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Larkin, John


Jesuit, educator; b. Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, Feb. 2, 1801; d. New York City, Dec. 11, 1858. He was born of Irish parents who sent him at an early age to Ushaw College, Ushaw, England, where he studied under the noted historian, John Lingard. After a trip to India, Larkin entered the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris; he was ordained in 1827. About 1830 he went to teach philosophy at the Sulpician College in Montreal, Canada, and in 1841 he entered the Society of Jesus in Louisville, KY. In 1846 he came with his fellow Jesuits from Mt. St. Mary, KY, to staff St. John's College, Fordham, NY, founded five years before by Bp. John Hughes. Larkin served as vice president for a year and, in 1847, he was appointed president of a college that was being planned in New York City. Having borrowed the money to purchase a Protestant church, he opened a school in its basement, but the building was destroyed by fire on Jan. 22, 1848. While looking for another site, he received a letter from the archbishop of Quebec, informing him of his appointment to the See of Toronto. With the permission of his superior, Larkin went to Europe and successfully petitioned to have his designation as bishop rescinded. After making his third year of probation at Laon, France, he became president of St. John's College, Fordham, in 1851. He left St. John's in 1854 and went to England, where he was engaged in parochial work. In 1857, in the U.S., he served as parish priest at St. Francis Xavier's Church, New York City, where he died the following year.

Bibliography: t. g. taafe, A History of St. John's College, Fordham (New York 1891).

[v. c. hopkins]

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