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The Story of the Mountain
Mount Saint Mary's College and Seminary

Mary E. Meline & Edward F.X. McSween

Published by the Emmitsburg Chronicle, 1911

Chapter 62 | Chapter Index

Chapter 63: 1880-1881

Searching out causes of the crash which followed Father John's death, and the shadow of whose coming doubtless killed him, the Chronicler finds that he had to deal with a big debt from the outset of his career as treasurer, away back in 1841. McCaffrey Hall was built in the decade before the Civil War, and when this broke out, in 1861, he was soon embarrassed with the support and clothing of fifty or sixty boys from the seceding states, whose parents either had not the means to pay or else could not get payment across the fighting line into his hands. Imagine the deficit! The expenses were constantly increasing, the receipts fell off one-half, the College had to work on through it all, and the treasurer "trod the wine-press alone:" Dr. McCaffrey and Father McMurdie had little experience in business matters; Fathers Elder and William McCloskey had retired; most of the younger members of the Council retired one by one, and when the elders themselves died off in a couple of years, no one remained of that strong Faculty of 1877 but the oldest in years and residence of them all, Dr. John McCaffrey; and he a helpless old man, the last of the Romans, sat like Marius on the ruins, himself, with young Father Fitzgerald, constituting the entire Council. Was ever sadder task than Dr. McCaffrey's to speak over the corpse of his associate and friend of half a century? But a sadder fate was in store for himself; after wearing himself almost to death in endeavors to save the falling house he and his associates had built with so much labor and so much love, he was to die while its fate was still undecided.

On the College feast-day, the saddest St. John's day ever known there, Father John was buried on the hill, Abp. Gibbons singing the Requiem and Dr. McCaffrey preaching. After the Mass they opened the coffin on the snow-covered brow of the Mountain that all his friends and neighbors might see his familiar face once more; then they carried him to lie next his mother.

Is not this epitaph startling in its baldness?

Sacred To the memory of Very Rev. John McCloskey D. D., President of Mount St. Mary's College, Who died on December 24th, 1880, In the 65th year of his age. May he rest in peace! Amen.

On the day after the funeral Rev. William Hill, '68, was elected President, and at Abp. Gibbons's suggestion and on Cardinal McCloskey's solicitation and with the consent of his own Bishop, Rt. Rev. John Loughlin of Brooklyn, N. Y., left his parish and accepted the office.

Letters are numerous at this period. Poor Dr. McCaffrey, writing Jan. 5, 1881, before the new President came, to Bishop Watterson, urges him to save the Mountain: "Mr. Fitzgerald is the acting president, having been vice-president, it seems, before. ... I would die of softening of the brain, or whatever else ended poor Father McCloskey's life, if I had to work much longer as I am now doing. ..."

Rev. William Hill, LL.D. 11th President

Father Hill then came to the College and on January 12th, being elected treasurer, found the debt to be much greater than the estimate and nothing in the treasury. The actual debt appeared at first to be $162,000, but was found afterwards to be $180,000. Taking counsel with business men of experience, the new President, despite all the flattering congratulations he had received on taking the office, threw the College into liquidation and a receiver was appointed, Captain James McSherry, ex-'63, son of the historian, a leading lawyer of Frederick, Md., who afterwards became Chief Justice of Maryland. Upon the appointment of the receiver Father Hill at once put a stop to the preparation of his own rooms, where upon, Feb. 20, Dr. McCaffrey, "in great displeasure, resigned from the Council." The boys got very much excited on hearing of these happenings, some of them feeling ashamed of being in a bankrupt college, others thought their personal property would be seized. Unfortunately one of the graduating class committed some misdemeanor and was expelled, whereupon his classmates withdrew. After their apology and restoration, and after introducing the receiver to the astonished students, Father Hill, as he himself writes in the minute-book, "left the College on March 3, 1881, at 2 p. m." (the receiver had arrived Feb. 28), retaining the presidency in order that the corporation might not be dissolved. He was a very positive character. His conduct was severely criticized, but he defended himself with his friends by representing not only the financial condition which made the receivership advisable, but the fact that in accepting the presidency he had never dreamed of becoming the mere agent of a lay official, and had he obtained the receivership himself, it would be hard to prevent the creditors having suspicion of fraud ; in fact, if he had remained after securing this arrangement the simple-minded ones particularly would think he was hand-in-glove with the officer of the law, whose administration would probably result in their losing three-quarters of what they claimed of the institution. Father Hill always remained a warm friend of the College, which in 1893 gave him the degree of Doctor of Laws. He died in 1904, rector of St. Paul's, Brooklyn, N. Y.

