American Catholic History
Spirituality/Belief • Education • Culture
Sharing and discussing the amazing and unexpected history of Catholics in what is today the United States of America, starting with the first Mass offered on these shores in 1513, through the present day. Share your stories and those from your local area, and let's learn from one another!
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Maria and Georg get Married

Maria the nun did initially flee back to Nonnberg Abbey when Georg von Trapp proposed marriage to her. But she returned with the encouragement of her superiors and did marry the Captain. Maria and Georg had three children together, bringing their family to a total of ten. In the 1930s they were forced to flee Austria, though nothing so dramatic as hoofing it over the Alps into Switzerland... which is impossible from Salzburg anyhow, since Germany is across the border right there, and Austria doesn't actually share any border with Switzerland at all — Liechtenstein gets in the way.

Anyhow, enjoy this week's full episode:

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What else you may like…
Visiting the Willows!

We had a splendid time visiting The Willows, the home of Joseph Warren Revere, last weekend. It sits within Fosterfields Living Historical Farm outside of Morristown, New Jersey. We were in town for a wedding, and couldn't pass on the opportunity to see this historic home. And what a well-preserved bit of history it is!

The Foster family, who bought the house from Revere's widow, preserved a number of Revere's things, including the extensive trompe l'oeil paintings he did in the foyer and dining room.

If you're ever in the Morristown, NJ area we highly recommend you take the time to visit The Willows — and the rest of Fosterfields. They have additional museums on site, plus a working farm that preserves techniques and activities from 1920s farming. You also can pet the animals and take part in the work.

March 29, 2023
A Eucharistic Miracle in Georgia?

In 1819, Father Samuel Sutherland Cooper was shocked when the host in his hands suddenly changed into a piece of bleeding flesh. This happened in Augusta, Georgia, just a few days after Father Cooper had boasted that a demonstration proving the doctrine of Transubstantiation would take place on Sunday. His rash boast — and he recognized its rashness as soon as he'd proclaimed it — was in response to the abuse being hurled upon the Church, and especially upon the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, by an ex-priest who still lived in the area. The remarkable happening naturally caused a sensation. Learn more about the remarkable life of Samuel Sutherland Cooper:

January 31, 2023
Fr. Duranquet Saves Albert Hicks

Father Henry Duranquet, SJ, became known as The Apostle to the Tombs because of his work with prisoners in New York's prisons, including the one known as The Tombs.

His patient ministry brought thousands of criminals to Christ — or back to Christ. But perhaps his most spectacular work was with the notorious international murderer and thief Albert Hicks. Hicks was under a death sentence, but he went to the gallows after having returned to Christ by the hands and through the ministry of Father Hicks.

Listen to the entire episode:

September 20, 2023
Episode: The Lady in Blue

New episode!

In 1620, the year the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, a Spanish nun began to appear to the Jumano people of west central Texas. The Spanish nun, Sister Maria de Jesus de Agreda, was a mystic who never left her monastery in Spain, but through the spiritual gift of bi-location visited the Jumano people more than 500 times between 1620 and 1631. After she’d evangelized the Jumano for eleven years she sent them to the Franciscan missionaries who had come to New Mexico. When the Franciscans came to the Jumano village near present-day San Angelo, Texas, they examined and baptized 2,000 Jumanos whom they found to be very knowledgeable in the faith.

#achpodcast #sanangelo #SanAngeloTX #bilocation #jumano #evangelization

Episode: The Lady in Blue
August 28, 2023
New Episode: American Catholic Foods

Catholics have had a tremendous impact on American food from the beginning. The Franciscan friars in the California missions brought wine making. Those same friars also invented a delicious cheese that we now know as Monterey Jack. In Louisiana the French, African, and Acadian peoples who settled the land developed cajun and creole food. In Cincinnati, Ohio a Catholic businessman convinced Ray Kroc to make the Filet-o-Fish a staple of the McDonald’s menu. In West Virginia the pepperoni roll became a hugely popular quick and easy meal for miners. And in Michigan, locals received permission to eat muskrat as a source of protein on Fridays.

New Episode: American Catholic Foods
August 14, 2023
Episode: Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon and Maronite Catholics

Maronite Catholics maintain one of the most ancient traditions within the Catholic Church. They are originally from the southern edge of Asia Minor, and lived in relative peace for many centuries in the mountains of Lebanon. But civil wars forced many to flee. During this time of upheaval, the devotion to Our Lady of Lebanon resulted in a massive and important shrine being built in Harissa, Lebanon, just northeast of the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Maronites first came to America beginning in the late 1800s, settling wherever they could find jobs. During those years that often meant the steel cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Birmingham, Alabama, and Youngstown, Ohio. In the 1960s, a replica of the original shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon was built in rural northeast Ohio, just outside of Youngstown. That shrine, and its associated basilica, are a major site of pilgrimage every year for Maronites from across the U.S.

Episode: Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon and Maronite Catholics

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$5/month: access to all our "Supporter-Only" content. We've been working hard at developing some new content beyond our weekly podcast. Each month we plan to release a video in our new "American Catholic History On Location" series, taking you to American Catholic places near and far. Look out for our inaugural video tomorrow!

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August 05, 2023
See you tonight in Louisville?

We'd love to share a drink with any listeners in Louisville area tonight!

We're in Kentucky preparing for our second Pilgrimage to the Kentucky Holy Land and Bourbon Country. We'll be at Doc Crow's Smokehouse and Raw Bar tonight at 8 p.m. to meet up with listeners — let us know if we can expect to see you there!

Meet Us In Louisville!

We'll be in Louisville, Kentucky this coming Saturday evening, August 5, as we prepare to lead our Pilgrimage to the Kentucky Holy Land and Bourbon Country next week. Join us at Doc Crow's at 127 W. Main Street, downtown Louisville, at 8 p.m.

We'd love to connect with any of our followers and supporters in the area. Send us a message to let us know to expect you!

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