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

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want x>f a Catholic high school at
this place, a center of Catholic popu-
lation and energy, had been long and
keenly felt for years. It was reserved
for Father Heffernan to accomplish
what others had not dared to under-
take. St. Mary's Academy, with al-
most 200 pupils stands today a per-
manent monument of his untiring
work and devotion to the cause of
education and religion. His memory
will continue to live on in the hearts
of many grateful people whom he
benefitted by his many deeds of kind-
ness and priestly ministrations.

His mortal remains were forwarded
to his home town, Woonsocket, R. I.,
where his aged mother then resided,
and there they rest within the shadow
of the cross on the pretty Catholic
cemetery 'till the dawn of resurrection
morn. R. I. P.

Page Fifty-Four


Mary, our comfort and our hope,

O may that word be given
To be the last we sing on earth

To be the first we breathe in heaven!

The Rev. Roderick Heimerling was
born February 20, 1825, in Waldfaus-
ten, a small town of Bavaria. His
parents were persons of social stand-
ing and wealth, the father holding an
important government position.
Young Roderick being the issue of a
mixed marriage, his father a protest-
ant and the mother a Catholic, was
raised a protestant. However, early
in life he embraced the religion of his
mother. This was in opposition to
the law of the land which prohibited
the son of a protestant father from
becoming a Catholic under a certain
age. The violation of this law com-
pelled him to flee from home. He
went to Switzerland, but was pursued,
brought back and sent to a Military
Academy. Whilst here he was woun-
ded by a shot which caused a slight
but permanent lameness. When he
had partly recovered from his wound
he fled again to Switzerland and from
there to Rome. By the intercession
of the Bavarian Court he was admit-
ted to the College of the Propaganda,
where he studied for the next seven
years. After completing his course
of studies and being unable under the
laws of his native land to return home
he was sent by the Prefect of the
Propaganda to the United States a
sub-deacon. Chicago was selected as
the field of his future services. Shortly
after landing Bishop Van de Velde

ordained him a priest, September 9,

Ever since that day he had been
in active service. His first appoint-
ment was at Galena, and after that in
various places of Illinois. In 1856 and
part of '57 he had charge of St.
Marie, Jasper county. October 26,
1859, we find him in charge of St.
Alexis' at Beardstown. At this place
he established a school in a rented
building and purchased land for a
graveyard. Here he remained for al-
most seven years and here it was this
great and generous man died March
20, 1866. The story of his last hours
of life is a sad one. Having to attend
a sick call during the night previous
to his death, he waded a stream, con-
tracted a severe cold, and instead of
returning home at once and caring
for himself, went on to Rushville,
Schuyler county one of his missions
paying with his life the excess of
his zeal. Feeling the nearness of
death he sent for Father Stick, then
pastor of Mt. Sterling, but alas! had
to die without the consolations of his
church, the priest being unable to
reach him in time. After solemn
funeral services conducted by Revs.
M. Clifford F. Stick and A. Busch,
his remains were interred in the Cath-
olic cemetery of Beardstown.

Among his schoolmates in Rome he
counted Cardinal Cullen, Archbishop
Spalding, Bishop Rosecrans and Dr.
Cummings of New York. R. I. P.


' 'And the south-wind sighing in the trees
And the dead leaves rustling as they fall".

Born at Quincy, 111., February 9,
1849, Father Hellhake was raised to
the priesthood in his native city, April
21, 1872. He was an assistant at St.
Boniface, Quincy, from May-August,
1872, and then served as pastor of St.

Alexis parish of Beardstown from
1873-Aug. '75, after which he joined
the Fort Wayne diocese, where he be-
came pastor of St. John's church of
Remington, in Jasper county. He died
within recent years, Aug. 11, 1909, at
Sheldon, Ind., where he was pastor of
the local St. Aloysius church. R. I. P.

Page Fifty-Five


1 'The star of life had risen
Only to fade away".

A priest of migratory propensities
was Rev. Joseph Edward Hermann.
He was a native of Silesia, born at
Steinau, in the Diocese of Breslau.
Having almost completed his studies
in the old country, he came to the
States November 18, 1859, and was
ordained a priest by Bishop Juncker
at Quincy, July 2, 1860. Among other
places which he occupied in our dio-
cese was that of St. Mary's, Edwards-

ville, in 1866, succeeding Rev. G.
Tuerk. On May 29, 1867, he left the
diocese and entered upon the duties
as pastor of St. Joseph's church at
Mendota, 111., was transferred to Lin-
coln, thereupon was made pastor of
Matamora in 1871, and in 1872 was a
chaplain in St. John's Hospital of Port
Townsend in the diocese of Nesqually,
Washington. The date of Father Her-
man's death could not be ascertained.
R. I. P.