After Father Hill's departure the receiver issued a circular assuring the parents of the boys that all would "go on as usual." Father Thomas Fitzgerald, '72, the Vice-President, and the seminarians agreed to stay and thus saved the Mountain, for it would in all probability have come to grief if they had left, for the boys would have followed them. The temporalities, however, were in the hands of a layman, Anthony McBride, of Emmitsburg, who had served as assistant to Father John in the treasury. Fathers Keeffe, Gambon and Cassini, together with the lay professors, remained at their posts, and classes and studies went on regularly, practically little friction taking place between the officers in charge and the college people.

Father Fitzgerald all this time was doing his best to keep the students in good temper, despite his awkward, disagreeable position. No wonder that on Commencement day that year he was to his entire confusion, for he was modest to the extreme, made the recipient of much merited praise by the valedictorian in the presence of a large assemblage of the sons of the Mountain, among them Archbishops Corrigan and Elder, Bishops Watterson, Gilmour, Loughlin, Conroy and Chatard." Archbishop Gibbons and Bishops Jeremiah Shanahan and Becker were also present to encourage Father Byrne, the new President and his associates, in their great undertaking. But let us not anticipate.

There was no rest now for Dr. McCaffrey, who was looking in every direction for help, writing and receiving letters. Among the letters is an exquisite one, from which we quote a few lines. Charles O'Leary, '57, on Feb. 28 mourns the fall of the Mountain and offers his mite: "I would like to kiss again the hand of my old superior. I never forget the pang of grief I felt when I held your hand and bade you good-bye at eleven o'clock at night, Feb. 26, '58. . . ." Dr. O'Leary had, as we intimated, been obliged to retire from the Faculty twenty-three years before for his action toward some expelled students.

"It is expected the receiver will close the College," says John McCarthy, '77, writing February 27th. " He comes to-. . One of the graduates was publicly expelled, and all of the rest, save one, left with him, the President declaring they left as rebels and were therefore expelled as such, and despatches to that effect were sent to their homes. They all returned afterwards, except the original offender; if they do not stay, in case his restoration be refused, many more will go away with them. The excitement is feverish. . . . Only this stares us in the face with unyielding sternness, that the Mother of Bishops is in her throes and must be sterile forever more. Tears rush hotly out to see the words I write.

"Quis talia fando Myrmidonum Dolopumve, aut duri miles Ulissei Temperet a lacrymis."

The relations between the Convent and the College were from the beginning very close, and we can picture the dismay and distress that filled the sisters on learning the troubles of the College.

Sister Euphemia Blenkinsop, Visitatrix of the Emmitsburg sisterhood, writes to Dr. McCaffrey:

St. Joseph's, March 1, 1881.

Dear father: Your letter was a great relief to me. Hearing you had left the College I watched the mail to bear from you, but neither to myself nor to Sister Bessie came any news of your whereabouts, and until to-day I have been in suspense and anxious. I was so glad to hear from you today, and will write at once to dear Sister Mary Agnes to expect you, and you must try to get strong, cheerful and well under the Sisters' care, and enjoy yourself all you can with dear Father Gandolfo. [At St. Agnes's Hospital, Baltimore.]

The affairs of the Mountain pain me too much to speak of; but do not let us be discouraged. too many saints on earth and in heaven are praying for the dear old sanctuary for it not to be preserved. Sunshine will come out of the storm yet, dear Father. Sister Bessie is well. Please give us all your blessing, dear Father, and believe me as ever, With respect and affection yours, Sister Euphemia.

