Moriarty, Patrick Eugene

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Missionary, orator; b. Dublin, Ireland, July 4, 1805;d. Villanova, Pa., July 10, 1875. He was the fourth son among the eight children of Eugene Moriarty, a lawyer. He received his higher education at St. Patrick's College, Carlow, Ireland, where he came under the tutelage of the Irish patriot James W. doyle, OSA. After joining the Augustinian Order at Callan, Ireland, on May 14, 1822, Moriarty continued his studies in Rome at the monastery of St. Augustine. He was ordained in Rome, probably in 1828, returned to Dublin, spent a brief period in Portugal, and then went to India (183538), where he was vicar-general in the Madras mission. After receiving Moriarty's report on the mission work in India, Pope Gregory XVI named him Master of Sacred Theology; henceforth he was known as Dr. Moriarty. In 1839 he came to the United States, where he remained for the rest of his life, with the exception of six years spent in Europe after the anti-Catholic riots of 1844 in Philadelphia. He became a U.S. citizen in 1854. In America he was in great demand as an effective and controversial orator on such subjects as temperance and nativism. He busily engaged in publishing articles, writing a life of St. Augustine (1872), organizing lay societies, collecting funds, and defending the Catholic faith and the Irish. Despite occasional conflict with his superiors, he advanced the work of the Augustinian Order, whose missions in the United States he headed as commissary general (184144, 185157, and 1866).

One of his most important contributions began with the purchase of the Rudolph estate outside Philadelphia in 1841. There he helped to lay the foundation for Villanova College (later Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania), which became the center of Augustinian development in the United States. Moriarty spent his later years in relative quiet at the church he established in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania.

Bibliography: j. pejza, "Second Founder: P. E. Moriarty," Tagastan 21 (1960): 925.

[a. j. ennis]