Portraits in Faith and Freedom

Alfred E. Smith
In 1928 Al Smith, acclaimed Governor of New York Al Smith is running for president of the United States. His record of political reform and fearless integrity give him a strong chance at winning the presidency. That’s until the Ku Klux Klan and other anti-Catholic groups fan the flames of vague...Read more
Black Robe Peacemaker: Pierre de Smet
In 1867 the President of the United States set up a commission of three generals to end the wars with the Sioux Indians for good—he hoped!—through a just treaty. Only one person in all the United States, the commissioners thought, just might be acceptable by the Sioux for parley: the priest-...Read more
Cavalry Hero: Casimir Pulaski
Casimir Pulaski is most remembered as the dashing Polish cavalry officer who aids the United States’ fight for independence with daring feats of courage and strategy. As a child, already a gifted horseman, he learns from his father Joseph Pulaski, a statesman and landowner, what it means to stand...Read more
Fired with a dream of priesthood, John Hughes, a penniless Irish youth, arrives in Maryland in 1817 and soon finds work as a gardener at Mount St. Mary’s College and Seminary. When the Seminary president discovers how hard John is studying his Latin on the side, he allows John to start learning...Read more
Joseph the Huron
Much like an unexpected buried treasure, this narrative of a young Huron man has come to light again today. “Chiwatenwa’s” story, recaptured by author Antoinette Bosco from the records of the earliest Jesuit missionaries in Canada, portrays the man (who would one day be christened “Joseph”) in the...Read more
Semi-crippled and with a poor school record, Mathew Carey should never have succeeded in anything, especially as he was also a Catholic in the intolerant Ireland of 1775. But by the age of 15 he’d gotten himself apprenticed to a Dublin printer and bookseller. At 17, he had anonymously penned an...Read more
Padre Pro: Mexican Hero
There are two doorways into the life of the gallant Mexican priest Padre Pro. One doorway begins at the end, during an intense period of anti-Catholicism in Mexico, in the high public drama of a daring young priest’s use of disguises and audacious risks to secretly carry communion to the faithful,...Read more
Though independence had been won from England in 1783, and with it greater religious freedom, Catholics in the new United States of America still faced prejudice and fear engendered by decades of anti-Catholicism. Rome needed to find the right man to become the first Catholic bishop in the new...Read more
Simon Brute and the Western Adventure
During France’s days of turmoil in the 1790s, thirteen-year-old Simon Bruté, helping hide priests from the guillotine, little imagines the path his ardent soul will travel. When the Reign of Terror calms down, Bruté goes to Paris; he wins honors at the College of Medicine. But now responding to a...Read more
Raised by a wise Philadelphia banker-papa and a loving, devout step-mother, Katharine Drexel is uniquely equipped to confront a distressing failing within the century-old nation of the United States. In the 1880’s, the lack of educational opportunities for Native and Black Americans is appalling,...Read more