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Bishop Baraga

[see also Leopoldine Society; Mormons - Gentile View of]
"The Leopoldine Foundation notified him that it was going to contribute a substantial sum for the L'Anse Fond du Lac, & Grand Portage missions." (1846)
- B. J. Lambert, Shepherd of the Wilderness, p. 1711
In Cincinnati in 1853 (seeing to the publication of his Indian dictionary):
In further distress Baraga was dismayed by the attitude many city-dwellers had to priests & the Catholic Church. In vile & abusive language members of the clergy were slandered & criticized. Street-preachers berated the efforts of the missionaries. Pagans, bigots, & unbelievers dominated the American scene.
"Why don't these critics try to help their fellow man?" he asked from the pulpit. "Is it necessary for the world to hate?"
[- no citation given for this entry; ibid. Lambert, above?]
Traveling in northern Michigan in winter -
(1860 - he was 63 at the time) "I shall be obliged to make a journey on foot, with snowshoes, from Sault Ste. Marie to Mackinac & St. Ignace in the first days of Feb. 1860"...
"These winter journeys I find somewhat difficult...walking during the day goes tolerably well, but when obliged to camp out in the open air at night in the woods, it is extremely uncomfortable in this northerly climate. Tiresome walking on snowshoes over hills and through valleys causes perspiration, not withstanding the cold. In the evenings I soon feel cold & begin to tremble as if I had the fever. If I could arrive at some house every evening on these winter journeys, traveling would not be so hard, but in this desolate country a man has often to walk several days before seeing a single house."
- Rev. Antoine Ivan Rezek, His. of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie &
Marquette, Vol. 1 (1906), Houghton, Mich., p. 151
([Visited Beaver] Island in Feb. & May, 1860)
"Now this large & beautiful island is inhabited almost entirely by Catholics, mostly Irish & some Germans & French. They earnestly long to have a church & priest. On the 22nd May, the fourth Sunday after Easter, I said Holy Mass in a large school house [this must have been a Mormon building -HC] & preached in English for the first time on this island, & after Mass confirmed 24 persons. They were all adults, with the exception of one boy; some of them were old men & women who had never before had an opportunity to see a bishop in their neighborhood. After divine services, I held a meeting with the men to deliberate where and how a church might be built on this island.
Then I sailed over to the smaller Beaver Island, called Garden Island, which is inhabited by Indians, who are visited from time to time by Rev. Father Zorn. All these Indians are now Catholic & hold fast to the faith, notwithstanding the bad examples around them when the Mormons were living in the neighborhood."
Goes on to say a new church, built of cedar, will be built on Garden to replace the bark one now in use.
- Father Baraga, in Rezek, His. of the Diocese, p. 152
(1864)"From Alpena I went to B.I., in Lake Michigan, on a small steamer, where I had established a mission 32 years before. There zealous missionary Father Murray is stationed, & with great labor & much exertion had built quite a large church & house. He has accomplished much good, principally in combating the vice of intemperance among his people. For this purpose he established a temperance society, which many have joined. The Sunday I spent on B.I. [I] confirmed 60 persons & gave the Holy Communion to 110. Among the confirmed were some old people who heretofore had had no opportunity to receive the Holy Sacrament of confirmation. The first chance I had I left the island & returned home."
- Bishop Baraga, from his correspondence with the Leopoldine
Foundation, in F. Reznek, His. of the Diocese, p. 184-85
1 Bernard J. Lambert, Shepherd of the Wilderness: A Biography of Bishop Frederic Baraga. L'Anse, MI: Bernard J. Lambert, 1967.