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Clerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. online

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perch a biretta upon his head, light an
old, time-honored, long meerschaum
pipe and ready he was for the trip
around his property. This perform-
ance the good old man repeated as
often as a visitor would call on him.

Quietly and peacefully without
making any noise or stir, he lived a
most useful life in Alton, and just as
quietly and peacefully was his passing
away on March 5th, 1896. His mem-
ory we all affectionately love and
cherish. His body sleeps in the grave
but his spirit rests in Paradise with

In the demise of Father Peters, Al-
ton had sustained a great loss.
A man of fine natural gifts and high
accomplishments his departure not
only affected St. Mary's of Alton but
was keenly felt by the diocese at large.

May this worthy priest of God who
so insessantly worked in the cause of
Holy Church rest forever in God's
Holy peace.


Owing to the early period when he
worked in this portion of the vin-
yard of the Lord, the Rev. Michael
Prendergast should not be passed
over in silence. Father Prendergast
was born at New Park, County Wex-
ford, Ireland in the year 1810. He
studied for the priesthood at Carlow
College. There he was ordained for
the Archdiocese of Dublin. For some
time he was in the mission of Ank-
low, County Wicklow. After spend-
ing ten years on the mission in Ire-
land, he came to the United States,
affiliating himself with the diocese of
Chicago, and was sent at once as' an
assistant to Rev. M. Carroll of Alton.
This was in 1853. In the following
year, 1854, Rev. M. Prendergast was
sent to Decatur to 'become the first
resident rector of St. Patrick's. He

Page One Hundred and Nine

remained two years at Decatur, from
where he attended Winchester, Pitts-
field and other places, till replaced by
Rev. Thomas Cusack. Next we find
him starting the congregation of
Winona, Minn. In 1868 he was at
Danville, 111., which he left to take
charge of Batavia, attending at same
time Geneva and St. Charles. He
died at Batavia, March 3, 1875 and


Rev. Thomas Quigley was ordained
in 1849 by Archbishop Kenrick of St.
Louis. He was a subject of the
Bishop of Chicago, in whose diocese
he spent almost his entire priestly
life. Whilst the Illinois Central R.
R., was being constructed, Rev. Quig-
ley made many trips along that line
and his success with the poor fellows
is said to have been marvelous. In
1855 he came to Springfield as pastor
of the old St. John's church. He
soon formed the design of erecting a

was buried in Calvary Cemetery,

Being a man of considerable means
he left a goodly portion to relatives
living near Xew Douglas, devoted
larger sums to charitable purposes
and bequeathed the remainder to
Bishop Foley of Chicago for diocesan
uses. R. I. P.


new building and placing it under the
patronage of the Immaculate Concep-
tion B. V. M. Dr Q'uigley built the
foundation but did not remain to com-
plete the work. When leaving he was
replaced by Father P. McElherne,
whilst he assumed charge of parish
work in the northern (Chicago and
Peoria) part of the state.

Rev. Thomas Quigley was known
in literary circles as a writer of some
note. R. I. P.


"Justum deduxit Dominus per vias rectas".

For many years, from 1866-1891, a
quarter century, this humble priest of
God exercised his sacerdotal func-
tions with promptness and alacrity,
retiring from active service only
which compelled by bodily infirmities,
leaving an honorable record wherever
the call of duty had summoned him.

Rev. Longinus Quitter was born
Fe'bruary 26, 1830, at Daseburg, West-
falia, studied classics at Rietberg and
Warendorf, philosophy at Muenster.
He came to this country in 1863, en-
tered the Seminary of St. Joseph's
College Teutopolis and was elevated
to the priesthood vy Bishop Juncker
at Alton.

