« السابقةمتابعة »
to whom we had many a time compared them as in every respect their worthy compeer, was withdrawn by his brethren because they regarded his educational talents and abilities as too valuable to be confined to one continent. We allude to the gentleman, well-known to our readers, who first attracted general attention and elicited general approbation in the educational world as the President of Manhattan College-an institution which, in a few years, he raised to the highest rank among American colleges. Such was his success that some five or six years ago he was appointed superior of all the institutions of the Christian Brothers in America. How ably and efficiently he has performed his duties in this enlarged sphere is proved by the fact, that at an election held at the chief house of the order in Paris, by their representatives from all parts of the world, he was unanimously elected Assistant Superior General; so that the venerable Superior General having become infirm by age and long service—though his heart is still in the great work, of which he has performed an herculian part-the gentleman who lately directed the intellectual energies of the Christian Brothers throughout this continent, will henceforth direct those of the order in all parts of the world—in China, Japan, India, Egypt, and Arabia, as well as in the United States, the British Islands, and Continental Europe. When it is remembered that the great majority of the Christian Brothers are Frenchmen--that among this majority are literary men, scientists and artists, whose works are prized both in Europe and America, although they are known but to a few themselves—that the venerable founder of their order was a Frenchman-that, in a word, the order is as essentially French in the best sense of the term, as the French Academy, or the Institute; and that accordingly this is the first instance in more than two centuries of the election of any foreigner to that important position—when, all these facts, we say, are borne in mind, some idea, however inadequate, may be formed of the high estimation in which Rev. Brother Patrick is held as an educator by those whose lives are consecrated to education, and who have judged him by the labors he has performed for the great cause, and the
services he has rendered it in all departments, during a period extending to, if not exceeding, a quarter of a century.
The removal of such a man is an incalculable loss to the cause of American education, although it will still receive its full share of his attention; and none regret the loss more
We rejoice at the same time, that the bigots in high and low places who disliked the sturdy provincial for that enlightened liberality of sentiment and cosmopolitan spirit, which not only rendered him superior to sectarianism, but made him the good, faithful friend of reviews and reviewers, proved utterly powerless, after all, to prevent, his elevation; 80 that he occupies a much higher and nobler position to-day than the most pompous of them.
We indulge the latter feeling all the more freely because he has left another first class, favorite educator to take his place as provincial—a gentleman who has also well earned his advancement in honor and consideration, for what he has done for Manhattan College during the last five or six years as its indefatigable and judicious President. Then he, in turn, leaves his place to be filled, under his own guidance, by a gentleman who was his chief assistant in that position for years, and who is in every way qualified to maintain the deservedly high prestige of that institution.
To some these details will not only seem irrelevant but altogether uncalled for. But let such pause for a inoment and reflect- let them ask themselves how are educators more than others to be judged as to their qualifications and abilities without comparing them with each other and examining the work they perform. Are not they, like other people, good, bad, or indifferent, according as they are better or worse than the majority of their class ? Were there not Protestant educators like the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania we should not appreciate as we do educators like Chancellor Ferris, President Barnard, etc. Upon the same principle, if there were not Catholic heads of colleges like the Sheas, the McQuades and the Corrigans, we should not appreciate as we do heads of colleges like Father Early, Father Clark, Brother Patrick, Brother Paulian, etc. Besides we want to show that
Catholic heads of colleges, who are properly qualified for their positions, differ in nothing as Catholics in the conrse they pursue toward heretics from the Catholic heads of dioceses and archdioceses, who are also properly qualified for their positions. Thus, as Father Early, who would have ranked high as an educator in any country, was not the less friendly to us for being a heretic who had criticised, as educators, certain of his brethren at New York and Fordham, so the Archbishop of Baltimore, who would have been ranked among the most enlightened of the princes of the Church in any age, was not the less friendly to us for our having criticised, on similar grounds, his Most Rev. Grace of New York, not, indeed, the illustrious Archbishop Hughes, but a very different “prince of the Church "--different in intellect, different in knowledge, different in thought; though not different, perhaps, in piety and orthodoxy, but probably superior in largeness of faith, and in largeness of self-importance.