If anything human could soothe his grief, surely it was these womanly words of this consecrated virgin, the successor of Mother Seton and head of the twin institution across the creek. Father Healey, S. J., too, in the midst of his own troubles, found time to sympathize with those of the Mountain. He was President of Georgetown College.

Here is a letter from a lay member of the Faculty: Prof. Joseph Black writes March 2 to Dr. McCaffrey, who was still absent: " All is going to ruin here. . . . Why can't you come back and vote to add Fathers Keeffe and Kelly to the Council? There is many a desolate home on the mountain-side to-day: don't let them have even the shadow of a reason for saying that when the crisis came . . . you left them in their desolation and slunk away from their midst. Forgive me for writing that; I know it is not so; but don't let them even have a pretext for saying it. . . ."

Father McCullum, '68, answering Dr. McCaffrey's "very sad letter," replies immediately, March 2, sending a check for fifty dollars. " Most cordially do I invite you to my home. . . . Tell me if you are able to say Mass if so I can in good part supply you with intentions and that will be a little relief. I think if you came to New York and issued a circular the old Mountain could be saved. ..."

Most Rev. M.A. Corrigan, D.D. Archbishop of New York

Father Hennessey, '59, understanding, March 9, that Dr. McCaffrey had returned to the College, writes him, urging him " to take the reins of power for a while till the affairs of the College are righted. . . . Tell us what is wanted and how to proceed to help the College. . . . The receivership was advised by the Cardinal and Dr. Corrigan and not by Abp. Gibbons. Meantime have good courage, as we are bound to do what lies in our power for our alma mater."

Abp. Gibbons writes March 10 in reply to Dr. McCaffrey's letter, gladly consenting to be one of a board to receive subscriptions from old students and others, and suggesting that Father Hennessey, '59, would be a good head for a collecting committee, or "might even make an efficient president. ... I suppose Father Hill would gladly resign. . . ." Abp. Gibbons gave five hundred dollars himself. Bishop Watterson two hundred and fifty, and Abp. Elder, out of the depths of his unparalleled troubles, sent fifty dollars, and so on.

Cardinal McCloskey, Abp. Corrigan and other clerical Mountaineers of New York were exerting themselves in every way, for, as Abp. Corrigan wrote, "the few Mountaineers left among the laity in New York can hardly do much in the way of pecuniary relief."

The following letter is photographic of the state of things and the case of Barbara Wagner is a sample. Dr. McCaffrey to Bishop Watterson:

Mt. St. Mary's College, March 15, 1881.

Right Rev. & Dear friend: Miss Barbara Wagner longs to hear from you, believing that her future depends upon your ad vice and guidance. All her means are buried in the wrecked fortunes of the College, except eighty-three dollars remitted by check to Rev. J. McCloskey, which came after his death and which I have collected and paid her.

Though almost dying I have done my best to restore hope, and I believe the creditors can be all satisfied and the institution revived. But, alas I we are even a weak and headless body.

The Cardinal (McCloskey), Abp. Corrigan, our own noble and generous Abp.. Bp. Elder and others are working or ready and eager to work in the good cause.

I have worn myself out writing letters to them or others, laymen, clerics, friend of the institution. . . .

Abp. Gibbons will head the Syndicate or Board to be formed or now forming to receive and apply all contributions to pay the debt. Full twenty thousand will be remitted by the creditors within twenty miles of us. ...

You, I trust, can supply us with many names of Alumni. . . .

I have asked Gen. James M. Coale, of Frederick, to go foremost on the Board or Syndicate with Abp. Gibbons.

Do put your shoulder to the wheel. Help! help! help! A few more weeks or even days of such anxiety will end me. Mother of God, save us I Pray for us', Yours truly, John McCafferey. P. S. Write to Barbara and to me.

The sisters (of Nazareth. Kentucky) fluttered by the advent of Father Hill's housekeeper, who had come with him, had also fancied that people would be glad to get rid of them, and the College and its president-emeritus would have been desolate indeed, such confidence do the sisters inspire. They actually did leave, July 1 this year, '81.