Aug. 8, 1865. His first assignment
was to St. Marie, Jasper county, as
assistant from 1856-67; then 'became
rector of Mt. Carmel, 1867-1872, of
Westwood 1872-1874, of Paderborn
1874-1876, at Aviston, an assistant at
Quincy 1876-1878, rector of Vandalia
1878-1882 (during which incumbency
he built St. Lawrence church of
Greenville in 1878) Madonnaville,
1882-1886, of Lively Grove in 1886, till
his retirement on account of pro-
tracted illness to St. Mary's hospital,
East St. Louis, a short time previous
to his death, December 5, 1891. He
lies buried at Lively Grove. R. I. P.

Page One Hundred and Ten

REV. J. B. RAHO, C. M.

"And thou shall stand where
Winged Archangels worship,
And trembling bow before thee".

The Lazarist Fathers of Cape
Girardeau, Mo., were among the first
priests who performed heroic, lasting
missionary work in Illinois. These
veterans in the field were inured and
hardened to fatigue and privations,
they all had graduated from the
school of experience, they were rug-
ged men of deep learning and saint-
ly lives. Wherever these sons of St.
Vincent of Paul put forth their lofty
aims and tireless labors forgetful of
self, they changed dreary prairie spots
into fragrant flower gardens, built
churches, schools and charitable in-
stitutions in communities which'
seemed not only barren and hopeless
of higher spiritual life and ideal, nay
proved even inimical to any attempt
to plant God's blessed church in their
midst. Wonderful has been the suc-
cess of these Mission priests whose
eminent qualifications as Missionaries
achieved such marvellous results
wherever the voice of obedience
called them. Some of their achieve-
ments in Illinois form bright pages
in the annals of the Order. What's
now a large part of the Alton diocese,
was an outmission of the C. M.
Fathers in the latter part of the
thirties. The facile and gifted pen of
Father Thomas Shaw, C. M., has
saved the doings and operations of
these Missionary priests on the prair-
ies of Illinois from falling into ob-
livion, he has given us the "Story of
the La Salle Mission," by which the
learned Father has earned the lasting
gratitude of every lover and student
of the history of the Catholic Church
in Illinois.

Among the priests who traversed
the broad acres of Illinois late in the
thirties and early in the forties, his
splendid narrative cites men for
whom the clergy and people of the
Alton diocese have more than pass-
ing interest, because of their mission-
ary activity and ministrations in cities
and towns now incorporated in our
own diocese. Fathers J. B. Raho,

Parodi and Orlando, and others, all
members of the order of St. Vincent
of Paul, or C. M.'s as they are called
for brevity's sake. The most con-
spicuous of these Mission Fathers
portrayed on the pages of the "Story
of the La Salle Mission" was unques-
tionably Father J. B. Raho, the

These Lazarist Fathers (so-called
from their first Community House
dedicated to St. Lazarus and given
over to works of charity in Paris)
sailing for first time the Illinois river
on their way from St. Louis to La
Salle, arrived at the latter place
March 29, 1838. At once they entered
upon the work mapped out for them
by Bishop Rosati and Father Timon,
their Superior, with Father Raho as
their guiding genius.

"The old pioneers of the Sanctu-
ary," says Father Shaw, "had great
provisional gifts and fertile brains,
excellent tact, wonderful qualities of
adaptation, and happy dispositions.
As the Israelites in the desert carried
and located the ark wherever they
roamed, so the Missioner carried and
built the altar wheresoever in the
valley or on the prairie he would pass
the night. The tail of a wagon, the
box of a buggy or now the table of
the family of the host served as a
stand; the saddle-bags contained all
the requisites in altar stone, vest-
ments, linens, etc., for the due cele-
bration of the divine mysteries. In
the largest room of the cabin the
temporary altar was erected and
everything for the holy sacrifice was
in readiness."

