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Bishop Baraga - Apostle to the Chippwas

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BY JOSEPH GREGORICH - Small booklet - 74 pages

Frederic Baraga was born in Slovenia to a very pious family of the lower nobility when George Washington was president of a newly founded republic in the New World. The ‘Northwest Territories,’ where this newly born child was destined to spend thirty years of his life as a missionary to the Indian Nations of the western Great Lakes, had just been ceded to the new nation upon her independence from England and would soon be incorporated into the United States.
After being counselled by his friend and confessor in Vienna, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, he was ordained and after a few years service in Slovenia he decided to become a missionary in the new world and was accepted by Bishop Fenwick for work in the diocese of Cincinnatti.
Bishop Baraga was well known and loved during his lifetime, and his letters about his missionary work among the Chippewa and other Indian Nations were published widely in Europe, inspiring Saint John Neumann and Father Francis Xavier Pierz, among many others, to emigrate to the United States. He spent his life working for the conversion of the native inhabitants of this new young nation, and most certainly wished that the Faith would be more widely accepted here by all men, natives and immigrants alike.
Venerable Irenaeus Frederic Baraga (June 29, 1797–January 19, 1868), Pray for us!

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface to the 2018 edition    
Author’s Preface
I. A Stranger in a Strange Land    
II. The Saintly Youth
III. The Zealous Curate
IV. Where the Harvest Is Rich and the Workers Are Few
V. On His Way to the Indians
VI. The Indians Around the Upper Great Lakes
VII. The Beginning of His Immortal Labors
VIII. He Blesses His First Church
IX. He Establishes a Mission at Grand River
X. Surrounded by Wickedness
XI. His Influence Causes His Removal
XII. He Comes to the Chippewas
XIII. A Parish in the Wilderness
XIV. The Beginning of the Famous L’Anse Mission
XV. Lauded for His Successful Labors
XVI. His Arduous and Perilous Missionary Journeys
XVII. Remarkable Deliverances
XVIII. The Father of Indian Literature
XIX. A Bishop to the Indians
XX. The Itinerant Bishop
XXI. Work Was His Life
XXII. Age and Hardships Begin to Levy Their Toll
XXIII. The Beginning of the End
XXIV. To the Last, a Missionary to the Indians
XXV. His Edifying Death
XXVI. A Saintly Genius
Notes

Loreto Publications’ Preface
to the 2018 Edition

Loreto Publications believes that Bishop Baraga deserves to be better known by a new generation of Catholic Americans.
This is a reprint of a book written about Bishop Baraga in 1932. The information for The Apostle of the Chippewas was largely taken from the book published in 1900 by Fr. Chrysostomus Verwyst, OFM entitled The Life and Labors of the Rt. Rev. Frederick Baraga that is long out of print.  Maria Volp recently reprinted a number of copies of this 1932 book by Joseph Gregorich. This edition by Loreto is taken from her reprinting of the original 1932 edition. It is an easy-to-read summary of the life of Bishop Baraga. Maria Volp did choose to delete chapter six, which was not about the life of Baraga, but an explanation of the Native American culture in the nineteenth century. She considered the descriptions to be a little culturally insensitive and she thought it better to print the book without that chapter. In the preface to her reprinting ‘Servant’ Maria Volp stated:
“We have produced this reproduction of “The Apostle of the Chippewas” with the hope that more people will become familiar with the life of Bishop Baraga, be inspired by his heroic example, instructed by his teachings, and ask his intercession as they strive to follow our Lord. May each person realize that they, too, are called to be a missionary wherever God has placed them using the talents he has given them to bring the Gospel where it is not yet known or it has been forgotten.”
Loreto applauds her sentiments, and we are firmly convinced that no study of the history and growth of the Faith in America would be complete without the story of this good missionary Bishop forming an integral part of that study. He was well known and loved during his lifetime, and his letters about his missionary work were published widely in Europe, inspiring Saint John Neumann and Father Francis Xavier Pierz among many others to emigrate to the United States. He was born shortly after this nation was founded, and most certainly wished that the Faith would be more widely accepted here by all men, natives and immigrants as well.
Venerable Irenaeus Frederic Baraga (June 29, 1797–January 19, 1868), Pray for us!

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