There were dreamers in those days, and one suggests that "one hundred former students subscribe two thousand dollars each;" and that Mr. McSherry go to New York to raise money, etc., etc.

On the 12th of April a meeting was held in New York, attended by Cardinal McCloskey, Abp. Gibbons, Abp. Corrigan and Father William Byrne, '59, V. G. of Boston, who had yielded to the supplication of his distressed alma mater and taken the presidency. The last named writes of this meeting to Bishop Watterson April 16, 1881:

"... I am invited by all to take the presidency. I am willing to go temporarily if the bank that holds the $40,000 mortgage settle for one-half. . . . Then raise fifteen or twenty thousand dollars by loan or otherwise to be used to effect a sale and get the title in possession of ' a new corporation consisting of the Bishops of Baltimore and New York, the future president arid two wealthy laymen of Maryland. The Cardinal (McCloskey) promises to raise one-half of this at once provided the other half is raised in other quarters.' "

Dr. McCaffrey was not forgetful of matters ecclesiastical and consulted Archbishop Gibbons, who writes to him April 19: "I do not like that any conference should be omitted. Should you be unable to preside on the appointed day, I authorize you to designate any clergyman to act as a substitute. ..." "I received this week two thousand dollars for the College. ..."

V. Rev. William Byrne, A. M., '59, was Vicar General of Boston and rector of St. Mary's Church, Charlestown, that city. He had taught several years at the Mountain as well as filled important prefectships, and being urged by Cardinal McCloskey, Abp. Corrigan and everyone concerned, generously retired from the exercise of his high and important office by permission of the noble Abp. Williams, and accepted formal election, to the presidency made on May 16, 1881. He had been chosen a member of the Council on May 10, and on the following day, owing to the known intention of Father Hill not to return, the office of president had been declared vacant.

Boston, the new president's home, is the first city to aid the Mountain, and the Jesuit College does it. Father Jeremiah O'Connor, S. J., President of Boston College, May 24, 1881, sends a contribution to President Byrne and trusts that "all of the seventy odd colleges in the country" will do likewise. [In 1909 there were two hundred Catholic male colleges in the country.]

On June 1 Father Byrne arrived at the College and began those labors as president, treasurer, prefect of studies and teacher, which, showing the variety and excellence of his qualities and resulting in success, caused him to be recognized as the Second Founder of the Mountain.

The large attendance of friends, especially of members of the hierarchy at the Commencement on June 22, did much to restore confidence. The College conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy on Joseph Black, A. M., and the ever-friendly University of Georgetown sent by the venerable Father Sourin, '30, the degree of D. D. to Father Byrne, and that of Ph. D. to Professor Jourdan. Archbishop Corrigan, Coadjutor of New York, told why the Cardinal could not come, but had sent ten thousand valid arguments in the shape of as many dollars in proof of his love for alma mater ; and Archbishop Gibbons, in his usual charming way, expressed his admiration for the moral heroism of the boys and the masters in clinging to the College in its distress and thus actually saving it. "And I am sure that your alma mater will not forget all this. While she loves all her sons, she will cherish a special affection for you. For to what son is the mother most attached? Is it not to him whom she brought forth in sorrow and nursed in tribulation? You are to her what Benjamin was to Rachel. But you will remember this afterwards with pleasure.

'Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit.

. . . How can this institution go down when it has as its head Father Byrne, who seems to combine in his own person the inventive genius and financial skill of the Yankee, the indomitable energy of the Celt, and the warm heart and filial love of a son of the Mountain for his alma mater? . . ."

We have already spoken of Father Fitzgerald, and record with much pleasure the names of the prefects, graduates and honor men of this historic year. The Prefects who aided in the arduous task of keeping the boys in good heart were : Joseph P. McGrath, Joseph J. Clarke, William J. Murphy and Michael B. Donlan.