"Dies mei sieut umbra declinaverunt et ego ut
foenum ami".

Among the number of Neo-Presby-
ters who, as graduates from the
American College of Louvain had
been ordained in the summer of 1877,
was Rev. John Herlitz. A class pic-
ture still extant and today in the pos-
session of one of the ordinati of that
year, shows our subject presiding over
that class of graduates, for he was the
oldest among them, having been or-
dained when well advanced in years.
Father Herlitz arrived in the Alton
Diocese in the fall of that year and
from the very start displayed great in-
terest in his work. In 1885 he took
.charge of Mitchell, attending at the
:same time Bethalto. During a mission
given by Father Braun, S. J., prepara-

tory to the celebration of the patron
feast of the church, on the eve of St.
Martin's Day, during evening service,
a defective flue set the church of
Bethalto on fire, destroying it as well
as the rectory adjoining. The first
years of his priesthood were spent in
the southern part of the Diocese, he
had charge for several years of the
parish of Anna. Before studying for
the ministry at all, our deceased priest
had been a member of a religious
community of brothers and had taught
school several years in England.

Father Herlitz died Nov. 5, 1889, at
the rectory of Mitchell and has found
his last resting place in the small
Catholic cemetery near that town. R.
I. P.


"Lingering breezes pass

As tenderly and slow,
As if beneath the grass,
A monarch slept below".

The zealous and self-sacrificing
community of Franciscan Hospital
Sisters, whose Mother-house is loca-
ted at Springfield, sustained a severe
loss in the death of their able Direc-
tor, Rev. Louis Hinssen. In good
health until a few weeks before his
death, his friends predicted for him
many more years of active work. He
died at St. Clara's Hospital, of Lin-
coln, 111., whither he had retired at
the advice of his physician, June 25,
1905. In the annual report for 1904-
1905 of St. John's Hospital of Spring-

field, the Rev. Joseph S t r a u b, ap-
pointed successor to decedent speaks
at length of the life and merits of
Father Hinssen. Here is the well-
deserved tribute he pays to his mem-

Father Hinssen was born at Sons-
beck, Germany, December 29th, 1834.
In this little town he spent his early
years and received his elementary
education. After completing the rigid
course of studies at the Gymnasium
of Cleve, he entered the Seminary at
Muenster, Westphalia, to prepare
himself for his ordination to the

Page Fifty-Six

About a year before his ordination,
an event took place that was to make
an important change in his plans. Up
to this time Father H i n s s e n had
thought of no other field of labor than
that of his own native country. An
address on the need of Catholic
priests in the diocese of Alton, deliv-
ered to the students of the Muenster
Seminary, by Rt. Rev. Henry Damian
Junker, the first Bishop of the diocese,
inspired in young Hinssen a zeal
lor missionary labor and aroused and
confirmed in him the desire to emi-
grate to America. With the determin-
ation that characterized his actions
all through life, he immediately set to
work to carry out this new project.
He did not wait for his ordination, but
as soon as possible made the prepa-
rations necessary for his departure;
and with one companion landed in
New York about the middle of the
following year.

Shortly after his arrival in this coun-
try, he was ordained by the Rt. Rev.
Bishop Juncker in the Cathedral of
Alton, September 21, 1859, and within
a few months was assigned to his
first mission, the parish of Edwards-
ville, Illinois. His work here was the
difficult and arduous work of all the
Catholic priests of southern Illinois
in the early part of the latter half of
the last century. He continued work-
ing in the smaller parishes of the dio-
cese until the beginning of the year
1870, when the newly consecrated
Bishop Baltes appointed him his suc-
cessor at St. Peter's Church, Belle-
ville, Illinois. In this congregation he
labored indefatigably for thirteen
years, doing at times the work of
three priests. At the end of this time
he made a journey to Rome (to set-
tle an acrimonious controversy which
had arisen between the bishop and
himself. Z.) After a sojourn of four-
teen months at Rome he returned and
took charge of a parish in Cairo, Illi-
nois, whose pastor he remained till
the close of the year 1886, when he
began his successful work as Superior
of the Franciscan Sisters' Community
and Director of St. John's Hospital.