Of Father Raho's strenuous exer-
tions in behalf of the scattered Cath-
olic population in the counties of
Sangamon, Cass, Macoupin and Mor-
gan the Superior of the Lazarists,
Father Timon afterwards Bishop of
Buffalo wrote to the Superior Gen-
eral Xozo, at Paris:

"I received a letter from Msgr. Ro-^
sati, who missioned one of the Fathers
to visit another congregation 180
miles from La Salle. From a careful

Page One Hundred and Eleven

perusal of the book of expenditures
and a letter which will be found in
records, the people requested to visit,
were in Morgan and Cass counties,
covering an area of 60 miles, and
embracing the towns of Beardstown,
Meredosia, Virginia and the capital
of the State of Illinois, Springfield.
The Northern Cross railroad was
then in course of building and there,
too, were gathered a congregation of
the children of the Faith. In the
opening of June, the indefatigable
Missionary takes the St. Louis boat,
and arrives after a day's sail at
Beardstown on the Illinois river. He
will describe the town in which as in
a mirror he closely denned the zeal
and resignation so worthy a son of
St. Vincent de Paul:

"I discovered about 200 Catholics
scattered over 60 miles. For the
space of a month I exercised among
them the holy ministry, almost al-
ways traveled on foot, carrying on my
shoulders saddle-bags containing
altar necessaries, and in my hand a
carpet-bag, in open air and into the
night hearing Confessions, in the day
time occupied teaching the children
the catechism.

I was amazed at the work of grace
and at the eagerness with which
these poor people rushed to hear the
instructions I gave, flinging aside for
this purpose hours of sleep and

Father Raho, Superior of the La
Salle Mission, on his return home
writes of his labors in Southern Illi-

La Salle. La Salle Co., 111.
June 21, 1838.

Dear Sir: On last Saturday I ar-
rived here. My health is at present
tolerably well. The success of my
mission eight miles from Beardstown
has been, that a small church is to
be built there, and five children were
baptized, of whom one was of Catho-
lic parents, two of parents one Cath-
.olic and the other Protestant, and
the other of Protestant parents.
That church is located in the town
of Virginia, ten miles from Beards-

town, on the road to Springfield, and
chief town or county seat of the new
county of Cass, being the county oi
Morgan divided into two, Morgan
and Cass. I have no time to write
longer. I shall do so another time.

Your most obedient servant in

J. B. Raho, P. of Cong, of Missions.
Rev. Father Raho and his valiant
band of Missionary confreres, who
worked so well in parts of our pres-
ent diocese and the heroic Jesuit
Father Quickenborne, of St. Louis,
who ministered to the Catholics of
Beardstown as early as 1833 enjoy
the compensation which God has
promised to the workers in his em-

For information as to the subse-
quent career and life of Father Raho
we are indebted to the pains-taking
researches of the Very Rev. Theodore
Arentz, ex-provincial O. F. M., of
Santa Barbara, California. It runs
thuswise: With the creation of the
Diocese of Chicago, the larger num-
ber of Lazarist Fathers who were
connected with the La Salle Mission
were withdrawn from Illinois. Rev.
Raho was one of these. Being re-
called by his Superior he was made
President of the St. Louis Theologi-
cal Seminary, replacing the Rev.
Thaddeus Amat, C. M., who was ap-
pointed to the headship of St. Mary's
Seminary (Barrens) in Perry county.
Mo. Father Raho remained Superior
of the Seminary till 1847, when he
was ordered to New Orleans to as-
sume a professorship in the St. Vin-
cent of Paul Seminary. With the
exception of two years, from 1848-'5i
when he acted as Cathedral pastor at
Natchez, our learned and talented
professor retained his position in New
Orleans till 1855. At this time, Nov.
23, 1855, his friend and confrere, Rev.
Thaddeus Amat, who on March 12,
1854 had been consecrated at Rome
as Bishop of Monterey, persuaded our
subject to accompary him to sunny
California. Father Raho accepted
and forever proved himself most valu-
able and loyal to his episcopal friend
and superior. It happened that whilst

Page One Hundred and Twelv

making a visitation of the diocese.
Bishop Amat came to the "Old Mis-
sion" of Santa Barbara. He was so
favorably impressed wi*h the town
and surroundings that temporarily, at
least, Santa Barbara becarre. the
Bishop's residential city. Thr Fran-
ciscan Fathers weic in charge of the
cny parish. He induced them to ex-
change their 'foldings for die "Old
Mission" place. It was no sooner
said than, done. This was in 1856
Father Raho was appointed pastor
of the city parish of Santa Barbara,
which pastorate he retained till the

summer of 1857, when the Bishop
sent him in similar capacity to the
"Plaza Church" of Los Angeles.