The graduates were Charles B. Bayne of New Orleans; Allan St. John Bowie of San Francisco; Rudolph O. Deppen of Louisville; Bernard J. Duffy of New York; Matthew F. Dunn of Savannah; James M. Jarboe of Upper Marlboro, Md.; Francis V. King of Leonardtowu, Md.; John E. Malone of Lancaster, Pa.; John B. McGinty of New Orleans; James F. Smith of Eastoii, Pa.; John P. Judge of Philadelphia, Pa.; William J. Murphy of Newark, N. J.. The honors of the senior class went to James F. Smith of Easton; of the junior to William G. Greenwell of Leonardtown, Md.; of the sophomore to Daniel Q,uinn of Yellow Springs, O.; of the freshman to Romualdo Echeverria of Plainfield, N. J.; in the Preparatory Department to Francis McHugh of Albany, N. Y., and Basil J. Shorb, Littlestown, Pa.; in the Minim Department to Halderman O'Connor, Harrisburg, Pa., and Matthew Wilson, Wilsonburg, W. Va. The medals were given by Cardinal McCloskey, '31; Abp. Elder, '37; Bp. Watterson, '65; Rev. H. C. McDowall, '61; General Coale, '76; John Lee Carroll, 76; Joseph Corrigan, M. D., '65; Charles B. Roberts, '75.

That our readers may get an exact idea of the fortunes of the College we present a few statistics. In 1877 the seminarians were 45, the boys 115; in 1878 the numbers were 37 and 164; in 1879 they were 40 and 136 respectively; in 1880, 37 and 120; in 1881, 39 and 131 in 1882, 22 and 123; in 1883 there were 139 all told, 12 being "theologians"; in 1884 there were 21 seminarians and 108 boys; in 1885, 30 seminarians and 109 boys; in 1886, 30 seminarians and 110 boys; in 1887, 31 seminarians and 112 boys; in 1888,30 seminarians and 157 boys; in 1889, 31 seminarians and 137 boys; in 1890, 27 seminarians and 152 boys; in 1891, 33 seminarians and 170 boys; in 1892, 35 and 170 respectively; in 1893, 39 and 159 respectively; in 1894, 40 and 148 respectively; in 1895, 40 and 175 respectively. So it took seven years for the number of students to return to the figures of '81, but the numbers have been increasing all along since then.

The next letter from which we quote suggests the condition of many doubtless who were affected by the financial distress of the College. Joseph Black, Ph. D., '81, for eleven years professor, writes July 17 to Dr. McCaffrey, who was ill at the College, that he "had been discharged by Fathers Fitzgerald and Gambon with $1382.29 due him."

Poor Dr. McCaffrey himself meanwhile was lingering out the last few weeks of a strenuous and many-sided life. In July he was at Cape May, where formerly he had spent happy days with his friends, but now complains that his complete ignorance of what goes on at the College is "a continual embarrassment and hindrance." He came home later, but the sisters of Nazareth, Ky., six in number, who had been at the College since September, 1876, had gone away and the old man found the place still more abandoned and desolate. The seminarians, however, watched with him in turns during his period of helplessness, and his faith and piety in receiving the last sacraments deeply affected the two priests, Fathers White, C. M., and Fitzgerald, especially when "he insisted on getting out of bed and going on his knees to receive the Holy Viaticum." He died on Monday morning, Sept. 26,1881, aged 76, and was buried on Thursday in the Priests' Row on the Hill, Abp. Corrigan singing the Mass, Dr. Magnien, S. S., rector of St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, leading the office, Bp. Chatard preaching and Abp. Gibbons giving the absolution. Bps. Becker and Jeremiah Shanahan with twenty-four priests were present.

