The Cross and the Shamrock eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about The Cross and the Shamrock.

It was by such communings and conversations as the foregoing, during the leisure hours of aunt Judy and her loved Ali’, that mutual confidence and disinterested friendship grew into maturity between them—­the childish and helpless simplicity of the one, and kind and good-natured condescension of the other, producing the like effects in the hearts of both respectively—­that is, disinterested friendship.  Yet strong as this friendship was, and enthusiastic as was the love of Judy for her “rosy-cheeked” favorite, they were not sufficient to cause her to reveal the secret of her birth and adoption, even at this hour of Alia’s deepest grief and affliction.

There were two causes for this her unaccountable silence.  Firstly, she had promised not to mention the slightest circumstance connected with the adopted child, and she feared punishment from the anger of her proud massa, whose disgrace might be the consequence.  And again, having been in the habit of hearing all sorts of reflections on the “Irish,” whom some mad abolitionists would gladly enslave in place of the blacks, poor Judy thought to save Alia from the mortification of finding herself “Irish,” by her equivocation and falsehood.



Paul O’Clery had been appointed pastor of one of the principal churches in the second city in the Union, as we have before mentioned, and already the evidences of the “care of souls” with which he was charged for several years began to manifest themselves on his placid brow.  His was a life of unceasing activity.  The visitations of the sick, the calls of charity, the hearing of confessions, together with the instruction of youth and the preaching of God’s word,—­these, the ordinary lot of pastors, constituted but a share, and not the largest one, of his onerous duties.  Ever mindful of his own destitute condition while an orphan deprived of both parents, all the orphans of the thickly-inhabited district that constituted his mission became objects of his special care.  And at a time when such an institution as a Catholic orphanage was regarded as visionary, or the ephemeral creation of a too ardent zeal, this good pastor succeeded in founding and supporting an asylum which has since become of incalculable value, not only to the Catholics as a body, but to the inhabitants of the whole city and state.  A house of refuge for repentant Magdalens, placed under the care of the Sisters of Mercy, commanded his next care.  In a word, the founding of schools, hospitals, confraternities, guilds, and other pious institutions exercised all of his time that was not devoted to his strictly ecclesiastical duties; so that his sister Bridget, known in religion as Sister St. John of the Cross, complained a good deal of his want of charity in not having visited her but once in seven years.  “Ad majorem Dei gloriam,”—­“To the greater glory of God,”—­was this pious Levite’s motto; and he was dead to all the ties of flesh and blood, and heedless of all calls save those of charity to his God and his neighbor.

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The Cross and the Shamrock from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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