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

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while an assistant at the Cathedral, he
was ordered to inaugurate prelim-

Page Thirty

inary work for starting St. Patrick's.
There were but eighty families to
commence -with, but young Father
Cassidy was by no means discouraged
in his undertakings. He succeeded ad-
mirably, for he built church and par-
sonage in 1883, and three years later,
in 1886, added a parochial school to

his now flourishing parish. In March,
1887, Father Cassidy was transferred
from Alton to Murrayville, where four
years later he died, February 4, 1890.
Father Cassidy was a great promoter
of manly sports, hence an ardent lover
of base ball. R. I. P.


"Sweet Heaven my hope points up to thee
When whelming woes sweep over me!"

On the night of May 19, 1903, a
terrible catastrophe occured at the
parochial residence of Columbia, 111.,
casting the pall of genuine mourning

not over the parish alone, but over
the entire diocese as well. On that
fatal night, the pastor of Columbia
parish, Rev. Bernard Claus, testing
doors and windows ere retiring for
the night, as usually he did, was sud-
denly seized with an attack of diz-
ziness, collapsed and expired. A heart
stroke had snuffed out his priestly
life instanter. In the act of attending
to the locking of doors and windows,
however, he generally carried a kero-
sene lamp in his hand. So this fatal
evening. Whilst the stricken priest
sank lifeless to the floor, the burning
kerosene lamp exploded and flaming
oil encircling the body partly in-
cinerating it. A thrill of horror went

forth when next morning the pastor's
sad and tragic death was made known
to his faithful flock and the numerous
friends both in the Belleville and
Alton dioceses, where for many years
he had worked so well and left such
honorable record in every place and
parish which had witnessed his un-
selfish labors and ministrations.

Born April 3, 1842, at Niederovschel
in Saxony, Father Claus studied
classics at Heiligenstadt, philosophy
and partly theology at Muenster and
Bonn. He came to America in June,
1868, and finished his studies at Cin-
cinnati, where Archbishop John B.
Purcell, D. D., ordained him to the
priesthood September 24, 1870. He
was stationed as assistant at St. Boni-
face of Quincy, December 6, 1870
February 14, 1872, a few months at
Edwardsville, with Staunton and New
Douglas as out-missions; at Mt. Ster-
ling from 1872-73; at Taylorville from
1873-77. During this period he erected
a comfortable parochial residence at
Morrisonville, and moving thither
became the first resident pastor of St.
Maurice congregation. From here he
was assigned to parishes in the south-
ern part of the state and hence be-
came incorporated into the new dio-
cese of Belleville when the latter was
erected in 1888. There he was active
at Madonnaville December 5, 1872
January, 1882; at Paderborn from
January, 1882-1892, when he became
pastor of Columbia and met his tragic
death May 19, 1903. He was buried
in the cemetery of that parish. R. I. P.

Page Thirty-One


"I have come to take thee home
Said the veiled guest;
The great journey of life is done*
I will take thee into rest".

It was a large class that prepared
for ordination which was to take place
at All Hallows Seminary, April 17,
1863. Among these young aspirants
who went through College and Semi-

nary life together, were some whose
future years were to be spent in the
Mission field of one and the same dio-
cese. In this particular class for in-
stance, were a number destined for
Alton, where the field was extensive,
laborers however few. Whilst on a
visit to Ireland, Bishop Juncker had
aroused a missionary spirit in the
young clerics with the result that a
goodly number had applied to be ad-
mitted into his diocese, and good and
faithful workers they all eventually
proved to be. They were men of the
old school, blunt and plain, true and
honest, worthy and zealous. There
was, among others, Michael Clifford,
who emerged from that class of '63 to
swell the ranks of the Alton clergy.
He had accumulated a store of merits
when death summoned him in the
springtime of 1907, and he was ush-
ered into the presence of his Maker.

Page Thirty-Two

This native of Limerick has left his
distinctive mark on every parish over
which he was called to preside and his
memory is held by the people in last-
ing benediction. And many were the
parishes whom he served as pastor.
Many a heart was sorely afflicted
when it was learned that Father Clif-
ford had died. He had been truly a
father and friend to all parishioners.
His first assignment after ordination
was to the parish of Winchester in
1863-'66. Next we learn that he is di-
recting the destinies of Virden's con-
gregation from 1868-'69, whereupon
Bunker Hill claimed his ministrations
from 1869-72. Mt. Sterling at this
time needed a strong man to erect a
residence, school building and a new
church. The choice fell upon Father
Clifford and he proved to be the right
man. Twenty-four years of faithful,
fruitful service characterized his stay
at Mt. Sterling, when in 1896. he was
entrusted with the pastorate of St. Jo-
seph's of Springfield, where he labored
in his own quiet, unobtrusive way till
early in 1907, when God called his
pious, faithful servant from hence.