The person who contemplates today

the extensive building of St. John's
Hospital, with its clock-work like
management, can not even imagine
the difficulties that confronted Father
Hinssen when he assumed the duties
of Director. No adequate idea of all
that his untiring labor did for the
hospital, and the Sisters of the hos-
pital can be given in the small space
of this brief sketch. Suffice it to say
that his able financiering worked won-
ders in decreasing the debt which
weighed heavily upon the sisters. So
successful was he that, aside from the
many improvements in the hospital
building- itself, and the improvements
and additions to the branch houses in
other cities, the sisters were able
some years ago, without any dread of
the future, to build the extensive ad-
dition to St. John's hospital, which
now adds beauty to the building and
completes it on the west side.

More than his successful financier-
ing, however, we must admire his ef-
ficient work in bringing the nursing
in the institution up to the scientific
standard found today in modern, well-
equipped and well-managed hospitals.
When Father Hinssen was made
director he was almost a sexagenarian.
Men at this age ordinarily are so fixed
in their views that it requires, to say
the least, a strenuous effort on their
part to remain in touch with the pro-
gress made in any field of science and
art. They praise the practices of their
own days and are not easily per-
suaded to concede the good accom-
plished by the discoveries and inven-
tions of the younger contemporaries
of their old age. Not so Father Hins-
sen. In spite of his advanced years,
and in spite of the fact that he was
reared and educated at a time when
hospital work was still in swaddling
clothes, and most people considered
the hospital only a place where sick
paupers might spend their last miser-
able days, Father Hinssen with a
mind open to progress, kept pace with
the rapid strides of improvements
that hospitals were making both in
regard to their architecture and man-
agement, as well as in the nursing
to be had in them. He had not occu-

Page Fifty-Sev

pied his position as Director very long
when he saw the need of a well or-
ganized and systematized training
school, and in spite of his advanced
age, he began to work out a plan for
such a school. While thus engaged
he was confronted by a serious diffi-
culty. In his search for a text book,
he found that there was none in ex-
istence that would exactly suit the
needs of hospital Sisters. This ob-
stacle, however, did not deter him
from prosecuting his undertaking.
Seeing that he could not find a suit-
able text book, he resolved to compile
one. The result was "The Nursing
Sister," a hand book for Sisters train-
ing schools, which today is used in
many of the Catholic hospitals of the
United States and Canada, and which
has even found its way across the
ocean into some of the hospitals in
England. In addition to the "Nurs-
ing Sister" he compiled a smaller vol-
ume, entitled "Hints for the Clinical
Record," which serves as a supple-
ment to the former and which met
with as much success as its predeces-
sor, the Hand-book of Nursing.

The hospital in his charge, however,
furnishes even better proof of Father
Hinssen's ability to understand and
appreciate modern progress, than his
work for the training school and the
compiling of text books of nursing.
Everybody knows that today a hospi-
tal which is not modern in equipment
and up-to-date in nursing will fail to
receive the patronage of the people,
and consequently will not be able to
exist, especially in a place where it
has to meet the competition of other
hospitals. Now St. John's hospital
not only exists today, but at times in
spite of its size has not sufficient room
to accomodate its patrons. The num-
ber of its patients has increased from
357 in 1886, the year when Father
Hinssen was made Director, to 1,839
in 1905, the year of his death; In 1915
the number of patients was 4,500.)

More need certainly not be said to
show that Father Hinssen not only
understood well the necessity of keep-
ing in touch with modern progress,
but that he also, with a mind fit to

appreciate modern improvements, so
managed the hospital and directed the
Sisters that today St. John's hospital
can without fear of contradiction be
said to be among the foremost hos-
pitals in the State. During a long life
of labor, vivified by zeal for the honor
of God and the good of his fellow-
men, Father Hinssen has erected for
himself many a monument that will
make his name live long in the mem-
ory of those for whom he worked.
But foremost among these monuments
is St. John's hospital, for it will pro-
claim his praise to coming genera-
tions, a praise that will find its echo
in the benedictions, especially of all
those who have and will have the
good fortune to share the kind care
and scientific treatment of the Sisters
of this hospital.

A few closing words on the char-
acter of the deceased will without
doubt find interested readers in all
those who had the pleasure of know-
ing him.

