Friday, March 7, 2008


Origin of St.Josephs’ College

Run by the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood (students called them The Bloods).
Several chapters—begin with the Order’s history.

One interesting thing about the Roman Church (at least until recent mass exodus of clergy)
was that new orders of religious were now and then founded, but ALMOST NO ORDER EVER DISAPPEARED. (e.g., Trinitarians were founded by selfless men who offered themselves as substitute-prisoners for family-men Crusaders captured by the Muslims. You’d think when this function disappeared, the Order would fold—but no, centuries later, you could still find a few Trinitarians around preaching missions at parishes.)

The Fathers of the Most Precious Blood were founded by St. Gaspar del Bufalo, to preach to Italian bandits.
(Repenting bandits would be reassured by thinking of Christ’s redemptive Blood.)
But then bandits got too prosperous to care about the low-class Bloods—they were now preached to by Jesuits! So the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood nearly disappeared.

But in America a German priest lusted to found a new Order. The Vatican said no—so he hunted around for some nearly extinct Order and picked up the Bloods franchise.

He founded double-monasteries in Ohio
(priests & nuns in same huge building, but chastely separated—these strange buildings are now Ohio landmarks.)
Another chapter: Catherine Drexel was spinster member of famous wealthy family, a devout Catholic. Visiting Pope Leo XIII, she said US desperately needed an Order to care for Indians and Negroes. Holy Father said,”Kate, you’ve got the bucks. Why don’t YOU found this Order?”

She did found the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. (She is now St.Catherine.)
They opened a trade-school for Indians in Northern Indiana, importing a few (desperately available) Precious Blood Fathers to teach there.
Then the govt. MOVED the Indians elsewhere!
Here was an empty school.

So the Most-Precious-Bloods founded a college there, St.Joseph’s.
(One residence is still called Drexel Hall.)

Two problems:
a) it is one of the few Catholic boys’ colleges not matched by a nearby Catholic girls’ school. When the Precious-Blood Fathers asked the Precious-Blood Sisters (now totally separate) to found a college in bleak NorthWestern Indiana, the nuns said Sure, for a million bucks. No deal.
(A nasty rumor said that some students sought female companionship in Gary whorehouses.

There was a prof who was a convert to the Church, thus not a real Catholic. So the boys who had VD were not embarrassed to borrow money from him to pay for treatment.
Once he stammered, “You know there are ways to protect you from sexual disease!”
“Please, Mr. Kilmer—I can’t use a rubber—
I’m Catholic!”

b) A big problem for saints wanting their Order to educate the poor: these Orders usually end up teaching middle-class youths; they smell better. So St.Gaspar ordered his priests NOT to discuss intellectual matters at table..a problem for college profs. They simply ignore this rule.
St.Joe students were mainly Catholic workers who wanted college to get from factory to office, who couldn’t get into Notre Dame, but whose mothers insisted they attend a Catholic college.

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