In 1858 Father Raho became the
Vicar General of the diocese. After
three more years of strenuous life
our former active and pious Illinois
pioneer priest answered the final
summons. He died a well prepared,
edifying death at Los Angeles, Dec.
11, 1862.

The diocese of Chicago, Alton and
Peoria should forever keep the mem-
ory of this good man in grateful,
sacred benediction. R. I. P.


"Then lead him through this desert
Back to Thy Holy Land".

He was an assistant at St. Boni-
face, Quincy, under its pastor, Father
John Reis in 1857-'58, and acted as
pastor of the parish a few months till

the coming of Father Shaefermeyer.
Rev. A. Ratte thereupon went to
Cincinnati, and later returned to his
native country, Germany. He is said
to have been a fine pulpit speaker.


"Hush! was that some one passing,
Who paused before the door?"'

Our subject was a native of Luxem-
burg, born at La Rochette, Nov. 3,
1826, came to America in 1853 and
was ordained to the priesthood very
likely at the Seminary of Our Lady
of the Lake, by Bishop Oliver Van
de Velde on June 10, 1854. After
his ordination Father Raphael was at
once assigned to the parish of Teu-
topolis, where he stayed from July,
1854-Xov. 1856, becoming a success-
or to Rev. Joseph F. Zoegel. His next
appointments were those of Millstadt
and Mascoutah. In 1859 he succeeded
the pastor of St. Mary's parish of
Brussels, Rev. John Regal. Father

Raphael commenced the erection of
a commodiou.s two-story residence
for the rector; it was completed in
1862. He occupied it. The following
year the present church was com-
menced and rendered ready for divine
service. Father Raphael was, how-
ever, too soon removed to accomplish
all his designs. Whilst he was pastor
of Brussels he succeeded in building
the first log church six miles above
Hardin, now called Michael. Later
on, in 1866 he was in charge of Sum-
mit Springs, Butler county, Pa., and
at the time of his death, which oc-
cured in 1900, he was a chaplain in the
Convent of the Good Shepherd in


Page One Hundred and Thirteen


"No grief, though loud and deep
Could 1 stir that sleep".

Sad and tragic was the ending of a
very industrious and useful life of one
of the diocese's most venerable priests,
that of Rev. Francis N. Recouvreur.
Deceased had attained the age of 75
years. He had retired from active
service and intended to spend the re-

mainder of his declining days in well
merited rest and repose with a niece
in Kirkwood, Mo. To this end he re-
linquished the parish of New Douglas
and moved into his prepared quarters
near St. Louis. It was the custom of
deceased to retire every evening at
7 o'clock. It was on a Saturday
night, October 24, 1908, that his rela-
tive was awakened by the smell of
gas. She investigated and discovered
that the fumes came from her uncle's
rooms. A new gas stove had recent-
ly been placed in his room. It is
supposed that the aged priest went to
sleep in his arm-chair which stood
in front of the gas stove and thus be-
came asphyxiated.

The funeral took place from St.
Malachy's church, St. Louis, and was
attended by many of the clergy who
had come to pay their last tribute of
respect and pray for the soul of their
esteemed venerable confrere.

