New York, Catholic Church in

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The eleventh of the original 13 states to ratify the U.S. constitution (1788), New York is bounded on the north by Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and Canada; on the east by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; on the south by New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Atlantic Ocean; and on the west by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, and the Niagara River. New York's capital city is Albany; other major cities, in addition to New York City, the most populous metropolitan area, are Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. In 2001 New York's population was 18,589,886, second largest in the nation, of whom 7,396,485, about 40 percent, were Catholics. There were eight dioceses. In addition to the metropolitan see of new york city, they were Albany and Buffalo, Brooklyn and Ogdensburg, Rochester and Rockville Centre, and Syracuse.

Early History. Long before New York became known as the Empire State, it was the home of a mighty confederacy of Native American tribes made up of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. This union of tribes was known to the French as the Iroquois and to the English as the Five Nations (later Six when the Tuscaroras joined in 1715). Successful in dominating the other Native American tribes of the area, they also terrorized European settlers and missionaries and exercised an important influence on the colonial history of this area.

The first Europeans to come into contact with the Five Nations were the French, who occasionally sent vessels up the Hudson to trade with the Native American after the discovery in 1524 of New York Bay and the river by Giovanni da Verrazano, a Florentine in the service of Francis I of France. By July 1609 French efforts to lay the foundations of New France and to spread Christianity had penetrated to Lake Champlain, thereby arousing the hostility of the Iroquois, who for years thereafter held the balance of power between the English and the French in America.

In September 1609, Henry Hudson, an English mariner employed by the Dutch East India Company to search for a new passage to the East Indies, entered New York harbor in the Half Moon and followed the river that bears his name as far north as the present site of Albany. On the basis of this claim, the Dutch colony of New Netherland was founded in 1624, when the first permanent settlers consisting of about 30 families, mostly Walloon, arrived. The population had grown to 200 or more by 1626, when the government of the province was fully established with power vested mainly in a director-general and council. Soon after, Manhattan Island was purchased from the Native Americans for 60 guilders ($24), and Ft. Amsterdam was erected at its lower end and the settlement there made the seat of government. Although the charter of 1640 declared that "no other Religion shall be publicly admitted in New Netherland except the Reformed ," these Dutch Calvinists were less virulent in their opposition to Catholicism than their New England brethren. In fact, Isaac Jogues, SJ, was rescued from the tortures of the Iroquois by the Dutch at Ft. Orange and brought to New Amsterdam in the fall of 1643, where he was kindly received by Gov. William Kieft (see north american martyrs). Nevertheless, the paucity of Catholic settlersJogues found only two in the towncontinued during the entire period of Dutch rule despite the fact that the total population of the province increased from 2,000 to 10,000 between 1653 and 1664.

Colonial Period. New Netherland passed into the hands of the English when, in March 1664, Charles II erected it with additional territory into a province and awarded it to his brother, James, Duke of York, who became its lord proprietor. The conquest of the Dutch colony was completed without fighting when, on September 8, Gov. Peter Stuyvesant formally surrendered to the English. This marked the beginning of brighter prospects for Catholic settlement in the province henceforth to be known as New York. The conversion to Catholicism in 1672 of the royal proprietor, the future James II, was soon reflected in the directives he issued for the government of his American domain. In 1682 he appointed a Catholic, Col. Thomas Dongan, as governor and instructed him to accede to the long-standing demand of the colonists for a representative assembly. When the new governor arrived in New York in August 1683, his party included an English Jesuit, Thomas Harvey, who was later joined by two other priests and two lay brothers of his society.

Dongan, an administrator of considerable ability, lost no time in summoning the assembly that in October 1683 passed the bill of rights that he had proposed. This Charter of Liberties and Privileges, containing a guarantee of entire freedom in religion, placed the Catholic governor of New York with Roger williams, the calverts, and William penn as the chief promoters of religious freedom in colonial America. During the remainder of Dongan's term of office, the various denominations had their respective houses of worship, and the little Catholic chapel in Ft. James was the first site where Mass was regularly offered in New York by the Jesuits who ministered to the relatively few Catholic settlers. It was Dongan's

plan to counteract the influence of French missionaries by seeking additional English Jesuits to take up work among the Native Americans to the north, an area that he felt rightly belonged to the British crown. But his official career was brought to an end before the English Jesuits could carry out the policy regarding the Native Americans of New York.