The Springfield deanery in its quar-
terly session on June 27, of that year,
passed the following set of pertinent
resolutions which admirably portray
the priestly life and character of de-
ceased. They were as follows:

"Whereas, It has pleased Almighty
God to take to Himself the soul of
Rev. Michael Clifford, for eleven years
pastor of St. Joseph's church, Spring-
field, 111., and one of our most efficient
and venerable reverend Fathers, and

Whereas, His consistent conduct in
the priesthood for forty-five years
was an exemplification in the highest
degree of the teachings of our Lord
and his Church, and

Whereas, During life he was a light
to many in the way of salvation, both
by his prayers and cheerful person-
ality, and

Whereas, Knowing, as we do, ru-
mors, to the contrary, notwithstand-

ing, that he died possessed of little of
this world's goods, therefore be it

Resolved, That we, his co-laborers
in the priesthood, while deploring- our
loss in his death, take this method of
showing to the world our heart-born
appreciation of his many priestly vir-
tues, and further be it

Resolved, That in view of the many
places over which he had jurisdiction,
his care in financial affairs in the
building of schools, convents and
churches, merited for him the implicit
undying gratitude of his people, and

confidence of his superiors, and fur-

Resolved, That out of respect for
his memory this Quarterly Confer-
ence of the Springfield deanery now
in session be adjourned."

Whoever has known the deceased
and witnessed his past saintly, priestly
life, will say "Amen" to this set of
resolutions which so appropriately
memorialize his priestly life.

May Father Michael Clifford rest in


''Life is only bright when it proceedeth
Toward a truer, deeper Life above".

Whilst pastor of Carrollton from
1865-'66, the cholera broke fiercely out
in the community. During this ordeal
good Father Clifford edified all by his
courage and heroism, attending the

sick and burying the dead. Finally,
he himself, became a victim of the
dread disease and was prepared for
death. However, Le recovered for the
time being but died a few months
afterward. He was buried at Alton.
R. I. P.


"Let peace, O Lord! Thy peace, O God,

Upon our souls descend,
From midnight fears and perils, Thou
Our trembling hearts defend".

A priest of eminent learning, pres-
tige and subsequent unusual distinc-
tion, was the olim pastor of Bunker
Hill, Rev. J. H. Cluever, D. D. Our
doubly titled subject was born March
8, 1845, in the Diocese of Paderborn,
Germany, and came to this country
in 1871. In that same year he was
raised to the priesthood. He acted as
pastor of the Bunker Hill parish from
1872-74, after which the Doctor left
for the East, affiliating with the dio-
cese of Albany, N. Y. He became

pastor of St. Lawrence congregation
of Troy, X. Y., and was chosen a
member of the diocesan school board.
His eminent services which he ren-
dered the diocese caused him to be
elevated a Monsignor. For many
years, however, our Rt. Rev. gentle-
man had conceived the idea of ulti-
mately embracing religious life. This
long-harbored intention assumed
tangible form in 1892, in which year
the Monsignor bid farewell to diocese,
parish and friends, sailed for South
Africa and there joined the colony of


How sweet Thy service and how safe Thy fold.

Born in Waterford, Ireland, he was

ordained at the Alton Cathedral

August 1. 1865, and died January 12,
1881. He is a quondam Alton cathe-
dral pastor.

Page Thirty-Three


"Life's vesper bells are ringing

In the temple of my heart,
And yon sunset sure is singing :
'Nunc Dimittis Now Depart'."

Father Abr. Ryan.

Sad and solemn was the tolling of
the bells of Our Savior's Church, of
Jacksonville, on the morning of March
10, 1916. They announced to a grief-
stricken congregation that the last
rites were about to be performed over
the remains of their late pastor, Rev.
John Crowe, who had departed this
life a few days previous thereto, viz:
on March 7. The obsequies gathered
a vast concourse of people, irrespec-
tive of creed or nationality, within the
sacred walls of the handsome church,
all eager to pay a last tribute of love
and respect to the popular priest and
citizen, for Father Crowe was re-
spected and admired by the whole
city where he had labored faithfully
and well since 1892, when he was ap-
pointed an irremovable rector by the
Bishop of the Diocese. Father Crowe
had died from the effects of an opera-
tion performed about two weeks be-
fore his death.

