"either the missions or the College must be neglected" Mulledy to Roothaan, October 28, 1833

Dublin Core


"either the missions or the College must be neglected" Mulledy to Roothaan, October 28, 1833


Jesuits--Missions--Maryland; Jesuits--History--19th century


Mulledy writes to the Father General in Rome that the colleges and missions cannot both be sustained. Since the churches associated with the plantations are under the control of the bishop, Mulledy predicts that the bishop will eventually fill them with non-Jesuit priests.


Provincia Maryland 5 III 4, Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu


Georgetown Slavery Archive




Transcribed and translated by Andrew Dial


Do not republish without permission of the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu.









Text Item Type Metadata


Georgiopoli 28. Ottob. 1833
P. Mulledy

P. Kenney in Angliam [unclear: eodux?].
Satisfacere videtur novus P. Provincialis
Discipuli 183. Cura spiritualus eorum
P. Provinc. interest Concilio Provinciali
Senatus quasdam terrae portiones Collegio cocessit.
Prae sociorum paucitate, aut missions negligendae sunt aut Collegium.
Ipse, occupationibus nimiis obrutus, petit ut mittantur supportiae, vel ipse munere liberetur

Georgiopoli 28. Octobris 1833
Admodum Reverende in Christo Pater - Multis distentus occupationibus, mensi Julii litteras adm[odum]. Rev[erende]. Paterintati vestrae dare non potui. Bonam jam nactus occasionem per Rev. Dominum Odin, officio meo satisfacre statim.
Gratias, in primis, quam maximas Pat[ernitate]. vestra ago, quae pro sua erga nos benignitate, missiones nostras in provinciam erigere signata est – nobisque Partrem Provincialem talem donavit. P. Kenney prospectus est mense Augusti - & decimo septembris feliter in Angliam pervenit - quod scimus ex litteris P. Provinciali datis.
Res in nostra nova provincia satis bene procedunt, omnesque novo P[atri]. Provinciali contenti videntur: ob penuriam tamen sociorum angustias pati coguntur missiones - & speciatim Collegium.
Sunt nunc in Collegio centum octoginta tres scholares quorum centum septaginta duo sunt convictores et undecim semi-convictores. Ego officiis Procuratoris, Ministri studiorum Praefecti et vice rectoris fungi cogor – siquidem P. Fenwick qui ministry titulum habet, vix aliquid adjumenti prastare potest – cum scholas per quinque horas quotidie doceat – unus scholasticorum qui morali studet – me adjuvat, quantum potest in officio procuratoris – P. Fenwick est etiam Pater spiritualis convictorum - et exhortationes per vias cum P.P. Grace, Curley, & Lilly convictionibus facit, singulis diebus Dominicis et festis – quibus diebus P. Woodly catechischum (ut [unclear: aurent?]) rationatum iisdem facit. Si potuimus aliquem in scholis loco P. Fenwick substituere – ipsique dare officia P. Spiritualis Convictiorum, et Colligii ministri – res certe melius procederent.
Spero insules quod Pat[aternitate]. vestra Pat[aternitate]. Provinciali suggeret necessitatem constituendi Pat[er]. Vespré Colligii procuratorem - alias quamvis vires meae satis fortis sint, non succumbere laboribus & vexationibus non possum.
Concilium Provinciale omnium Episcoporum Americae Foederate nunc est in sessione in Baltimore. Pat[er]. Provincialis, qui invitatus fuit eidem assistit – et sine dubio Pat[er]. vestra referet, quidquid relatione dignum videbitur.
Congressus (vel senatus noster) Collegi isti donavit portiones terrae in urbe Washington (anglice "lots") ad valorem 25.000 scutatorum Hispanorum. Hoc anno alium supplicem libellum senatui porrigam – ipsum orando, istas terrae portiones sibi retinere, nobisque pecuniam numeratam donare. Spero etiam, cum non sit res inusitata, Senatum preces nostras benigne [unclear: exanditorum].
Opionio publica, quae in ista regione, est quid grande, nostro Collegio, in praesens, multum favet et a nobis penditis tam opinionem retinere, immo in magis et magis angere. Cum vero ob parvum numerum Sociorum – missiones et Colligium simul bene procedure non possunt – ambo equidem languere possunt, florere non possunt. Cumque mentis nostrorum isthinc de hac re dividantur, dignetis Pat[er]. vestra significare P. Provinciali quid melius esse judicet ad majorem Dei Gloriam, missiones [unclear: sciliat?] vel Colligium languere sinere. Scit Pat[er]. vestra missiones in Marylandia esse residentias habentis sibi adjunctas tres vel quator ecclesias quae ad Episcopum pertinent et ad quas Pater in pradio residens, qui est etiam agricola, per vices excurrit. Hasque ecclesias certisime episcopus aliis sacerdotibus, non Jesuitis, (quando eos procurare potest,) tradet.
Sic istae missiones tandem reducentur ad unam parochialem ecclesiam – quae, cum in nostro praedio sita sit, a nobis eripi non potest. Quidquid de ista re decernere dignabitur ego certe contentus ero – tamen me esse obligatum fateri censeo, quod ab innumeras & non interruptas occupations externas, omnis generis, spiritus hand parum detrimenti patitur – neque debiliorem in rebus spiritualibus quotidie sentio. Quare enixe rogo Pat. vestram – ut dignetur adjutorium mihi concedere, vel quod magis placet, me ab officio vice-rectoris removere et aliquo humiliore officio me exercere. Judicet Paternitas vestra – Judicio suo me libenter submittam.
Nihil aliud occurit quod dicam.
Commendo me humillime in S.S. Sacraficus
Admodum Rev. Paternitatis vestrae
Servus in Christo
Thomas F. Mulledy S.J