After the English revolution of 1688 and the accession of William and Mary, the American colonies were thrown into a ferment of excitement. In New York, the German-born Calvinist Jacob Leisler led an armed rebellion in May 1689, which ushered in a reign of terror. The policy of religious toleration in New York was soon replaced with restrictive measures against Catholics; the former Governor Dongan was hunted as a traitor, and the Jesuits were compelled to flee the colony. With the establishment of the Church of England by law in four of the leading counties of New York in 1693, the long dark night of penal legislation descended upon the few Catholics who were courageous enough to remain in the province. Although Leisler was removed and executed in 1691, anti-Catholic legislation continued to be multiplied under Henry Sloughter, the new governor, and his successors. An act of 1700 made it a crime for a priest to be found in New York, and anyone who harbored a priest was subject to a fine of 200 pounds. Perhaps no other single incident better illustrates the intensity of colonial anti-Catholic rancor than the reception accorded the Acadians, or "French Neutrals," expelled from their homes in 1755 and distributed among the colonies from Massachusetts to Georgia. Of the quota sent to New York, the adults were bound out as indentured servants and the children assigned to Protestant families. Unquestionably this persecution and proscription of Catholics in the colony not only sufficed to keep their numbers from increasing but also tended to discourage any who might have possessed the faith from announcing the fact. These dismal conditions were to obtain until after the Revolution, and Mass was not celebrated in a public manner until offered by the chaplains of the French troops who were sent to aid the colonies in their struggle. Meanwhile, affairs in the colony generally were concerned chiefly with the defense

of the northern frontier and the rising disaffection of the colonists with the English government's colonial policy.

Revolutionary War. The quickening spirit of rebellion against the mother country's political and economic measures undoubtedly drew increased strength from the prejudice aroused by the passage of the quebec act in June 1774. In colony after colony, pulpit and press warned that the "popery act" that secured for Canada freedom for the exercise of the Catholic religion was a serious menace to colonial Protestantism. The first colonial flag run up in New York in place of the English colors bore on one side the inscription "George III-Rex. and the Liberties of America.No Popery." It is small wonder, then, that Catholics found their position a difficult one, faced as they were with the dilemma of deciding on which side to cast their lot as the colony moved to make common cause with the revolutionists. On July 9, 1776, the delegates to the New York provincial congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and formally committed the province to the rebel cause. Undoubtedly the Catholic colonists were aware that many of the most vigorous opponents of the British policy of coercion had been the bitterest persecutors of "papists." On the other hand, their experience with the British government offered little hope for religious liberty or anything like political and social equality. In the end the greater number of Catholics chose to cast in their lot with the revolutionists and only a few of them joined the loyalist group. The patriotic part played by American Catholics in the revolutionary struggle and the aid of Catholic France and Spain marked a weakening of the anti-Catholic bias. However, when Congress advised the several states to adopt constitutions, the New York convention meeting for that purpose at Kingston on March 6, 1777, adopted an amendment to the naturalization clause, proposed by John Jay, which effectively excluded foreign-born Roman Catholics from citizenship. Not until 1806 was this offensive clause abrogated. Nevertheless, the period of Catholic proscription was drawing to a close; and when on Nov. 25, 1783, the British forces finally evacuated New York City, such Catholics as were in the city at the time began to assemble once again for the open celebration of their religion.

