|Emne||Biography: general; Religion: general|
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Om First American-Born Priests and Catholic
First American-born Priests and Religious in N.E. A history of the first American-born priests and Catholic religious in the, early 1800s, when the diocese of Boston comprised all of New England. All of them were converts to the Catholic faith. There is the unique family of Virgil and Jerusha Booth Barber who separated in order to enter Catholic religious communities. Virgil, born in Simsbury, Connecticut became a Jesuit priest. Jerusha (Booth) Barber, his wife, born in Newtown, Connecticut became a Visitation sister. Their five children likewise entered religious communties. Their son, Samuel, born in Watertown, Connecicut became a Jesuit priest and later an early president of Gonzaga College. Their daughter, Josephine, born in Fairfield, New York became a Visitation sister and their other three daughters Mary, Abey, and Susan who were born in Watertown, Connecticut and became sisters in Ursuline communities in the United States and Canada. The Rev. Virgil Barber, S.J. returned to Claremont, New Hampshire in 1823 and built the first Catholic Church in New Hampshire. He also opened the first Jesuit school in New England. In the space of but eight short years, in a town where there had been no Catholics, St. Marys Church came to number 150 parishioners who lived in the Claremont or the surrounding area. This meant that in 1826 there were more Catholics in Claremont and the surrounding area than in the entire state. Before becoming a Catholic priest, the Rev. Virgil Barber had been the second principal of Fairfield Academy at Fairfield, New York with its attached medical school, it being the fifth medical school to be established in the young nation. There was the family of Noah and Nabby (Barber) Tyler whose son William became the first American-born born bishop in New England. Their three daughters born in Derby, Vermont or Claremont, N. H., Rosetta, Martha, and Catherine were among the very early members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Sisters of Charity at Emmitsburg, Maryland. There is also the story of Fanny Allen the daughter of General Ethan Allen of Revolutionary War fame and Frances Montressor Buchanan Allen, born in Sunderland, Vermont who became the first American-born woman in New England to become a Catholic religious sister. In Cornish, New Hampshire we have the story of Sarah Chase, the daughter of Doctor Solomon and Sarah March Chase, who became an Ursuline sister at Mount Benedict, in Charlestown, Massachusett. In the Revolution Colonel Chase served as Surgeon General to three New Hampshire regiments. Then in Claremont, N.H. their is the story of the daughter of Colonel Joseph and Esther York Alden, Caroline Alden who also entered the Ursulime community at Mount Benedict. Her father, Joseph Alden, was a direct descendant of John Alden who came over on the Mayflower whose name was made famous by Longfellows poem of John and Priscilla and Captain Miles Standish.