Georgetown 28 Oct. 1833
From Fr. Mulledy

Fr. Kenny [unclear: eodux?] in England
The new Fr. Provincial seems satisfactory
183 Students. The spiritual care for them.
The Fr. Provincial is taking part in a Provincial Council
The Senate has granted some plots of land to the College
Due to the paucity of members, either the missions or the College must be neglected.
He himself, overwhelmed by excessive responsibilities requests that help be sent, or that he be freed from the office.

In the Peace of Christ
At Georgetown 28 October 1833
To the Most Reverend Father in Christ- Being busy with many responsibilities, I have not been able to send letters to your very Reverend Fathership during the month of July. A good opportunity has now arrived, through Rev. Lord Odin, to satisfy immediately my duty.
First, I thank your Fathership most greatly, for his kindness toward us, who gave approval to build our missions in the province – and gave to us so excellent a Father Provincial. Fr. Kenney was expected in the month of August & arrived happily in England on September tenth - which I know from letters given by Fr. Provincial.
Things in our new province proceed well enough, and all seem content in our new Fr. Provincial: on account of the continued penury of the companions, the missions - and especially the college - are compelled to endure difficulties.
There are in the College one hundred eighty-three scholars of whom one hundred seventy-two are boarders and eleven are semi-boarders. I am compelled to fulfill the offices of Procurator, Minister of students, Prefect and vice rector – accordingly, Fr. Fenwick, who has the title of minister, can hardly to any degree be prevailed upon for help – because he teaches the scholastics for five hours daily – One of the scholastics who studies moral philosophy – helps me, when he can, in the office of procurator – Fr. Fenwick is furthermore the spiritual Director of the boarders – and makes exhortations to the boarders during journeys with Frs. Grace, Curley, & Lilly each Lord’s day and feast day – on which days Fr. Woodley does the catechism plan (in order that [unclear: aurent?]) for the same. If we can substitute another in Fr. Fenwick’s place to the scholars – and give to the same the office of spiritual director of the boarders, and of College minister – things certainly might proceed better.
I hope that the apartments which Your fathership will furnish to the Father Provincial will of necessity be appointed to Fr. Vespré as the procurator of the College – otherwise although my powers might be strong enough, I cannot not succumb to the labors and vexations.
The Provincial Council of all bishops in the United States is now in session in Baltimore. The Father Provincial, who was invited there, attends – and without a doubt will relate to your Fathership, whatever he will consider appropriate for a report.
Congress (which we call our Senate) has given plots of land in the city of Washington (called in English "lots") worth 25,000 Spanish scudi to the College there. I will extend another suppliant petition to the Senate this year – they themselves must be entreated to retain these lots of land for themselves, and to give to us the monetary value instead. I furthermore hope that, because the thing is not unusual, the Senate will be kind to our petition [unclear: exanditorum?].
Public opinion, which in this region, is something significant, at present, much favors our College – and it pays to maintain that opinion for us, rather than to cause more and more distress. Because in truth on account of the small number of the Society’s members – the missions and the College cannot successfully advance together – both equally can languish, - they cannot flourish. And because our minds here are divided on account of this thing, your Fathership may deem it worthy to signify to the Fr. Provincial what he may judge to be better for God’s greater Glory, to allow the missions [unclear: scili ut?] or the College to languish. Your fathership knows the Maryland missions to be residences holding adjoined to them three or four churches which pertain to the Bishop and to which the Father residing on the farm, who is indeed a farmer, serves in exchange – And the bishop will most certainly hand over these churches to other, non-Jesuit, priests, (when these can be procured).
Thus these missions will be reduced in the end to one parish church – which, because it is situated on our farm, cannot be removed from us. I will certainly be satisfied with whatever about this thing he will deem to judge – nevertheless I consider myself to be obligated to disclose that, on account of innumerable & uninterrupted external duties, of all types, the spirit suffers [unclear: hand?] of equal detriment – nor do I sense more weakness in daily spiritual things. Whereby I earnestly ask your Fathership – that he deem to grant me assistance, or if it should be more pleasing, to remove me from the office of vice-rector, and to place me in another, more humble office. As your Fathership judges – to your judgement I willingly submit myself. I would say nothing to another of what occurs.
I commend myself most humbly in the Holy Sacrifice
To your most Rev. Fathership
Servant in Christ
Thomas F. Mulledy S.J.




Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, “"either the missions or the College must be neglected" Mulledy to Roothaan, October 28, 1833,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed October 18, 2021, https://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/508.