Maguire, John William Rochfort

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Educator, labor arbitrator; b. County Roscommon, Ireland, Aug. 11, 1883; d. Miami, Florida, Feb. 11, 1940. His parents, William Thomas and Caroline (Geoffcott) Maguire, sent him to All Hallows School near Lyme Regis, England. He emigrated to Canada, entered the United States, and found employment as a reporter for the Spokane Spokesman Review. His most notable work as a journalist was his coverage of the trial of William Dudley Haywood (18691928), founder of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Maguire entered Western Theological Seminary in Chicago as a candidate for the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Chicago; but he was not satisfied with the branch theory of the church expounded by his professors. He was introduced (1908) to Peter J. muldoon, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. It was on Muldoon's advice that he made a retreat at the Passionist Monastery in Chicago, where he was received into the Catholic Church.

Maguire was advised to study philosophy at St. Viator College, Bourbonnais, Illinois, where he came into contact with the Clerics of St. Viator, the religious community that he eventually joined. In 1914 he was sent to The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and on Dec. 18, 1914, he became the first priest to be ordained by Bp. Thomas J. Shahan, Rector of the University. Upon receiving his master's degree in 1915, he returned to St. Viator College, where for over 20 years he taught economics and sociology. Maguire, an advocate of social reform, became closely associated with such organizations as the Social Reform party and the Illinois State Federation of Labor. During World War I he served as a U.S. Army chaplain.

After his return from Europe in 1918, he gave conspicuous public support to the Bishops' Program of Social Reconstruction. During his later years he was a frequent arbitrator of strikes. In 1934 he was appointed arbitrator of the long and bitter strike of the Kohler Company in Wisconsin, and in 1939 he succeeded in settling a labor dispute between five American Federation of Labor unions and the Warner Construction Company. He was known as one of labor's best friends.

Bibliography: Archives, Clerics of St. Viator. l. v. ryan,"John Maguire, Seeker after Justice," Social Order 6 (May 1956) 217221.

[j. t. ellis]