Institutional Growth. In the years that followed the War for Independence, and especially in the early 19th century, remarkable gains were made in the social and economic fields, the extension of agriculture, the development of manufactures, the growth of commerce and transportation, and the improvement of educational facilities. Companies that acquired land grants from the state encouraged systematic colonization of the Iroquois country, drawing settlers from Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and elsewhere in the state. The need for laborers to build the great inland waterways, the Erie and the Champlain-Hudson canals, in the time of Governor De Witt Clinton (181721; 182528), brought a flood of immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, England, and Germany. Their descendants settled the towns and cities that grew up along the canals, and in turn drew others into the region. Thus the population of the state grew from 340,120 in 1790 to almost two million in 1830, and there were a goodly number of Catholics among the new immigrants, notably the Irish.

When Baltimore was raised to the status of an arch-bishopric in 1808, New York was one of the new suffragan sees. Its territory included all of New York state and the upper half of New Jersey. The first division of the diocese was made in 1847 when the northern and western sections of the state were cut off to create the dioceses of Albany and Buffalo. Bishop John mccloskey, then coadjutor bishop in New York, became the first bishop of Albany (1847 to 1864 when he returned to New York City as archbishop). The Reverend John timon, Superior of the Congregation of the Mission (Vicentians) and sometime missionary in Texas, was named the first bishop of Buffalo. In 1850 Pope Pius IX made New York a metropolitan see and named Bishop John hughes as the first archbishop. Boston, Hartford, Albany, and Buffalo were its suffragans. Two more dioceses were carved out of the archdiocese of New York in 1853, Brooklyn and newark, New Jersey. The Reverend John Loughlin was named the first bishop of Brooklyn, and the Reverend James Roosevelt bayley (a nephew of Elizabeth Bayley Seton), the first bishop of Newark (and later, the eighth Archbishop of Baltimore). The diocese of Rochester was separated from Albany in 1868 with Bishop Bernard J. mcquaid the first ordinary. Four years later in 1872 Ogdensburg was made a diocese. About the time that Syracuse was made a diocese in 1886, the Bahama Islands were placed under New York's jurisdiction because access was thought to be easier than from Charleston, South Carolina, which formerly had jurisdiction. The diocesan structure of the state of New York remained unchanged from 1886 until 1957, when Rockville Centre was separated from Brooklyn.

For much of the 19th century, the Church in New York depended on priests from Europe to staff the national parishes that were being established to serve different ethnic groups, but early on the bishops of New York endeavored to establish their own seminary. Bishop Dubois built a seminary at Nyack-on-Hudson in 1833, but it burned down just as it was ready to open. After several other abortive attempts, Bishop John Hughes opened St. John's Seminary in 1841 at Fordham, then a village outside the city. In 1864 the students were moved to St. Joseph's Provincial Seminary in Troy, New York. Before it closed in 1896 it educated more than 700 priests. The poor living conditions at the Troy seminary caused Bishop McQuaid to open St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester in 1893, and in 1896 Archbishop Corrigan established St. Joseph's Seminary in the Dunwoodie section of Yonkers. The Dunwoodie seminary gained a reputation as a intellectual center of American Catholicism. From 1905 to 1908, its faculty were major contributors to the New York Review, the leading Catholic theological publication in the country, and to the Catholic Encyclopedia (190712).

Immigration picked up momentum again after the Civil War. Beginning in the 1880s immigrants from Italy and Slavic lands came in increasing numbers. By the turn of the century, there were an estimated 400,000 immigrants in the archdiocese of New York alone, and Buffalo had a number of large Polish parishes. French-Canadians emigrated from Quebec to settle in upstate New York around Cohoes and Plattsburg. But the flood of immigrants also stirred a new wave of anti-Catholic bigotry. In the 1850s Archbishop John Hughes openly confronted the Know-Nothing movement so that it did not have the impact in New York that it had elsewhere in the country. In 1855 the state legislature passed a statute that prohibited

Catholic bishops from holding title to property in trust for the churches and ecclesiastical institutions, but it was quietly repealed after the Civil War began. Later in the century, however, the National League for the Protection of American Interests (N.L.P.A.I.) made an effort to deny government funds to Catholic schools and charitable institutions.

