John F. Quinn

John F. Quinn is Professor of History at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. He is the author of Father Matthew's Crusade: Temperance in Nineteenth Century Ireland and Irish-America (2002). He earned his doctorate in history from the University of Notre Dame in 1992.

recent articles

Guy Fawkes Day in Colonial America

A great bonfire was established on the lower end of the main street… Soon after dark, a rude stage … placed on wheels and drawn by horses, made its appearance, on which was seated … an effigy of the pope, hideously painted, and behind him stood another representing the Devil. Two men with masks on … Read more

Rose Hawthorne Lathrop’s Ministry of Mercy

When asked by a puzzled journalist how she ended up running a home for impoverished cancer victims in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop simply noted that she had taken St. Vincent de Paul’s motto as her own: “I am for God and the poor.” The writer was curious because he knew that Rose … Read more

The Ursuline Sisters and the “Outrage at Charlestown”

On the night of August 11, 1834, the Charlestown Convent lay in ruins, destroyed by a furious anti-Catholic mob.  Completed only six years earlier, the convent had been the showpiece of the Catholic Church in America.  Situated on 22 acres overlooking Boston, the convent property included a school building, a chaplain’s house, gardens and orchards.  … Read more

Father John Bapst, S.J.: An Evangelist Among the Know Nothings

In June 1854 one of the fiercest outbursts of anti-Catholicism in American history began in Ellsworth, Maine.  The victim was Father John Bapst, a Swiss Jesuit who nearly lost his life at the hands of a secret, anti-Catholic organization called the Know Nothings. Bapst had left his homeland in 1848 because of a religious civil … Read more

The Gospel According to Garry

For more than a decade, Garry Wills has been devoting much of his energy to Catholic matters.  In Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (2000), he explained that the papacy was never intended by Jesus and that most popes have had a malign influence on the Church and the world.  In 2002 he followed with Why … Read more

The Good Doctor: Horatio Robinson Storer

When the Supreme Court struck down all state laws restricting abortion in Roe v. Wade, the justices were undoing the work of a group of courageous physicians who had helped enact the laws a century earlier.  The leading force in this movement was Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer, an energetic young obstetrician from Boston. Until the … Read more

The Zeal of a Convert: Father Frederick Faber

When Father Frederick Faber died in September 1863 after a long illness, there was an outpouring of grief for this Oxford Movement convert.  The Freeman’s Journal in Dublin remarked that Faber’s death, “though so long expected, has come with a seeming suddenness…. [T]he name of Father Faber has become a household word as his beautiful … Read more

John Courtney Murray, SJ: The Man JFK Didn’t Understand

Scholars regularly link the election of John Kennedy with the work of Fr. John Courtney Murray, SJ. By winning the nation’s highest office, Kennedy is said to have proved once and for all that Catholics were fully American and that Catholicism and the American proposition were not fundamentally at odds. As a Newsweek writer remarked, … Read more

Priest Shortage Panic

Last fall, the editors of the National Catholic Reporter warned their readers—as they have been for years—that a terrible crisis is looming for the Church in America. They quoted approvingly a talk given by Father Norman Rotert, the vicar-general of the Kansas City archdiocese, who declared: There is a huge issue that is not being … Read more

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