Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Saturday, June 19, 1926

There is no diary entry for this day. Instead, I will share some information that Aunt Marjorie provided on the family's reaction to Albert converting to Catholicism and becoming a Jesuit priest. He was ordained on June 14, 1954.

Aunt Marjorie wrote, "I saw your blog last night and saw that one of your readers asked how Albert became a convert and what was the family reaction. Someone asked Albert what started his interest in Catholicism and he said that in high school he learned type writing and was practicing by copying the dictionary and his interest was piqued by the word "sacraments". (I believe that was the word he said.)

When he went to Harvard, with a full scholarship (they probably thought he would someday make a lot of money and bequeath his fortune to the school), he majored in science and math. He apparently told some of his fellow students that a certain professor was a communist. That professor heard this and was so angry Albert was banned from the science department. So Albert changed his major to theology.

Apparently sometime later that professor was actually convicted as being a communist. I can't verify this - I have no names or dates. Being in high school at the time I didn't pay that much attention to my brother's life.

In college Albert made many Catholic friends, men and women, in an association or club, probably many students. One of his friends was Avery Dulles (son of John Foster Dulles) who graduated top in his class. He became a Jesuit priest and became a Cardinal. He also was a convert - his parents were Presbyterians, I recall. Albert graduated 2nd in his class.

Upon graduation, Albert went to a novitiate program on a mountain side in Los Gatos, California. (Albert told me Los Gatos meant "city of cats".)

Mother was disappointed Albert didn't marry and have children but there were no hysterics or trauma about Albert's decision to become a Jesuit priest. The different relatives were interested, surprised, maybe amused by Albert's conversion, except Aunt Bess who had stories to tell about Catholics taking young people in hiding to keep them away from their families.

One of the times Dale visited Albert he wrote Mother that Albert had found his niche in life and was happy in his life, which made Mother happy."


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I enjoyed reading about it very much!

  2. I went to his ordination in West Baden, In, which at that time the big hotel was owned by the Jesuits. All the guests were treated to a dinner of all the steak you could eat + the trimmings. The undergraduates were our waiters. I had never met a more handsome & intelligent group of men before and they could converse on any subject you wanted to bring up. It was quite a joyful occasion. The old hotel wasn't air conditioned at that time so it was a very hot enviornment