The legacy of the N.L.P.A.I. continued. Several city and state investigative committees submitted Catholic social agencies to close scrutiny in the years before World War I. In 1916 the bishops organized the New York Catholic Conference, the first such organization in the U.S. It provides a forum for the exchange of information between dioceses on social issues and matters of concern to the Church. The Conference enables the dioceses of the state to present a unified position with regard to existing legislation and public policy. After the war Archbishop Patrick J. hayes (191938) took steps to reorganize Catholic Charities and set professional standards for social welfare that were widely imitated by other dioceses.

Despite restrictive laws in the 1920s, immigration continued during the years between WWI and World War II. As Catholics increased in numbers they came more and more to exercise political influence and public policy. Alfred E. Smith, the first Catholic presidential nominee of a major party, was known for his efforts to bring about reforms during his four terms as governor of New York (191920; 192328). Catholic social agencies collaborated in welfare programs during the depression, and individual Catholics like Dorothy and John lafarge were prophetic voices speaking against war and racial discrimination.

In the wake of World War II, the Church experienced many changes. There was an influx of Puerto Ricans into the city of New York. The GI Bill created a whole new clientele for colleges and universities, and thus caused Catholic institutions to expand both physical plants and academic programs. The growth of the suburbs, at the expense of the size, economy, and social make-up of the urban centers, impacted on the Church in the cities. As the urban congregations dwindled in size and number, dioceses were forced to build new parishes and schools in the suburbs. The Diocese of Rockville Centre was an example of the change. The Catholic population, predominantly white middle class, almost tripled between the time it was split off from the diocese in Brooklyn in 1957 to 2001 growing from 497,000 to 1.4 million.

Catholic Education. Alongside the free elementary schools, provided as early as 1633 during the period of Dutch control, and higher education that had its beginning with the founding of King's College (Columbia) in 1754, the Church gradually developed an extensive network of elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. At the beginning of the 21st century, there were 29 Catholic universities and colleges in the state, many of which were located in the metropolitan region of New York City. Jesuit-run Fordham University (1841) was the first Catholic institution for higher education in New York, and the College of New Rochelle (established 1904 by the Ursulines) was the first Catholic college for women chartered in the state. Other prominent Catholic universities in the state include st. bonaventure university (sponsored by the Franciscans), St. John's University in Jamaica, NY and Niagara University (both sponsored by the Vincentians), Manhattan College in Bronx (sponsored by the De La Salle Brothers), Iona College in New Rochelle (sponsored by the Irish Christian Brothers), and Canisius College in Buffalo (sponsored by the Jesuits).

Bibliography: j. r. bayley, Brief Sketch of the Early History of the Catholic Church on the Island of New York (New York 1853; repr. 1870). m. j. blocker, A History of Catholic Life in the Diocese of Albany (New York 1975). m. carty, A Cathedral of Suitable Magnificence: St. Patrick's Cathedral (Wilmington, DE 1984). f. d. cohalan, A Popular History of the Archdiocese of New York (Yonkers, NY 1983). j. p. dolan, The Immigrant Church: New York's Irish and German Catholics, 18151865 (Baltimore 1975). j. de l. leonard, Richly Blessed: The History of the Diocese of Rockville Centre (Rockville Centre 1991). r. f. mcnamara, History of the Diocese of Rochester 18681968 (Rochester, NY 1968). d. j. o'brien, Faith and Friendship: Catholicism in the Diocese of Syracuse, 18861986 (Syracuse, NY 1987). j. k. sharp, History of the Diocese of Brooklyn, 18531953, 2 v. (New York 1954). r. shaw, Dagger John: The Unquiet Life and Times of Archbishop John Hughes of New York (New York 1977). t. j. shelley, Dunwoodie: The History of St. Joseph's Seminary (Westminster, MD 1993). m. c. taylor, A History of the Foundations of Catholicism in Northern New York (New York 1976).

[m. p. carthy/eds.]

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