The sermon was preached by the
Very Rev. J. P. O'Mahoney, President
of St. Viator's College at Kankakee,
111., and was a splendid .tribute to the
life and works of the dead priest. He
drew a beautiful pen-picture of the
Catholic home in which the pre-
destined youth drank in the inspira-
tion and high ideals that later on
made him the champion of right, the
expounder of truth, the enemy of vice
and the admiration of all who knew

Defunct attained an age of 64 years
and was born at Oswego, N. Y. Father
Crowe made his ecclesiastical studies
at the Grand Seminary of Montreal,
where he was ordained to the priest-
hood after a thorough training under
the competent guidance of the Sul-
pician Fathers. His first charge was
at Flora, where he remained but six
weeks, when he was promoted to Mat-
toon. Here he worked with great de-
votion for fifteen years and erected
the present beautiful church. Realiz-

Page Thirty-Four

ing Father Crowe's worth and ability,
the Bishop sent him as pastor to the
important charge of Jacksonville t as
successor to the Very Rev. Timothy
Hicky, V. G., who had assumed the
pastorate of the Immaculate Concep-
tion Parish of Springfield.

The history of the church under the
rectorship of Father Crowe has been
one of indefatigable labor on the
rector's part and of a steady expan-
sion on the part of the parish under
his direction, in all lines of Catholic
work, spiritual, financial and intellec-

The Jacksonville Journal paid the
following editorial tribute to Father

"The passing of Very Rev. Dean J.
W. Crowe removes from Jacksonville
a very influential citizen. Father
Crowe has been a resident of Jackson-
ville twenty-three years and his record
has been such as to prove beyond
question his ability as an organizer.
Proof of this ability has appeared in
various 'ines and during his pastorate
the Church of Our Savior has de-
veloped in a material way. Father
Crowe was especially interested in
educational work and because of his
leadership Routt college stands in
Jacksonville today. Father Crowe was
a man of wide learning and liberal ed-
ucation. A well known Jacksonville
man and a non-Catholic, who accom-
panied him on a trip occupying sev-
eral days, said recently that the de-
ceased rector was one of the most de-
lightful men he hac 1 ever known so-
cially and in a conversational way.
Father Crowe was not especially dip-
lomatic in his manner or in his ways
in fact he was especially outspoken
and had the habit of going directly
after anything that he wanted. Oppo-
sition to him or disagreement with
him did not mean offense, and he had
an admiration for men and women
with convictions and willing to fight
for those convictions. During his years
of residence here. Father Crowe be-

came a large force in the community
and while his parishioners and friends
found much in him to admire, even
those who disagreed with him had
great respect for his knowledge and

influence. His going marks the end
of a very forceful life."

One brother, Father Donat Crowe,
late pastor of Kewanee, died in Rome,
Italy in 1912. R. I. P.


(From the New World.)

The Rev. Father Cusack was one
of the pioneers of the Alton diocese.
Born in Kilmainam, County Cavan,
Ireland, he emigrated with a brother
to Indian Creek, Mo., some 30 miles
west of Quincy, where they purchased
and worked a farm. In course of time
Mr. Cusack repaired to the Seminary
of the Barrens and was ordained
August 15, 1842 by Bishop Kenrick
for the diocese of St. Louis. In the
same year he was sent to Salt River.
In 1845 he was given charge of Indian
Creek. In 1850 he was found sta-
tioned at Arrow Rock, a locality not
known to modern geographers. In

1851 he was stationed at Marshall,
Saline County. In the year of the
Jubilee, whilst crossing the Salt River
with Bishop Kenrick, the stream hav-
ing unexpectedly risen, the distin-
guished prelate lost his equilibrium
and owed his life to the skill of Father
Cusack as a swimmer. Afterwards he
had charge of Jefferson City, and

1852 of Lexington. In the list of
Missionaries kept in the archives of
the Archdiocese of St. Louis, he is
described in 1854 as missionary "in
via ferrata vaporea" t h e Railroad
Apostle. And so he was, not only in
Missouri, but also in Illinois, whither
he repaired in the following year,
with headquarters at London City. In
1856 he was stationed at Decatur,

from thence following the men build-
ing the railroads, administering to
their spiritual wants and striving to
control their excesses. His means of
conveyance was a "white mule," still
famous wherever he visited. He built
several churches, all of a simple and
primitive style, neither Greek, Roman-
esque nor Gothic, known to the
priests as the "Cusack style," a good
sort of style notwithstanding their
plainness, in which as good prayers
could be said as in St. Peter's of