But here we are reminded of the most serious difficulty of all indeed the fundamental one. The Catholic bishops and archbishops who are sufficiently educated themselves to be able to serve the cause of higher education are far too few. The large majority will bear no comparison with the bishops and archbishops of the poorest countries of Europe. Most cheerfully do we admit that Archbishop Bailey is worthy of comparison with the most enlightened prelates anywhere; and, what is more, worthy of being the successor of Dr. Kendrick and Dr. Spalding. This is no new opinion of ours; it is one which we entertained, as many of our readers know, before there was any word of his appointment. Archbishop Kendrick of St. Louis is another prelate who does credit to the American church. And among the bishops the names of Dr. McFarlan, of Hartford, Dr. Williams, of Boston, Dr. Wood, of Philadelphia, Dr. Lynch, of Charleston, and Dr. Ryan, coadjutor to Dr. Kendrick, may be mentioned as those of competent and enlightened dignitaries.
Thus, we have about as many Catholic bishops and archbishops that are entitled by their education and talents to be ranked with the prelates of Europe, as we have Catholic
colleges that are entitled by their high standard and thoroughness to be ranked with the average Catholic educational institutions of Europe. But the remainder of the bishops and archbishops are quite as much behind their European brethren in education and enlightenment, as the remainder of the Catholic colleges and universities are behind even the Catholic high schools of Europe. And what is most discouraging in this respect is, that the last episcopal appointment is decidedly the worst. The appointment of Dr. Bailey to the see of Baltimore evinced wisdom as well as discrimination, but, putting Father Corrigan in his place, at Newark, and decorating with the mitre one whose characteristic mode of argument is "you lie,” etc.-one who has degraded Seton Hall College to the rank of a third rate boarding school and billiard saloon, with deficient “rations" for pupils—evinced neither wisdom nor discrimination.*
What, upon the other hand, is the reward to the memory of Father Early for his having attained the highest distinction as an educator by his indefatigable and successful efforts to have Georgetown College ranked among the best American colleges of all denominations. From the strange appointment just mentioned, and the extensive glorification that followed, it can hardly seem incredible that some of the most incompetent of the heads of Catholic colleges --especially those heads that have money in the family, no matter how they made it—would bave been mourned far more generally and more profoundly than President Early, had any of thein, instead of him, been carried off so suddenly. But such is really the fact; and it is one which finds its explanation in human nature, independently of any dogma. Those whose knowledge and views are circumscribed within narrow limits are much more likely to sympathize with those whose knowledge and views are confined to as small a groove as their own, than with those whose knowledge is extensive and multifarious, and whose views are broad and cosmopolitan. Nay, is it more probable that they will dişlike the latter, regarding them as pedants if not as more dangerous people—people who at best are to be looked upon with suspicion, so inconsistent are superior knowledge and liberality of sentiment, in the minds of a large number, with true piety and orthodoxy.
* Once when a similar divine got the mitre, Erasmus wrote a “savage" criticism, both on the new dignitary and on the old dignitary, who was chiefly, instrumental in appointing him. On the latter remonstrating, Erasmus said that he would say no more about the disgrace the Church had sustained, if he would cause to be inscribed on some conspicuous part of the cathedral of his protegé, the following lines from Sophocles :
κάρτα του φιλοϊκτιστον γυνη πύκαξε θα σβον. ου προς ιατρού σοφού θρηνείν επωδας προς τομώντι πήματι. .
Soph. Ajax, 580. We might have recommended a similar legend for the Newark cathedral, but a Greek maxim would be as profound a mystery there, now, as the grace of God. It would be a still worse stumbling-block than that which we presented to the learned provost of the University of Pennsylvania, in the same dialect. A line or two from one of Lover's bacchanalian songs, in away
It is true that there are educators belonging to the female Catholic orders in the United States who may justly be ranked even among the high class of which Father Early was a distinguished, though unostentatious member. But those accomplished lady instructors—to whom be all honor—although we abstain, for obvious reasons, from mentioning their names, are, also, “ few and far between," and belong chiefly, if not exclusively, to two orders, those of the Visitation and the Holy Cross. Of the rest of our Catholic educators--about ninetyfive out of a hundred--but little can be said. Take
the four colleges of the Christian Brothers, with the two Jesuit colleges of Georgetown and Worcester, deducting also from
the vernacular tongue, would be much more appropriate, and we would offer such accordingly, were we not precluded by our respect, not only for the sacred edifice, but also, for the good men who formerly officiated in it, and for those who still continue to worship in it; for we may repeat again, that it is never the church, its dogmas, or its hierarchy that we criticise ; only things that stick to them as excresences, or as parasites. But we must not conclude our note on the legend proposed by Erasmus without giving the following translation, so that the reader who knows as little of Greek as even Corrigan, may be able to judge whether it would not be somewhat appropriate in the present case:
“When ulcer'd wounds the cutting steel require,
No mystic charm the skilful leech applies."