Project Canterbury

From The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 7),
edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914, pp. 195-197



Sept. 7, 1889


MAY I ask through your columns for the prayers of the faithful that some self-sacrificing, single, and Catholic-minded priests would offer themselves for work in this diocese.

There are 53 parishes and missions and 15 unorganized missions where services have been held. The number of resident and unsuperannuated clergy is 18. Many churches I found closed and some had been so for several years. The people, being unprovided for, have wandered off to other religious bodies, and the children have been gathered into their Sunday schools.

During the past summer, I have, with the aid of the general missionary and of a few theological students residing with me and going out weekly to different missions, opened 12 churches and established regular services.

This temporary aid must soon come to an end. The success of this limited experiment demonstrates what could be done in a far larger and more permanent way by Catholic clergy imbued with the self-denying and loyal spirit of such men as Mackonochie and Charles Lowder. There are several centers where associated missions could be successfully established. There is one growing and important town now having 14,000 inhabitants where a good church has been built, from which four other towns could be worked. Three of these have churches, and the fourth has bought its church lot. They have raised altogether $1,800.00 or more yearly, which would be sufficient to support three men living in community. This is the only practical way of working this and other districts of so large a diocese; for the church people are few, and the separate parishes not wealthy, and it is trying to the spiritual life of the clergy to live isolated from their brethren. My predecessor felt keenly the peculiar obstacles which confronted him and, after vainly begging for a small endowment of $12,000.00, sank down, not overcome, as he said when dying, by the work, but by the worry and anxiety of his position. What I ask of those Churchmen who realize that success in Church work in the West is the salvation of the spiritual life and faith of the East, is, to pray that some desirable men would give themselves to the work in this diocese, and some cultured and spiritual women to the missionary society of the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity who have already begun to labor here.

Bishop of Fond du Lac.

Project Canterbury