; he could also preach in the German language, and from his ability to use these languages he was well adapted for the apostolic work in which he was engaged.

His voice was clear and strong, his figure robust, while his gentle and pleasing manner toned down the martial air which his army life had indelibly left upon him. His face was florid, his hair black, and his rather prominent nose, on which the cicatrices of the transverse cut of the sabre of the French cuirassier officer at Waterloo was plainly visible, was a leading feature in his countenance.

One decided trait in his character should be mentioned; he was proud of his mother country, whose aristocratic government, whose institutions, and whose laws he admired, and had strong faith in. I do not hesitate to say Father Shawe was the most intensified Englishman I ever met. What he saw in Indiana of our own system of government, taken in connection at that time with the ill treatment and wrongs inflicted in the forced removal of Catholic Indian tribes, did not tend to create in his mind much respect for American institutions. This peculiar pride of race and this marked nationality in the make up of Father Shawe, was probably the cause of estrangements after his beloved bishop’s death, with his brother priests and ecclesiastical superiors. They were all Frenchmen, while but a comparatively short period previously he had crossed swords with their defeated countrymen and friends. Besides, at that time in that diocese, French influence was paramount; it ruled and shaped results, and it so remained until the advent of a new episcopacy.

During his missionary experience it became the lot of Father Shawe to be settled in Madison, Indiana. In that city he founded and built St. Michael’s Church, dedicated to his great patron saint. To do this he used a portion of his private fortune, and to release the church from the debt remaining after completion, he had to beg for means in the eastern cities and in Canada.

Deaths, resignations, and changes in the Episcopacy of Vincennes, joined to climatic effects on his health induced Father Shawe to retire from active missionary labors.

Father Sorin invited him to assume the chair of English Literature in the University of Notre Dame, which invitation he accepted; he organized a faculty for an English course, laid the foundation of its efficiency, and of the prominent place it occupies in this great institution of learning.

Desiring once more to mingle with the world, to enjoy that refined society in which he was so well adapted to shine, and to enjoy moreover, living among a people whose language was akin to his own, he bade adieu to the President and Faculty of Notre Dame and came to Detroit in 1845.

He was received by Bishop Lefevere and assigned to the pastorate of the Irish Catholic congregation of Trinity Church. When the cathedral was dedicated in June 1848, Trinity was closed, while its congregation was transferred to the cathedral of which Father Shawe became first pastor. In Detroit at the time, there was Ste. Anne’s, for the Catholics of the French race; and St. Mary’s, for the German Catholics; Saints Peter and Paul was the only English speaking congregation in all the city.

Consequently the pastor of such a congregation had a large jurisdiction with much responsibility, and no end of parochial work. In this position, the many brilliant qualities of Father Shawe, his great piety, his watchful care of the religious and temporal interests of his parishioners, his charitable work, joined to his great eloquence in the pulpit won for him the love and esteem of the people. No man was better known in Detroit among all creeds and classes than Father Shawe. He was highly esteemed and respected by Bishop Lefevere and his episcopal household. Kind hearted by nature he was liberal in the use of his personal fortune for the alleviation of distress.

The misery entailed by the Irish famine caused the emigration of many families who landed upon our shores in destitute circumstances; tor the relief of such of these unfortunates as found their way to Detroit, he organized the Irish Emigrant Society and placed funds at the disposition of its officers for use when necessary. Solicitous for the welfare of the working classes he founded the Guild of Saints Peter and Paul, after the model of the English Guilds for workingmen and mechanics.

He was a priest who took especial pride in having all the ceremonies in the cathedral conducted on a scale worthy of Mother Church; he had the acolytes finely robed, and he drilled them to march with military precision. It was, however, in the pulpit, that this distinguished man appeared to great advantage. His exuberance of ideas proper to the subject; his great command of words, his pathos, his splendid voice, which he knew how to use to advantage, and his vigor of expression, combined to make him a great pulpit orator.

Since the Jesuits have had control of the old church many brilliant men have occupied its pulpits; I have listened to most of them, and I have been charmed and affected in turn; but I have never been moved, nor my soul stirred as it has been by the eloquence of Father Shawe. Father Shawe was a welcome as well as an honored guest in the highest circles of the Catholic, as well as of the non Catholic society of Detroit. 3

As written above, he was killed when thrown from his carriage on May 10, 1853. He was buried in the Mount Elliott Cemetery in Detroit. You can see his eleaborate gravestone at the Find-A-Grave website.

  1. Illinois Catholic Historical Review Volume II Number 3 (1920) []
  2. cf. Gorman. p.729 []
  3. American Catholic Historical Researches, Volume 14, Number-2, 1897, pp.50 ff. []