Solemn High Mlass was celebrated
by Rev. F. X. Zabell, D. D., a coun-
tryman and former fellow student of
deceased, with Rev. C. L. Souvay, C.
M., as deacon and Rev. Wm Michael
of Pieron, as sub-deacon, whilst V.
Rev. E. Spalding of Alton, delivered
the funeral sermon touching on the
long and useful career of the de-
parted and his many noble traits of

Father Recouvreur was known as a
great organizer and church builder.
Almost in every parish over which he
presided during his long priestly life
he left some memento of his zeal and
labor. In the dioceses of Alton and
Peoria this good man's name will re-
main a benediction. In looKing over
the long record of his accomplish-
ments we find him to have 'been ac-
tive at Assumption in 1865, Pittsfield
where he erected a church and frame
rectory in 1867 and opened a school
in 1870, Edwardsville, 1872, from
which place he attended Taylorville,
where he built a substantial parson-
age and bought some choice lots for
a new church, Carrollton, 1873-77,
where he built a schoolhouse. After
this he displayed his activities in the
Peoria diocese, at Clinton, 1S79-'80,
Campus, 1881 -'82, Dwight, 1882-'85,
Delavan, 1887, and L'Erable, 1887-'90.
At this juncture Father Recouvreur
returned to the Alton diocese and was
assigned to St. Ubaldus parish of New
Douglas, where at once he com-
menced to erect a parish house in
which he lived nine years from 1890-
'99, the time of his retirement to
Kirkwood, Mo.

Father Francis Nicholas Recouv-
reur was a native of La Belle France,
born in the Diocese of Nancy, Jan-
uary 23, 1833, was raised to the priest-
hood by Bishop Juncker in the Alton
Cathedral, August 4, 1859, and died
as stated, Oct. 24, 1908.

May God rest and crown the soul
of this persistent worker in his vin-

Page One Hundred and Fourtett


" God knows I did it for the best".

The second resident pastor of
Brussels. He was .a native of Nancy,
France, and governed the parish of

Brussels from 1853-1859. He was the
rirst priest to conduct divine services
in private houses above Hardin. R.
I. P.


Rev. Francis Reinhardt, the organ-
izer of St. Mary's Parish and superin-
tendent of the construction of the first
St. Mary's church building of Quincy,
was at the time of his assignment to
the. cause of the newly formed con-
gregation an assistant priest to the

Rev. Herman Schaefermeyer, then
pastor of St. Boniface parish. In like
capacity he acted 1876-1877, under
Rev. Francis Ostrop, who, after Rev.
Schaefermeyer had donned the Fran-
ciscan habit in 1872 (to be known
from thenceforth as P. laborious) suc-
ceeded to the pastorate of St. Boni-
face. It was Father Reinhardt who
suggested name and title of the newly
planned parish. Commissioned by the
Bishop to promote and further the
initial interests of St. Mary's congre-
gation, this good man at once put
forth his best endeavors to accom-
plish what seemed to many an almost
impossible task, hopeless of tiltimate
success. And how he worked and

labored day after day and week after
week incessantly and cheerfully for
and with the Catholic people of the
South Side, of all this we read on the
pages of Father Bruener's meritorious
and exhaustive work entitled ''Kir-
chengeschichte Quincy's" p. 285.

Suffice it to say that Rev. Rein-
hardt had the happiness to see his
persistent endeavors crowned with
unqualified success and that the
united efforts of promising St. Mary's
had succeeded to erect a most beau-
tiful Gothic edifice was formally de-
dicated to its lofty end and purpose
on December 8, 1867. A sore disap-
pointment, however, was in store for
our indefatigable worker, a disappoint-
ment over which he justly grieved
very much and which grief was uni-
versally shared by all parishioners of
St. Mary's, viz: that after accom-
plishing this great task at the sacri-
fice of thousands of personal con-
veniences not he but someone else
should 'be assigned as pastor to the
new parish. This disappointment was
seemingly a hard and cruel one, but
Father Reinhardt knew how to bear
it humbly and submissively. He re-
turned to the labors of an assistant
priest of St. Boniface until shortly
after the voice of his superior called
him to another field of labor.

