Religion: The Proselytizing Paulists

Father Isaac Thomas Hecker was in hot water. The 37-year-old Redemptorist had arrived in Rome to discuss with the head of his congregation a matter that was troubling some of its members in the U.S. —the best way to preach the Roman Catholic faith to Americans. Within a few days, he found himself expelled from the Redemptorist Congregation on the ground that his trip had violated his vows of obedience and poverty. For the next seven months, the worried priest hurried from prelate to prefect, pleading the need for an English-language mission to the U.S. At last Pope Pius IX...

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