Father Cusack left Decatur for
Shelbyville where he was stationed in
1864, if not before. In 1865 he left
for Bloomfield, Adams County, where
he remained till 1875 when he went
to Grafton. His next and last mis-
sion was Shipman, where he moved
to in 1876. He died at the Mullanphy
Hospital, St. Louis on February 28,
1887 at the ripe old age of about 87
years. He was burried at Indian
Creek, Mo., where he had labored as
a former priest in the midst of rela-

Father Cusack was a hard-working,
painstaking priest. He was plain-
spoken and had no flattery for any
one. He made the youngsters know
their catechism.

A prayer for the repose of the soul
of honest old Father Tom.


"Every word man's lips have uttered
Echoes in God's skies".


nary, Milwaukee, Dec. 21, 1872.
death occurred Oct. 16, 1886.
Our subject was born in Ireland and. Father P. Dee acted for two years
ordained a priest at St. Francis Semi- as pastor of the Alton cathedral.

Page Thirty-Five


"Every throb of my own heart's beating
Tells of the flight of Time".

Obviously our subject must be
numbered with the oldest missionary
priests of the state. As early as 1845
Bishop Rosatti of St. Louis, assigned
him to New Dublin, near Galena,
where he said Mass in a log house
16x24 and 7 logs high, which had been
constructed in 1836. The only men-
tion made of Father Derwin in this
part of the state, the present Alton
diocese, is that in 1846 he was ap-

pointed pastor of St. Lawrence church
(now St. Peter's) of Quincy. He suc-
ceeded its first pastor and founder.
Father Tucker, and remained in
charge of that parish from 1846
Dec. 1849. His administration there
was uneventful, the parish making but
little progress during his incumbency.
After his recall from Quincy Father
Derwin labored in the northern part
of the state, and there he died. R. I.


"Godliness is profitable to all things hav-
ing promise of the life that now is and of
that which is to come". 1 Tim. 4, 8.

On December 17, 1908, there expired
at Boerne, Texas, whither he had
gone for the recuperation of impaired
health, the Rev. Patrick R. Ducey,

pastor of St. Mary's congregation of
Marshall, 111. Funeral services were
held the following Tuesday at Mar-
shall. A large concourse of people
was present to attest their respect to
him who had labored so earnestly and
incessantly among them for eight
years in the cause which he repre-
sented. This outpouring of the people
manifested the high regard in which
he was held by the community,
whether Catholic or Protestant. Fol-

Page Thirty-Six

lowing the Solemn Requiem services
the 'body was conveyed to Springfield
for interment. Forty of his confreres
were present at these services. He
was lowered to his last resting place
in Calvary cemetery amongst mem-
bers of the Immaculate Conception
church as he looked upon that congre-
gation as a second home, for there
he had spent the first years of his
young priestly life as an assistant to
its venerable pastor. Father Ducey
was a man of honor and uprightness,
a priest greatly devoted to God's
service an^d the salvation of souls.
Wherever he was his works remain
after him for good. After laboring
at Springfield for some three years in
the capacity of assistant priest, he
was appointed to organize and build
a chinch at Effingham, the Sacred
Heart church. He did so and suc-
ceeded notwithstanding that difficul-
ties were great and means very small.
Leaving the young parish in flourish-
ing condition, Father Ducey assumed
charge of the congregation of Mar-
shall, where, during the subsequent
years of his pastorate he performed
good work, always active in behalf
of the material and spiritual welfare
of his people. When dying his last
words were: "May God's holy will be

Father P. R. Ducey, an only son of
his parents, was born at Lowell,
Mass., in 1862, attended the local St.
Patrick's parochial schools and then

entered upon the courses of Classics,
Philosophy and Theology at St. Bon-
aventure's College of Allegheny, Pa.,
where on June 20, 1889, on the Feast
of Corpus Christie, he was ordained

by Bishop Stephen Ryan of Buffalo,
to the priesthood.

May Father Ducey, whose untime-
ly going is mourned by a host of
friends, rest in God's holy peace.


"Time, like an ever-rolling stream
Bears all its sons away".

