Considine, John J.

views updated


Writer, missiologist, priest; b. New Bedford, Mass., Oct. 9, 1897; d. Maryknoll, N.Y., 1982. In 1917 he entered the newly established society of Maryknoll Missionaries. He studied for the priesthood in Washington, D.C., at the Catholic University of America, where he received the J.C.B. and S.T.L. degrees. He was ordained in 1923. From 1924 to 1934 Considine served as the procurator-general for the society in Rome. He was a member of the society's general council in Maryknoll, New York, from 1934 to 1946.

Although Father Considine was never given a mission assignment, he spent his life establishing and coordinating a network of projects designed to foster understanding and support for the missions. In 1925 he was placed in charge of a permanent mission exhibit on Vatican grounds and later he wrote a book on this project, The Vatican Missionary Exposition, a Window on the World (New York 1925). In 1927 he took the lead in establishing the Fides News Service, a worldwide organization for the dissemination of mission news, for which he served as director for seven years.

Considine's skill in numerous foreign languages and his firsthand knowledge of far-flung missionary posts brought him a number of diplomatic opportunities. He served as secretary on behalf of the Vatican on a diplomatic mission to Ethiopia in 1929. In the mid-1930s, he spent nearly two years on an expedition that took him across Asia, throughout the East Indies, and over the African continent to learn first-hand of the conditions of missionary life and work. He published a series of articles chronicling his travels, which later appeared as the book Across a World (Toronto 1942). In 1934, Considine was called back to Maryknoll headquarters in New York to serve as a member of the general council and was later elected vicar-general, a post he held until 1946.

In the United States, Considine played a key role, along with Bishop Fulton sheen and Vincentian Fred McGuire, in organizing the highly successful Mission Secretariat meetings in Washington, D.C. When, at the insistence of Cardinal Cushing, the American Bishop's Conference set up a Latin American Department, Considine was placed at its head and published his Call for Forty Thousand (New York 1946). At the end of this term, advanced in years, he returned to Maryknoll where he taught, wrote extensively, and founded Channel, a quarterly journal on missionary activity.

Bibliography: a. dries, The Missionary Movement in American Catholic History (Maryknoll 1998). a. dries, "The Legacy of John J. Considine, MM," International Bulletin of Missionary Research 21 (1997) 8084.

[r. e. sheridan]

About this article

Considine, John J.

Updated About content Print Article