Dr. John P. Judge, '80, writes of the latter days of the seventh president: "I can recall Dr. McCaffrey only in his decline of brain and body, an octogenarian, but a noble wreck. In the later '70's he was a massive old man, leaning on a cane, but outrunning it. I never remember to have seen him walk slowly, deliberately. He seemed always plunged in thought, and forgetting his physical decay he forged ahead with rapid but firm steps. The hills of rock that girt him round, the oaks imbedded in them, seemed not more fixed and rugged than Dr. John McCaffrey. In brain and brawn he seemed planned for great occasions, and I had loved to fancy him a worthy colleague or opponent of Gladstone at Westminster. Whenever I read about the disrupted conclave of 1378, that gave rise to the "Great Schism of the West"; of the howling turbulence of the Roman mob, I often wished that Dr. McCaffrey had sat there a Cardinal-elector. Church history would have needed a reconstruction, but those sixteen cardinals would have figured in the category of martyrs, not of confessors. The mob might yield, Dr. McCaffrey never. He was so long a portion of our mountain region, that when he passed away a part of the strength of the landscape disappeared, not in gradual decadence, but like a fixed mass uprooted a dislocation.

"Dr. John McCloskey was president when I first saw the Mount. He was a contemporary of Dr. McCaffrey, but a conspicuous contrast. Together they might illustrate 'suaviterin modo, fortiter in re,' of which aphorism the former clause belonged prominently to Dr. McCloskey ; and yet there are those who will affirm that on occasions he could do the ' fortiter in re' like an inquisitor.

"In manner he was suave, urbane, and of such distinguished presence as might dignify any ecclesiastical title, from Mon-signor to Cardinal Camerlengo. Afoot, he was erect as a grenadier; ahorse, perfect as a centaur. Many and many a time have I seen him ride away astride a spirited animal that curvetted and caracoled across the terrace, along the road, between the ancient pillars of the gateway. Students of those days will recall the charming picture of 'Father John' ahorse, cloaked like a Spanish grandee, his face aflush with health and color, his venerable locks betokening three-score years and more, but the firmness of his seat recalling the perfect horsemanship of the youthful Custer or J. E. B. Stewart.

"Like a mendicant friar of the days of St. Francis or St. Dominie, a picture of Father McMurdie comes out in the midst. I never beheld him without thinking of locusts and wild honey. As he paced the terrace in the falling dusk, his figure attenuated, his features meagre, I could almost hear the grating, lacerating chain beneath the rusty cassock and its close-drawn girdle. He seemed a perfect example of total detachment from the world, purged of every baseness, un-throbbed by a single human impulse, ascetic, solitary.

"I recall him in those days walking high up, high up in the sunlight, on the mountain ranges of pure philosophy; and though he was humblest of the humble, I stood in awe of him and his profound acquirements. As a preacher he had the eloquence of intensity and earnestness; and when carried away with his subject, his keen, penetrating eye flashed fire into words that glided from his lips staccato like the click of a gun-lock. Our Lady of the Mountain has looked down upon his grave these many years, but the memory of his virtue and his learning must abide for many decades yet. . . ."

What a comfort to Dr. McCaffrey in his failing years must have been this letter from the eminent Rhode Island physician with whom he had parted so sternly that winter night of 1858, and what a noble character the Doctor must have been to hold his friends so! We saw Dr. O'Leary's letter of Feb. 28. '81; this preceded it by a couple of months:

All Souls, '80, Providence, R. I.

Dear Mr. McCaffrey: Probably you and I will never meet again. With this foreboding I wish to express to you my undying gratitude. I would rather call it affection. You alone took the place of my father. He was kind and good. No one has ever taken your place, of all I have met, and of all who have proved friends to me. Of late I have been thinking of you more than usual. You are present to me in dreams at night and in thoughts during the busy hours of the day.

I am impelled to write to you. to express to you the lasting remembrance and the undying affection of one who spent the happiest years of his life with you.

Chas. O'Leary.

