Lambert, Louis Aloysius

views updated


Priest, editor, publicist; b. Charleroi, Pa., April 13, 1835; d. Newfoundland, N.J., Sept. 25, 1910. He attended St. Vincent's College, Latrobe, Pa., and the St. Louis archdiocesan theological seminary, Carondelet, Mo. After ordination on Feb. 11, 1859, for the Diocese of Alton, Ill., he did pastoral work in Cairo, Alton, and Shawneetown, Ill. Five months after the outbreak of the Civil War, Lambert enlisted as U.S. Army chaplain and saw action at Fts. Henry and Donelson and at the Battle of Shiloh before his resignation took effect on April 16, 1862. He returned briefly to Shawneetown and was reassigned to Cairo, where he held the pastorate of St. Patrick's church from 1863 to 1868.

With the permission of his bishop, he next went to New York to teach for the Paulist Fathers, whose community he considered joining. Deciding against this, he secured excardination from the Diocese of Alton on May 20, 1869, and was adopted by Bp. Bernard John mcquaid as a priest of the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y. There he held posts as administrator and pastor. In 1877, while stationed at St. Mary's, Waterloo, NY, he founded the diocesan weekly Catholic Times, which he edited until 1880, when he became involved in a controversy with his ordinary, Bishop McQuaid. He was subsequently transferred to Scottsville, N.Y., where he was pastor of Assumption church until his death.

He founded and edited the Catholic Times of Philadelphia (189294) and edited the Freeman's Journal of New York (18951910), in which he renewed the controversy with McQuaid by highly literate (and often unfair) attacks. An able linguist, Lambert translated several works into English. One, Paul Merz's Thesaurus Biblicus, or Handbook of Scriptural Reference (Waterloo, NY 1800), was the first Catholic scriptural concordance published in the United States. Another of his translations was August Kerckhoff's Grammar of Volapük (New York 1888). His Notes on Ingersoll (Buffalo 1887) definitively refuted the then current rationalistic preachments of the "great agnostic," Robert Green Ingersoll (182299). These internationally popular books and his subsequent Christian Science before the Bar of Reason (New York 1908) inspired Lambert's fellow Catholics to call him the "American Newman." As a result he was much in demand as an essayist, lecturer, and literary editor. In 1892 the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., bestowed on him an honorary doctorate of laws.

Bibliography: Archives of The Catholic University of America. Archives of the Dioceses of Rochester and Belleville. The National Archives, Washington, D.C. a. h. germain, Catholic Military and Naval Chaplains, 17761917 (Washington, D.C.1929). f. j. zwierlein, Life and Letters of Bishop McQuaid, 3 v. (Rochester 192527). g. n. schuster, Dictionary of Ameican Biography, ed. a. johnson and d. malone, 20 v. (New York 192836; index 1937; 1st supplement 1944; 2nd supplement 1958) 10:557558.

[r. f. mcnamara]

About this article

Lambert, Louis Aloysius

Updated About content Print Article