Father Nelson Baker

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
Father Nelson Baker was a remarkable person of history. A leading Catholic that was well known for supporting the poor and the education of youth....Father Bakers name is still renown here in my hometown Buffalo, NY. Father Bakers institutions continue to this day and while he was best known for his contributions to social needs in the 20th century, Father Baker also served during the US civil war on the Union side.

The Civil War
In June 1863, General Robert E. Lee and his Confederate army had moved into southern Pennsylvania. Fearful that the enemy would soon reach New York, the state called for 20,000 new recruits. On the evening of Nelson's enlistment, he and his fellow recruits were sworn in and boarded the train for Harrisburg, Pa. Nelson's regiment, the 74th New York, served with bravery and distinction there, protecting bridges and an aqueduct as the Confederate troops were forced to retreat.

The term of enlistment was only 30 days and the men of the 74th were expected to return to Buffalo in mid-July, but a dire emergency arose in New York City when rioting mobs began to cause havoc. Nelson and his comrades spent two days there, and, together with several other companies of the state militia, were successful in quelling the riots. On July 21, 1863, the members of the 74th Regiment returned to Buffalo.

Once home, Nelson settled into his old routine, working in his father's store. Around that time, his friend Joe Meyer approached him with a proposal. Joe wanted to open a feed and grain business with Nelson to take advantage of Buffalo's booming economy. Nelson accepted, and Meyer and Baker, a profitable and successfully endeavor for many years, was born.



Pope Benedict officially recognized the heroic virtues of 20th century American priest Fr. Nelson Baker, which moves the beloved champion for the poor further along in the process towards sainthood.

Fr. Baker – who was born in Buffalo, New York in 1842 – lived to be 95 years old and is heralded for building what's been called a “city of charity” in Lackawana, New York. By the time of his death in 1936, his initiatives for the poor included a minor basilica, an infant home, a home for unwed mothers, a boys' orphanage, a hospital, a nurses' home, and an elementary and high school.

 
Jun 2017
734
maine
Father Nelson Baker was a remarkable person of history. A leading Catholic that was well known for supporting the poor and the education of youth....Father Bakers name is still renown here in my hometown Buffalo, NY. Father Bakers institutions continue to this day and while he was best known for his contributions to social needs in the 20th century, Father Baker also served during the US civil war on the Union side.
Catholic priests played important--and varied--roles in those ACW years and in the period that followed. Here in Maine was Father John Bapst who was robbed, tarred & feathered by a mob; he went on to be the first president of Boston College. In lthe post-war years, Maine had an active chapter of KKK: its target was not blacks, but Catholics. Right in my own town, a Fiery Cross was erected (it was torn down by a force of local French-Canadians). Down in the Diocese of Boston, Father Hilary Tucker also served in the ACW but his sympathies were violently pro-CSA.

It would be interesting to trace the influence of religion (of all persuasions) on the war and the post-war period. Quakers in Maine were divided: some refused to participate in fighting while others felt that slavery was so abhorrent that they enlisted. Some churches were opposed to the War while others were abolitionist.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoanOfArc007

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
Catholic priests played important--and varied--roles in those ACW years and in the period that followed. Here in Maine was Father John Bapst who was robbed, tarred & feathered by a mob; he went on to be the first president of Boston College. In lthe post-war years, Maine had an active chapter of KKK: its target was not blacks, but Catholics. Right in my own town, a Fiery Cross was erected (it was torn down by a force of local French-Canadians). Down in the Diocese of Boston, Father Hilary Tucker also served in the ACW but his sympathies were violently pro-CSA.

It would be interesting to trace the influence of religion (of all persuasions) on the war and the post-war period. Quakers in Maine were divided: some refused to participate in fighting while others felt that slavery was so abhorrent that they enlisted. Some churches were opposed to the War while others were abolitionist.
Good thoughts. In terms of religious influence on the civil war...There was the revivals among the confederacy as well as Union.


I believe that Father Baker became more religious after the civil war. I know that Nelson Baker became Father Baker after the civil war. But I wonder what effect those war years had upon Father Bakers life.
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
Btw Duncanness what more do you know of Father Bapst? He sounds like an interesting man. Does Father Bapst have monuments in your area?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,995
Dispargum
The Presbyterian Church in the USA was founded in 1789. In 1838, it split into New School and Old School factions over issues that had nothing to do with slavery. New School Presbyterians were generally in favor of modern reforms and eventually did support abolition. In 1861, the Old School Presbyterians adopted the Gardiner Spring Resolutions calling on all Presbyterians to support the federal government as a matter of religious duty. The South naturally objected, and by the end of 1861 had withdrawn from the PCUSA and instead formed the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America. There were no constitutional differences between PCUSA and PCCSA except their names. After the war PCCSA changed its name to PC in the US. Border state Presbyterians usually defected from the Northern PCUSA to the PCUS. In the 1880s some Southern Presbyteries adopted anti-evolution policies. PCUSA and PCUS did not reunite until 1983.

 
  • Like
Reactions: JoanOfArc007

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,065
USA
Here in Buffalo practically all kids have been told by their parents if you dont listen you will be sent to Father Bakers. One of Bakers institutes was a center for juvenile delinquents....kids who would rob stores perhaps even commit violent acts. Father Baker had the vision of reforming criminals at a very young age, its something today that is a genuine lesson to learn from. The truth is that while parents including my own would threaten going to Father Bakers for misbehaving..Father Baker wanted to help youngsters that got into trouble.

1576211491615.png
More than 100,000 boys, including this group, passed through Father Baker’s orphanage. (Photo courtesy of Rev. Msgr. Paul J.E. Burkard, president of Our Lady of Victory Institutions)

 
Jun 2017
734
maine
Btw Duncanness what more do you know of Father Bapst? He sounds like an interesting man. Does Father Bapst have monuments in your area?
Father Bapst, Swiss by birth, is much beloved by the French-Canadian population. He was distinguished as a scholar and a cleric. He was attacked by a mob of "Know-Nothings" in Ellsworth, Maine in the late 1850's; although he survived and went on to achieve much, he never really recovered and became quite confused mentally toward the end of his life. The New England Historical Society put a pretty complete biography online: Fr. John Bapst Survives Tar & Feathers, Becomes 1st Boston College President - New England Historical Society I don't know of any specific monuments to him (but certainly there may be something in Bangor, Maine or on the Boston College campus); he has been honored by the naming of several institutions: John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor (great football team), Boston College’s Bapst Art Library and Bapst Student Art Gallery in Boston