Ven. Samuel Mazzuchelli, Missionary to the Early American Frontier

Mar 02, 2020 509

BY: Michael O’Neill

Brother Samuel Mazzuchelli was glad to leave New York City. The 22-year-old Italian Dominican had grown up in the neighborhood around Milan’s great cathedral and had seen Europe’s most beautiful cities from Rome to Paris, but the New York of 1828, growing grand on the spoils of westward expansion and the labor of poor immigrants, had convinced him that material splendor and spiritual corruption went hand-in-hand.

When he reached Philadelphia, though, his classically-trained Italian tastes couldn’t help admiring the order of the well-planned city, and in Baltimore, the neoclassical architecture of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. This was the last of any real civilization he was to see for a while. His destination, Cincinnati, where fellow Dominican and diligent missionary Bishop Edward Fenwick looked forward to his arrival, was a distant 800 miles away.

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