The subject of this biographical
sketch was born April 20, 1834 at
Fulda in Hessia. a place forever hal-
lowed by the life and death of Ger-
many's great apostle, St. Boniface.
Ordained to the priesthood on St.
Joseph's day, March 19, 1859 by the
Bishop of that city and diocese, our
young levite exercised his priestly
functions in his native land until the
year 1864, when, encouraged by the
example of so many zealous mission-
aries and the appeal for priests by

Page One Hundred and Fifteen

our American Bishops, young Father
Reinhardt determined to devote the
remainder of his life to the American
missions. Invited by Bishop Damian
Juncker, he came to the Alton Diocese
where the sturdy, rugged young man
son found abundant opportunities for
the display of his zeal and talents.
Thus it is that our subject was suc-
cessively appointed to positions at
Quincy with Revs. H. Schaefermeyer
and Francis Ostrop, to Breese, as as-
sistant to Rev. Reineke, to Highland
with Rev. Jos. M e c k e 1, to West
Woods, Taylorville and the chaplain-
cy at St. John's Hospital of Spring-
field, where at that time the energetic
Superioress, Ven. Sr. Ulrica, O. S. F.,
was erecting the fine chapel building.
Here I had the good fortune of meet-
ing the quondam organizer of our St.
Mary's congregaton. On conversing
with him on a numlber of topics and

various timely subjects 1 found him
a man of erudition and mature judg-
ment though oftentimes of rather
straightforward and blunt expression,
one who was very unassuming and
modest in appearance, an humble and
unselfish priest of God and sympa-
thetic friend of man.

It seems that in the latter part of
the eighties his health became seri-
ously impaired; to seek relief for a
shattered and broken down constitu-
tion, Father Reinhardt obtained per-
mission from his Ordinary to return
to his native country, to beautiful
Hessia, where after some few years
of lingering sickness, he expired on
August 25, 1892, at the village of
Lettgenbrunn near the city of Fulda.
There he has found his last resting
place. May this good man, to whose
untiring efforts Quincy owes so much,
forever rest in God's holy peace!


"Per aspera ad astra".

When Rev. Father Kuenster, pas-
tor of St. Boniface, Quincy, had died,
Sept. 15, 1857, Bishop Juncker as-
signed a successor in the person of
Father J. Reis. This priest had come
from Missouri, where at Merrimac,
St. Louis county, he had acted as pas-
tor of St. Mary's parish. He was frail
and sickly; foreseeing the work which
awaited him at Quincy, the appointee

refused to accept the proffered posi-
tion, but finally yielded to his superi-
ors insistence. However, Father Reis
was compelled the next August to
resign the pastorate of St. Boniface,
as his impaired health threatened to
break down under the weight of
manifold daily duties. He retired
from active pastoral life and died a
few years afterward.


The first resident pastor of SS.
Peter and Paul's congregation 01
Collinsville, was Rev. W. J. Repis.
He was a Bohemian by birth and was
sent to this parish in 1857. During his
stay he performed excellent work till

the fall of 1858. At this time he re-
solved to go South to Tennessee,
and was admitted into the diocese
of Nashville, where in that city he
was given charge of St. Mary's parish.

Page One Hundred and Sixteen


"Creative Lord Incarnate, let me lean
Myself on Thee;

Xor let my utter weakness come between
Thy strength and me."

B. H. Benson.

The Franciscan Order sustained a
severe loss when on June 8, 1916 the
Very Rev. P. Michael Richard, O. F.
M. died. A man of extraordinary

mental endowment and great moral
force had passed away. A brilliant
pulpit orator, deep theologian, an
ideal retreat master, and above all a
sincere pious and unaffected follower
of St. Francis, is mourned not only
by the regular but likewise by the

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Online LibraryAnthony ZurbonsenClerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. → online text (page 14 of 19)