A venerable missionary priest, who
occasionally exercised his sacred func-
tions at places now comprised within
the Alton diocese, was Father Durbin.
In 1850, his residence or rather stop-
ping place, was at St. Vincent's in
Union County, Ky., twenty-four miles
from Shawneetown. The circuit of
this intrepid early crusader included
southeastern and southwestern Ken-
tucky, a great part of Tennessee, In-
diana, and all Southern Illinois, called
Egypt. From his Kentucky home he
visited on his periodical tours, St.
Bonaventure parish of St. Elmo (now
connected with Altamont). From St.
Elmo he would proceed further north
to Christian county, where near Tay-
lorville there is still to this day quite
a colony of Kentucklans, among whom

we meet with numerous Durbins. By
his occasional visits he would enable
these people to receive the Sacra-
ments, have their children christened
and their marriages solemnized or val-
idated. The old settlers are talking
of Father Durbin's visits to this day.

Father Durbin was an American of
Maryland stock, and had imbibed the
traditions of the persecutions of that
colony against the Catholics. This
filled him with ardor for his religion,
even to rigorism, for he had been in-
structed by Bishops Flaget and David,
first Bishops of Kentucky, they being
exiles from France on account of their
faith. They imbued the future mis-
sionaries in their seminary with a
rigid and self-sacrificing spirit.

Father Durbin died at Bardstown,
Ky., being at the time of death over
ninety years of age. R. I. P.


"Gone home! He lingers here no longer,
A restless pilgrim, walking painfully

With homesick longing daily growing

And yearning vision of the joys to be".

On January 21, 1916, the angel of
death beckoned Reverend Henry Eg-
genstein, ''pastor emeritus" of St.
Elizabeth's congregation of Marine,
to follow and the priestly soul winged
its flight to the great white throne of
the Master there to receive eternal
reward for work well and nobly done.
He breathed forth his soul into the
hands of the Creator at St. Vincent's
Hospital of Taylorville, where he had
acted as chaplain ever since his retire-
ment from his beloved St. Elizabeth's
of Marine, in the fall of 1913. Ad-
vanced in years his weakened and
feeble body was not able to withstand
the inroads which a complication of
diseases had caused therein and when
finally dropsy made its appearance the

stricken man knew that the end was
not far off. Hence he set his house
in order so that when the fatal sum-
mons came to him he was fully pre-
pared to answer same. Having re-
ceived most fervently the last sacra-
ments of his Church two days before
death and being fully resigned to the
inscrutable designs of God's provi-
dence, our venerable friend lapsed into
a coma from which he was not to
awaken ere coming to the shores of
eternity. Calmly, without the least
of struggle he passed away, his sun
had set forever, Father Eggenstein
was no more, and another void and
vacancy within the ranks of the faith-
ful workers of the Alton Diocese had
been made. The ranks of older clergy
have alarmingly been decimated
within recent past years, but few
of the old stock are left to tell the
tale of former-day experiences of

Page Thirty-Sevfn

hardships and self-denials which plen-
tifully awaited them in newly started
parishes in city and country alike.

Father Eggenstein was born July
10, 1843 at Drensteinfurt, Germany.
He studied in the local schools, thence
attended the gymnasium of Muenster
after which he entered as alumnus the
American College of St. Maurice (sub-
urban to Muenster.) There he was
raised to the priesthood on May 8,
1869. In autumn of same year, Octo-
ber 2, he landed on the American
shores, setting out at once for Alton
to report "ready for duty" to Bishop
Baltes. He was sent to Springfield as
assistant to the Pastor of St. Peter

and Paul's. His stay here, however,
was to be of but short duration, as
he was after a few months appointed
assistant priest to Father Schaefer-
meyer at St. Boniface church of
Quincy. A vacancy occuring at St.
Joseph's church of Carlinville, Father
Eggenstein became pastor of that
congregation a few months later,
working hard for its material and
spiritual uplift till September, 1876,
when he received his ultimate appoint-
ment to St. Elizabeth's parish of
Marine and where he remained until
forced by age and infirmities to seek
the hospitable asylum of St. Vincent's
Hospital of Taylorville, in the fall
of 1913.

St. Elizabeth's parish in its com-
pleteness, church, school and resi-
dence, is, with exception of the latter,
the result of Fr. Eggenstein's efforts,
it's a bijou among the country par-
ishes of the diocese, proclaiming elo-
quenitly the priestly spirit of deceased
which wrought these telling results.
He likewise built the priest's residence
at Saline.

Our defunct was a man of abstem-
ious, frugal habits, who required but
little for his living. Hardly ever did
he leave his habitat at Marine. In

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Online LibraryAnthony ZurbonsenClerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. → online text (page 4 of 19)