The straight figure of the grey-
haired man of three score and ten
that could be seen daily on the streets
of the city certainly yet lives in the
memory of many. The carriage of the
man was the index of his character.
His erect head and body may be con-
sidered the outward manifestation of
the lofty ideals with which his mind
was im'bued, whereas his firm step
gave evidence of his inflexible will in
the pursuance of what he considered
true and just. Yet in this unbending
frame, which harbored a strong mind
and autrocratic iron will, also beat the
kind heart of a father. His sympathy
went out to all. He was a m'an who
felt as his own the sufferings and
troubles of his fellowmen. No one in
trouble knocked in vain at the door of
his heart, he was sure to find it the
source of kind words of sympathy and
consolation, and, if necessary, of sub-
stantial aid. Father Hinssen's chari-
ties were the cause of his dying a poor
man as regards worldly possessions.
His purpose in life was not to accum-
ulate riches, but to do all the good
that was in his power, and to obtain

Page Fifty-Eight

this end he exerted himself to the

The days of Father Hinssen's life
were days of labor to the very end.
The world gave him little of that
with which she is wont to reward her
votaries. He asked it not. His view
was fixed on another realm a place

where, he was firmly convinced, a
reward would be given him, in com-
parison to which all that the world
can offer shrinks into insignificance.
For this he worked, with this con-
viction he died, and we may be cer-
tain that his labor was not in vain.
R. I. P.


'When my eyes are slowly closing,
And I fade from earth away,

And when Death, the stern destroyer
Claims my body as his prey,

Claim my soul, and then, sweet Mary,
Ora pro me''.

A man of rare qualities of mind and
heart, forebearing, gentle and sensi-

tive, such was our subject, Father
Hoffman. Of frail constitution and
feeble health, he was wont to lead a
more or less retired and quiet life,

chiefly occupying himself with his
friends on the library shelf, his books.
He was known to be a fine scholar of
literary attainments.

Rev. Cornelius Hoffmann was born
February 15, 1846, at Breyel on the
Rhine. His studies were made at
Gaesdonk and Muenster and were
finished at St. Francis Seminary, Mil-
waukee, where he was ordained
March 13, 1869, by Bishop Martin
Henni, of Milwaukee. He became an
assistant at St. Peter's parish, Belle-
ville, from March, 1869-June 25, '69;
rector of Mt. Sterling from June,
1860-June, 71; rector of St. Joseph's,
Cairo, which church he built, from
June 1871-October, 73; rector of St.
Wendel and Newton, from October
1873-October, 76; assistant at St.
Boniface, Quincy, from August 1878-
Xovember, '85; rector of Fayetteville,
from November 1885, at Bartelso from
September, 1889 till his death, Novem-
ber 28, 1891. He was buried at Bar-
telso. Solemn obsequies were per-
formed by Bishop Janssen whilst the
late Msgr. Abbelen of Milwaukee, a
former schoolmate and lifelong friend
of deceased, spoke a touching funeral
sermon. R. I. P.

Page Fifty-Nine


"The 'hours fly fast;
With each some sorrow dies
With each some shadow flies,
Until at last
The red dawn in the east
Bids weary night depart
And pain is past".

'Widespread regret was evoked by
the premature demise of Rev. Thomas
Hogan, pastor of St. Peter's parish
of Petersburg, which occured at the
parochial residence, January 12, 1884.
The young priest was but twenty-
seven years old when death overtook
him. Born at Oak Creek, now South
Milwaukee, Wis., he lost his parents
when yet a tender child. The Aemi-
lianum, an orphanage, located next to
St. Francis Seminary, became his
home, the devoted Sisters his trusted
and loving friends and benefactors
who at all times watched over his
growing years with zealous motherly
care and solicitude. At the proper
time in the fall of 1870, he entered as
student St. Francis Seminary to
prepare himself for the attainment of
his lofty ideal, the priesthood, and he
proved himself an excellent student.
By his noble and gentlemanly deport-
ment and close application to study
he won universal respect. The many
priests who were school companions
of deceased entertained the highest
opinion of him and spoke enthusias-
tically of his genial disposition, his
solid piety and his sterling character.
On June 29, 1879, he was ordained
priest by Bishop Baltes at Alton and
at once appointed to the pastoral
charge of Petersburg and its two de-
pendencies, Greenview and Ashland.

With -characteristic zeal the young
priest entered upon his work, captur-
ing in a short time good the wishes of
every one. The present handsome St.
Augustine church of Ashland owes its
construction to the indefatigable
Father Hogan. Whilst his labors in
his sphere of action had already
proven abundantly fruitful yet they
augured still more so for the future.
And with vim and vigor he prosecuted
his holy vocation, when a malady
flung the zealous worker on the couch
of sickness. Medical aid did not avail
and the young priest, not yet five
years in the ministry, soon sank into
the slumber of death.

