|ON THE MISSION IN MISSOURI & FIFTY YEARS AGO|
On the Mission in Missouri: 1857-1868 and Fifty Years Ago: A Memoir are two Irish-American classics. Father John Joseph Hogan, missionary priest and first bishop of St. Joseph and of Kansas City Missouri, was also a gifted writer. Most of On the Mission describes his mission life north Missouri before and during the Civil War but it also contains the only known firsthand account of his Irish Wilderness colony in the southeast Missouri Ozarks. Few recollections of an Irish country childhood are as beautifully told as in his memoir: Fifty Years Ago. Written in 1898, Hogan looks back on his early schooling, his emigration from Ireland to America and arrival in St. Louis and acceptance into Carondelet seminary.
We have delved as deeply as time and resources would allow into the life and times of John Hogan. Introductions to each book provide biographical and historical context that should help modern readers understand the young priest’s own life and how the times in which he lived affected and influenced his actions. His books end as he surveys the sorry condition of his first bishopric, the new See of St. Joseph, Missouri in 1868. With a final chapter on his life as a bishop, we carry his story to its end February 23, 1913 in Kansas City. A timeline puts in chronological order the significant events of his life.
These are not facsimile editions of Hogan’s original volumes. While we have used a light hand in editing, we have re-typeset the text, reformatted paragraphs, and corrected some typos. Photographs, footnotes, and explanatory text are all original to this edition.
The Catholic Key Review March 2010 By Bishop Emeritus Raymond J. Boland
If Charles Dickens hadn’t published A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 I would have been tempted to title the republication of Bishop Hogan’s two narratives A Tale of Two Countries. That is what they are. On the Mission In Missouri is John Hogan’s first-hand account of his life as a missionary priest in the United States specifically and successfully embedding the Catholic Church in the northwest corner of our nation’s 24th state in the mid 1800s. His much shorter book, Fifty Years Ago: A Memoir nostalgically recalls his childhood and teenage years in County Limerick, Ireland.