Saints of New York
During the Year of Faith, the Archdiocese of New York is celebrating each month by focusing on a particular saint who left his or her mark on New York. These saints, blesseds and holy men and women are noted below.
For more than 200 years, the Church in New York has nurtured the faith giving rise to people who have lived and worked among us, and are now recognized as saints or are on their way to sainthood. The number may be more than you may think! If you are interested in learning more about the process of canonization, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has an interesting resource called Making Saints. An informative video called Path to Sainthood is online from Religion & Ethics Weekly website.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)
Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini came to work in the United States to help the many Italian immigrants in New York City. She founded schools, hospitals and orphanages in New York, across the U.S. and in South America. Her biography is provided by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the community she founded. Her feastday is November 13.
Father Vincent Robert Capodanno (1929-1967)
Servant of God
Born and raised on Staten Island, Vincent Capodonno entered Maryknoll seminary in 1949. After he was ordained a priest, he was missioned in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. It was in Vietnam that he was a military chaplain with the marines, dying in ministering to his men. For more about the courageous life and ministry of Fr. Capodonno, please visit the Official Site for the Cause of Vincent Capodanno.
Father Solanus Casey (1870-1957)
Father Casey was a Capuchin friar. His ministry took him to Sacred Heart in Yonkers, Our Lady of Sorrows in Lower Manhattan and Our Lady of Angels in Harlem (1921-1924). To learn more about this humble franciscan priest, go to the Father Solanus Guild website. His feastday is November 3.
Terrence Cardinal Cooke (1921-1983)
Servant of God
Terrence Cardinal Cooke was appointed the Archbishop of New York in 1969. He helped to implement the changes that had been ushered in by Vatican Council II. He was known for his pastoral style and his outreach to the poor, the young, the elderly, the immigrant and life’s cast-offs. For more information, please visit the Terrence Cardinal Cooke: Cause for Canonization website.
St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918)
Mother Marianne of Molokai was born in Germany, but moved to Utica, New York, with her family. She entered the Sisters of Saint Francis in
Dorothy Day (1897-1980)
Servant of God
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dorothy Day was an atheist who converted to Catholicism. She is known for her work for peace and justice and her love for the poor. She was a co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. More information on Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker can be found at the Dorothy Day Guild website.
Father John C. Drumgoole (1816-1888)
Father Drumgoole, an Irish immigrant, was ordained a priest in 1869 at the age of fifty-three. Concerned with the plight of homeless youth, he purchased 250 acres in Pleasant Plains, Staten Island, in 1882 and built Mount Loretto, where he worked for the care of the orphan children who lived there. Check out the website of Mount Loretto for more information on this saintly New Yorker.
Father Stephen Eckert (1869-1923)
Servant of God
Father Eckert was a Capuchin friar who was stationed at Sacred Heart Parish, Yonkers, Our Lady of Angels, New York, and St. John the Baptist Church, New York, where he started outreach to the black community. In Milwaukee, he ministered to African-American Catholics at St. Benedict the Moor Parish, and promoted education and social services. To read more about this courageous Franciscan priest, visit this webpage.
Bishop Francis X. Ford (1912-1952)
Born and reared in Brooklyn, Francis Xavier Ford, joined the Maryknoll Fathers and was one of the first of their missionaries to China. It was there that he was martyred for allegedly illegal activities. For more information on Bishop Ford, see this article.
Father Isaac Thomas Hecker (1819-1888)
Servant of God
Father Heckler was born and raised in New York City. A convert to Catholicism, his mission was to bring the light of Christ to the people of the United States. Father Heckler founded the Paulist community who continue to be active in evangelization. You can learn more about him from the Paulists.
Ss. Isaac Jogues and the North American Martyrs (17th Century)
The eight North American Martyrs, Fathers Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf, Gabriel, Lalemant, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel and Noel Chabanel, along with René Goupil and John de La Lande were part of the Jesuit missionary effort to the native American Indians of New York State and beyond. For more information on the life and ministry of the North American martyrs, check out the website of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Their feastday is October 19.