We were present at the funeral
which took place at St. Francis Sem-
inary in accordance with the oft ex-
pressed wishes of deceased. The body
was accompanied thither by Rev.
John Dietrich, then an assistant at
Jacksonville. Obsequies were had in
the Seminary chapel January 16, with
Father Willmes of Milwaukee as cele-
brant and Revs. J. Dietrich and Nic
Thill as assistants, while Father Jos.
Rainer, then professor at the Semin-
ary (of late nominated a "Notary
Apostolic" by the Holy See, appointed
a Vicar General of the Milwaukee
diocese and who has acted for years
Rector of the seminary) preached the
funeral sermon. The remains were
interred in the little cemetery ad-
joining the Chapel of the Woods.
R. I. P.


"Beyond the Land,

Beyond the Sea,
There shall be rest
For thee and me".

To cele'brate the "Golden Sacerdotal
Jubilee" is a privilege accorded to but
very few priests, the majority are
gathered to their reward long ere this.
Such a great commemorative day was
reserved for Rev. H. J. Hoven, when
in the fall of 1911, he celebrated the
50th anniversary of his ordination to

Page Sixty

the priesthood. Whoever saw and wit-
nessed the solemn ceremonies on that
day at the Immaculate Conception
church of Springfield, was surely sur-
prised how the aged priest, still vig-
orous and robust, had so well out-
lived, nay, by far surpassed the bibli-
cal age of three score and ten. And
yet Divine Providence had still three
more years in store for him. It was
on June 9, 1914, that Father Hoven

peacefully slumbered away at his pri-
vate residence in Carlinville, at the
age of 79 years. There he was buried.

The departed jubilarian was born at
Kirspenich, in the Diocese of Cologne,
June 8, 1835, arrived in the States in
June, 1861, and received Holy Orders
at Alton, November 24, 1861, from
Bishop Juncker. From the day of his
ordination to that of his death, he was
always and everywhere faithful and
exact in his duties. His first mission
was Ste. Marie, from whence he was
sent to Marshall, where he laid the
foundation for the present handsome
church. From Marshall he attended
Paris, North Arm and Charleston, a
territory embracing three counties.
From that laborious mission he was
transferred to Jerseyville on March
26, 1865, where his health began to fail
under the constant strain. At this
time he absented himself from the
diocese for awhile. On his return he
was appointed to Carlinville with in-
structions to rebuild the church which
had been destroyed by a storm and
also to erect a new church for the
German Catholics of the place, St. Jo-
seph's. His next incumbency was
Pittsfield, 1878-'80, then Pana and

Shelbyville. From the latter place de-
ceased was transferred to Carrollton,
1892-1903. Finally he was moved back
to Carlinville where he spent two
years as pastor of St. Mary's, and two
years and three months as pastor of
St. Joseph's church. When by the
death of Father Schlegel a vacancy
occurred in the parish of Highland,
Father Hoven was designated his suc-
cessor but declined the offer; instead
he became pastor of Morrisonville and
later a little while pastor of Ray-
mond. His "Golden Jubilee" was cele-
brated October 17, 1911. During the
latter years of his life his health had
gradually been failing, and during two
seasons he sought the quiet retreat in
St. Mary's hospital of Quincy.

Old in years, rich in merit, loved by
his brother priests and respected by
the laity, he obeyed the final call of
the Master whom he had ever served

Father- Hoven was a fine English
scholar, a man of reserve and retire-
ment, a pattern of tidiness and neat
appearance. Besides being a zealous
priest he had the reputation of an ac-
complished musician and skillful or-
ganist. May his soul rest in peace!


''The hours are flying;
Each one some treasure takes,
Each one some blossom breaks,
And leaves it dying".

Brown's Settlement in Christian
county had the honor and privilege of
harboring from 1889-98 a conspicuous
though humble and unassuming pas-
tor in the person of Rev. Father Law-
rence Hoye. A ripe scholar of bril-
liant attainments was he, one who had
distinguished himself for many years
of his priestly career an eminent in-
structor and had occupied a profes-

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Online LibraryAnthony ZurbonsenClerical bead roll of the Diocese of Alton, Ill. → online text (page 7 of 19)