Friday and Saturday, October 26-27, 2007

The St. John’s University School of Law

8000 Utopia Parkway

Jamaica, Queens, New York 11439



Dr. Patrick Foley


Dr. Patrick Foley is Editor Emeritus of "Catholic Southwest: A Journal of History and Culture", having retired as founding Editor of this journal in 2006.   He has taught at several colleges or universities over the years: the College of Notre Dame in California, the University of San Francisco, Chaminade University of Hawaii, the College of Santa Fe, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, from where he retired as Emeritus in 2002.   Currently he is adjunct Professor at Columbia College of Missouri's NAS Fort Worth JRB campus.   Dr. Foley earned his doctorate in history from the University of New Mexico, with a focus on Catholic Spain.   His M.A. in history is from Santa Clara University, with a focus on Catholic England.   He is finishing his third book, on the life of Jean-Marie Odin, C.M., first Bishop of Galveston and second Archbishop of New Orleans.   He is working on a book on the Catholics in the South with Michael Glazier.   Altogether he has about 140 publications, including contributions to books, journal articles, and book reviews.  In 1987 he wrote an essay for Pope John Paul II on the history of Catholic Texas.  For that effort he was awarded a papal medallion.  He is on the editorianl board of "Boletin," journal of the California Mission Studies Association, is editorial consulatant the the SCSS's "The Review", and belongs to several

scholarly societies   He is a Fellow of the Texas Catholic Historical Society.   He lives with his family in Azle, Texas, just north of Fort Worth.


Patrick Foley, Ph.D.

Editor Emeritus

Catholic Southwest: A Journal of History and Culture

Adjunct Professor of History, Columbia College

of Missouri, NAS Fort Worth JRB Campus


Catholics of the South: Historical Perspectives


Any historical study of Catholics of the American South would have to research into

the narrative of people with a common but complicated heritage.   Theirs is a cultural legacy, a civilization, molded from their Catholicism as well as an identity oftentimes--thought not always--reflecting influences from the region of the nation wherein they live.  

This essay will attempt to search out and assess some of the more significant aspects

of what it meant to be both a Southerner and a Catholic.   Seen in the context of a Catholic presence being planted and then in certain areas of that expansive region that came to be known as the South, maturing from a community or perhaps individual bases--municipalities, families, personages, and such-- who were some of the more well known Catholic Southerners?  


Such an investigation would have to consider the nature of the Catholic Southerners.   Were they Catholics who came to the South as immigrants, were they southern-born Catholics, were their lives strongly influenced by their being born in another country or perhaps a different part of the United States, and so much more?  How deeply were they Catholic and how much were they Southern?   Were they clerical, religious, or lay people--male or female?   How did these considerations impact their being Catholics as well as Southerners?   Some well-known Southern Catholics will be mentioned, people such as Father Abram Ryan, the poet-priest of the Confederacy; Gen-eral Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, a ranking Confederate general of a French Catholic family background from New Orleans; and, among others, Naval officer Raphael Semmes, hero of the U.S.-Mexican War and captain of the Confederate Navy warship Alabama during the American Civil War.   All of this and other considerations must be covered in “Catholics of the South: Historical Perspectives.”