Charles Hoffman, '52, a most devoted and practical son of the Mountain, was for many years librarian of the Supreme Court of the United States. Describing Dr. McCaffrey, who had begotten him in Christ as well as trained his mind, he says:

"He was tall, far beyond the common measure. . . . Head unusually large. . . . Massive shoulders. . . . Thin, clean-cut lips. . . . Prominent Roman nose. . . . Piercing eagle eye, the most remarkable feature. He ever bore himself aloft with a magnificent presence and at all times he appeared to all people a veritable 'Anax andron,' a king of men. . . . He was facile priuceps in all the powers of the mind. . . . His memory was cyclopedic. . . . One of his most eminent gifts was that of heavenly eloquence. . . . His pen could flow into poetic numbers. ... As a conversationalist he was simply magnificent. . . . When asked why he never had the ambition to go into a wider sphere of action ... he is reported to have replied that " anyone born and raised in this neighborhood did not seem to care for much else than to stay at home and be contented with what Providence had given him here."

In the Catholic Universe of Cleveland, October 6, 1881, Bishop Gilmour, '50, of that city, himself a Mountaineer of heroic mould, thus writes of Dr. McCaffrey, his old teacher:

"With a gigantic mind, varied acquirements, great devotion to the education of youth, and childlike simplicity of manner, he impressed himself on everyone who came in contact with him. He had the rare faculty of being able to descend to the level of a child and rise to the grasp of a man, filling each to the limit of their capacity. Few men had a clearer grasp of thought or greater power of statement. As orator, as logician, as professor he excelled in all. In the pulpit he was the peer of an England or a Hughes: and had not his modesty held him at the Mountain, his name would have been a household word. Twice he was offered the mitre and twice refused, saying: 'Here I am fully as useful as if I held a crozier!' It can be said in truth of him, that no one ever came in contact with him but was made, better. Without effort he impressed his own manliness upon all who came near him. He taught the young to think and the old to act, and directed all ever to look upward. None that knew him in the days of his power but will praise his name and breathe a prayer in his behalf. Father Dubois founded Mount St. Mary's; Father McCaffrey gave lustre to its name. For sixty-two years he was the brightest mind that paced her classic halls. A model in virtue, a spur to ambition, a stay to the weak, a guide to the strong, the name of John McCaffrey will be long remembered and revered while one remains of all who have ever studied under him. His like will not be soon again. . . . Tall in person, courtly in manners, Dr. McCaffrey was made to rule.

In a letter dated Sept. 26, 1881, written at the College for the press, it is stated that the "bishoprics of Savannah and Charleston respectively were offered to Dr. McCaffrey." A later hand adds "Natchez " to those two. Indeed in all probability hardly a mitre was bestowed between 1840 and 1860 at least but that his name was suggested as that of one fit to wear it. but his conviction as well as his love kept him at the College.

Archbishop Elder's estimate of McCaffrey and McCloskey brings out their characters very clearly:

"Dr. McCaffrey was the link between the church of Archbishop Carroll, at his birth the sole bishop in the country, and the church of today (1882) with its Cardinal, eleven archbishops and sixty bishops. . . . Even when only First Prefect of Discipline his clear, practical and decided judgment made his the prevailing influence m the institution. His counsels guided the government of the house ; and his admonitions, his directions and encouragements had the chief share directly or indirectly in training and shaping not only the studies, but the conduct, the mental habits and the spirit of almost every individual in the house. His great principle was the right and the duty of authority to exact obedience, and of subjects to obey authority. ..." "Because men are universally clamoring for liberty, he was constantly reminding them of the sacredness of authority, teaching that all authority originates in God, and is always sacred in everyone to whom God entrusts it."

"Indeed he and his much-loved and deeply-lamented lifelong associate, Very Rev. Dr. John McCloskey, were together the life and the guidance not only of the institution as a whole, but of every work, and in many respects of every individual connected with it. The one was the head and the other was the hand. The one gave the spirit and life that animated the whole body; the other kept all the members together by his untiring attention to every detail, by his thoughtfulness of every want, by his womanly tenderness to the sick, by his ever-ready cordiality, by his unfailing pleasantness of words and ways, by his continued sacrifice of self to make others happy, all bound together by an unbending consciousness that could not even deliberate on a sacrifice of duty. . . ."

Bishop Watterson, speaking at Father John's Month's Mind, declared: "I cannot point to a day when he missed a single duty, from his Mass at 4 in the morning till his prayers at midnight."

Chapter 64 | Chapter Index

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