Sister Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (1851-1926)
Servant of God
The daughter of the famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne and a convert to Catholicism, Sister Rose Hawthorne Lathrop founded a hospital for the care of people with cancer in Manhattan and the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, New York. More information on Mother Mary Alphonsa (Sister Rose) is available at the Rose Hawthorne Guild.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
After a restless youth, Thomas Merton converted to Roman Catholicism while at Columbia University and subsequently entered the Abbey of Gethsemani, a community of monks commonly known as the Trappists. He was a prolific writer. One of his best known works is The Seven Storey Mountain, an autobiographical account. For more on Thomas Merton, start with the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.
Saint John Neumann (1811-1860)
St. John Neumann was an immigrant from Bohemia who came to the United States to become a missionary. He was ordained a priest at old St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, by Bishop John Dubois and ministered to the people of upstate New York as pastor of the whole Niagara Frontier, some hundred square miles of forest where many German immigrants has settled. Later he was made bishop of Philadelphia. His life was marked by a humility and hard work. His feastday is January 5. For more on St. John Neumann, The National Shrine of St. John Neumann has many resources.
Saint Patrick (387-493?)
No, Saint Patrick is not a native New Yorker, but has been adopted as the patron saint of the Archdiocese of New York. His life and missionary work among the Irish is legendary. For more on St. Patrick, take a look at The Saint of the Day for March 17th at AmericanCatholic.org.
Father Thomas F. Price (1860-1919)
Servant of God
A native of North Carolina, Father Price became convinced that the Church in the U.S. needed a seminary for training men for the foreign missions. He co-founded Maryknoll in Ossining, New York, along with Father James A. Walsh of Boston, with the permission of Pope Pius X in 1911. He led the first group of missioners to China in 1918. For more information on this holy pioneer, check out the Diocese of Raleigh website.
Monsignor Bernard Quinn (1888-1940)
Servant of God
At a time when blacks were not welcome at local parishes, Father Quinn founded St. Peter Claver Parish in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brookyn, for the care of black Catholics. Father Bernard Quinn's cause for canonization was opened on January 13, 2008. For more information, you may check out the Cause for the Canonization of Msgr. Bernard Quinn website.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)
A native New Yorker, Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first native born American saint. She founded the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows in New York City, established the Sisters of Charity in the U.S., and began the system of parochial schools in the United States. Her feastday is January 4. More information on her life and work is available from the Sisters of Charity, New York.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)
Archbishop Sheen was a pioneer in using the media to evangelize. His famous television series Life is Worth Living successfully ran from 1951-1957. He was named the bishop of Rochester, NY, on October 26, 1966. You can find more information on his life at the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation.
Mother Mary Teresa Tallon (1867-1954)
Born near Utica, New York, Julia Teresa Tallon desired to serve God. She entered the Holy Cross Sisters at South Bend, Indiana, teaching in Catholic schools for thirty-three years. When she arrived in New York City, in 1920, she founded the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, to teach the faith and counsel, and especially to reclaim lapsed and uninstructed Catholics. She is a model for evangelization. You can learn more about Mother Mary Teresa by visiting the website of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, the religious community she founded.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680)
The daughter of an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk Chief, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in upper New York State. Kateri converted to Catholicism when she was 18 but suffered greatly from her tribe for doing so. She eventually left for Canada where she embraced a life of consecrated virginity and in service to those in need. Her feastday is July 14. For more on her story, please visit the Black and Indian Mission Office website.
Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853)
Born into slavery in Haiti, Pierre Toussaint was brought to New York and later freed. He became a popular hairdresser. He founded an orphanage, helped blacks gain their freedom and was extremely generous to the poor. You can read more about his life and legacy in this article.
Father Felix Varela (1788-1853)
A native of Cuba, Fr. Varela ran afoul of the government and came to New York where he ministered to the poor in Manhattan and Brooklyn. He was vicar general of the Diocese of New York. You can find more about this abolitionist, educator and scientist at this article.