Lord, Daniel Aloysius
LORD, DANIEL ALOYSIUS
Teacher, author, editor, composer, playwright, and propagator of the Sodality movement, chiefly among youth; b. Chicago, Ill., April 23, 1888; d. St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 15, 1955. He was one of two sons of George Douglas Lord and Iva Jane (Langdon) Lord. He attended De La Salle parochial school, St. Ignatius High School, and St. Ignatius College, Chicago. In 1909 he entered the Society of Jesus at Florissant, Mo., and he was ordained on June 24, 1923. It is impossible to categorize Lord's talents and work, but certainly it can be said that his superb gift for teaching characterized all his achievements. It is evident in most of his writings: 30 books, almost 300 pamphlets, 66 booklets, 50 plays, 12 musicals, 6 pageants, his syndicated column "Along the Way," and the 900 transcripts he prepared for radio presentation. In his years as editor of the Queen's Work (1925–48), that magazine never failed to face current social issues. He taught at St. Louis University and its corporate high school from 1917 to 1920, working mostly in the English departments; he also co-founded, administered, and taught in the university's department of education.
As time went on, Lord often won praise from experts in the theater and music fields. The Social Action Follies (1937) and Matrimonial Follies (1939), like his other pageants, employed casts of as many as 1,000 and were viewed by audiences of 17,000 at a time. With his unique combination of talents, it was not surprising that Lord was frequently called on for technical advice by movie producers, among them Cecil B. De Mille. He was coauthor of the original Motion Picture Code, and his ability to get young people to act on their objections to crudity and immorality on the screen had at least an indirect influence on the establishment and success of the National Legion of Decency.
Lord's preeminent accomplishment was the revival of the moribund Sodality movement. He presented the Sodality, not as just another devotional practice, but as a challenge and a way of life wherein one uses every means to bring oneself and one's neighbor to God. He had assisted Edward gareschÉ, SJ, in establishing the Sodality magazine, the Queen's Work, in 1913. Beginning in 1925, when he himself became editor and national Sodality director, he toured the United States, seeking, as he put it, to make the Sodality the laboratory of the religion class. In the summer of 1928 he organized the first national Leadership School and in 1931, the first Summer School of Catholic Action (SSCA) on a national scale. By the end of 1963, some 190 sessions of the SSCA had been held in all sections of the country, with just under 300,000 participants. In 1948 Lord was cited by pius xii for his successful Sodality work. In 1943, still another demand was made on his time and talents, when he was made director of the Institute of Social Order of the Society of Jesus. His article "Cancer Is My Friend" was his characteristic reaction to news of his impending death.
Bibliography: d. a. lord, Played by Ear (Chicago 1956). j.t. mcgloin, Backstage Missionary (New York 1958). m. florence, The Sodality Movement in the United States: 1926–36 (St. Louis 1939). w. b. faherty, "A Half-Century with the Queen's Work, " Woodstock Letters 92 (1963): 99–114.
[j. t. mcgloin]