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Charles Constantine Pise

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Name  Charles Pise
Role  Writer
Education  Georgetown College

Charles Constantine Pise httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons55

Died  1866, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Books  Father Rowland, St. Ignatius and His First Companions

Charles Constantine Pise, SJ, (1801–1866) was a Roman Catholic priest and writer.


Charles Constantine Pise The Founders of the Jesuits Amazoncouk Charles Constantine Pise


Born in Annapolis, Maryland, on 22 November 1801, "the son of an Italian father and a mother who came from an old Philadelphia family," he was educated at Georgetown College in Washington, D.C., sent to Rome to continue studies, and entered the Society of Jesus as a novice. He left the Jesuits when the death of his father caused him to return to America and was ordained a diocesan priest in 1825.

He also spent the years 1821-1822 at Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. During his stay there, his classmates included three future archbishops: John McCloskey, John Baptist Purcell, and John Hughes.

He wrote several works in prose and verse, and was a distinguished lecturer and preacher. Among his many literary works, he wrote three Catholic devotional novels and one semi-fictional work, Letters to Ada. Between 1827 and 1830, he published a five-volume History of the Church from Its Establishment to the Present Century though the work stopped at the sixteenth century. In honor of this effort, Pope Gregory XVI made him a knight of the Sacred Palace and Count Palatine, "the first time these honors had come to an American." At this point, he was also made a knight of the Holy Roman Empire and was granted a Doctor of Divinity degree by examination.

During these years, Pise was an assistant at St. Patrick's Church in Washington, DC. Henry Clay arranged for him to be appointed Chaplain of the Senate for 1832-1833. Pise was the first (and, to date, only) Roman Catholic United States Senate Chaplain, coming into that office on December 11, 1832. Answering objections to the presence of a Catholic in such a prominent government role, and prefiguring a similar speech by John F. Kennedy more than 125 years later, on July 4, 1833, Pise made "an eloquent address" before the Maryland House of Delegates describing in what sense he felt an American Catholic owed 'allegiance' to the Pope.

In 1849, he was assigned as rector at Saint Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn, New York; he died in Brooklyn on May 26, 1866.


Pise had a career of such prominence that it was unusual he was not made a bishop. One biographer suggests that his friendship with Catholic intellectual Orestes Brownson may have been the problem, at a time when the American Church was turning away from intellectualism as a result of growing Irish domination. Alternatively, the same biographer suggests that it may have been an anti-Irish, anti-Jesuit streak in Ambrose Maréchal, Bishop of Baltimore, which led him to suppress this logical cap to Pise's career.


Charles Constantine Pise Wikipedia