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The French Revolution. — Father Nerinckx resolves to go to the American missions. — An account of his vocation. — Princess Gallitzin recommends him to Bishop Carroll. — She meets him in Amsterdam. — Annoying delay. — Father Nerinckx embarks for America. — A floating hell.
Religious persecution had now lasted eight years. Direful for France and its conquered provinces was the tempest which had broken forth in 1793, with all the seething fury with thirty years of ill-concealed agitation, despairingly kept down with the powerless grasp of a dying government, had lent to the hideous monster of the Revolution. The declaration of the rights of man became its code of morals, murder and pillage its civil law; and the climax of anarchy was reached, when a blood-thirsty mob piled the tottering frame of a communistic republic upon the gored remains of the once glorious royalty of la belle France. Louis XVI, its too good-natured monarch, the enfeebled personification of ten centuries of Bourbon and Capetian glory, carried with him to the scaffold the noble memories of the most christian people. With p27 the mangled corpse of the nation's murdered king, the Revolution buried the catholic annals of the Gesta Dei per Francos,1 so nobly begun by Clodwig on the plains of Tolbiac, and so successfully continued by his successors.
And, as the sturdy oak, tottering under the repeated blows of the treacherous ax, crushes in its fall the vigorous saplings thriving under the protecting shade of its leafy crown, so the old royalty of France carried with it in its ruin the noble chevaliers who owed to the king their luster, wealth and titles, and whose fathers had stood by the throne, ever ready to defend it with their swords or protect it with their shields. The most noble houses of France were shaken to their very foundations; their scions were exiled or decapitated, and the blasphemous wish of the ribald Voltaire was well nigh carried out: "the last nobleman hung with the entrails of the last of catholic priests."
For the catholic priest was always and everywhere identified with the party of order. Slander and bigotry may delight in misrepresenting in the eyes of the people, and call him the enemy of the State; but, when aiming at the subversion of a government, the lawless rioters know full well that the priesthood is the main bulwark of society, and their first blows are directed against it. Nor was the case altered in this particular instance; clergymen were persecuted and hunted down with ferocious and dogged p28 tenacity. Churches and sanctuaries desecrated, altars leveled with the ground, convents and monasteries pillaged and sacked; such were the sad sights which, amid the smoking ruins of medieval castles and more humble hamlets, proclaimed to the world the shame of France, and the fate that awaited countries, which, like Belgium, had to curb their neck under the iron heel of the murderous French Directory.
Thousands of priests were massacred or imprisoned; and such as succeeded in making good their escape, deemed themselves happy to forego, by a voluntary exile from their native land, the dreaded transportation to the penal colonies. And so, the loss of France and Belgium became America's gain. To the dreadful calamities of the church in these countries, we owe a Flaget, a David, a Bruté, a Dubourg, the saintly Bishops and Patriarchs of the young American Church, and the pioneers of christian civilization in the West. To the persecution of the Catholic Church in the Old World, we are indebted for a Gallitzin, a Richard, a Badin, a Nerinckx, and so many others, who, if not clothed with the purple, because of their humility, would have honored it by their virtues, and who increased the sphere of their usefulness by remaining in the comparatively humble position of the missionary priest, in the beginning of this century.
Surrounded by continual perils, and unable to foresee how long this religious subversion would p29 last, Father Nerinckx began to think seriously of devoting himself to the missions, about the year 1800.
In his mind, there was no vocation as sublime as the one of the Apostolic ministry; and being so very humble that he called himself "a miserable sinner utterly incompetent for the missions," he hardly dared to think that he was called to that hard but glorious office. Yet his burning zeal for the salvation of souls led him to consult friends, and weigh their advice, whilst he earnestly considered before God the qualities requisite for that sublime calling, and sought to find out the designs of Providence concerning his future life. It was during that time he wrote his little treatise, "De missionariis selecta quaedam," above referred to.
"My intention at that time," he writes, "was to go to any place, even among the Indians, where it was thought I could do some good. Monseigneur Ciamberlani, the Nuncio of the Pope, had offered me to go to his mission, the Cape of Good Hope; but he wanted me to have a companion of our language, which I had not." He may also have thought of joining the Rev. Mr. Carron and his own brother in London; and foreseeing that sooner or later he would go on the mission, "because forced to acknowledge that God favored his wishes better than he ever dared to expect,"2 he applied to the Very Rev. DeLandtsheere, Vicar-general of Mechlin, then in prison, p30 for testimonial letters, which the confessor of the faith willingly granted, September 20, 1801, and authenticated with the archiepiscopal seal.
Whilst undecided where God wanted him, he heard, in 1802, of a letter said to have been written by Rev. Stanislaus Cersonmont to his half-brother, Rev. Gouppi, secretary to the Prince Bishop of Liege. One of his friends, aware of his intention, procured him a copy of the letter, dated July 20, 1801, at Conewago, in the Diocese of Baltimore, where the presumed writer was stationed as a missionary priest. The letter was neither genuine nor accurate, as Rev. Nerinckx found out later, but it exposed a true want of missionary priests, and it prompted him to select the American mission in preference to any other. The reasons for his choice are forcibly set forth in the following letter, addressed to a former friend, and dated
"Holy Mary's at the Rolling Fork.
January 23, 1806.
"Reverend and dear Friend:
"Not to be wanting to our intimate friendship, nor deserve the reproach of delay, or even of negligence, in so important a cause as the honor of God, the propagation of the faith, the salvation of our neighbor and of our own soul, I can not help writing letter upon letter to call with loud cries, vigorous laborers to one of the most plentiful harvests, and seek in every direction whatever is needed to labor there. We agreed, when we p31 last said farewell, to employ all our zeal to succor, in person, our brethren in America, who suffer and die of spiritual hunger; and, till that end is obtained, to endeavor to secure the concurrence of men better fitted than ourselves in word and prayer. Let us keep our word. Let us not lose courage, although our first attempts have not answered our expectations. Persuade the good whom you find; send the generous men whom you may convince. The plan to be adopted, and the means to be used, were suggested in my letters last year. You have, doubtless, received them. If the motives and reasons which induced me to undertake this voyage can persuade others to follow, you may submit to them the following.
"In accordance with the parable of the Gospel, 'I first sat down and reckoned the charges that were necessary,' counting my resources with the utmost circumspection; and after repeated meditations on the subject, I found the following motives for setting out:
"1. The danger of my own defection from the faith, either by being perverted or by falling into error, if I remained at home; and the almost utter uselessness of my presence in Belgium in the actual state of affairs.
"2. The not unreasonable hope of promoting the honor of God under this severe menace: 'Woe to me if I have not preached the Gospel.'
"3. The inclination of the American people p32 toward the catholic religion, and the want of priests.
"4. The urgent opportunity of paying my evangelical debt of ten thousand talents. A dignified sinner in my own land which abounds in advantages, I almost despaired of doing real penance and making due satisfaction. Hence I concluded that I had to undertake unavoidable toils and sorrows.
"5. The favorable advice of competent persons, who whose counsel I did not deem it prudent to act.
"Such were the principal motives of my resolution, and they were strengthened by the following thoughts well suited to spur me on:
"First. The necessity, especially for his ministers, of a lively and abiding faith in God. The objects of this faith were: 1. The greatness and majesty of God, his domain over, and right to, our ministry, and our duty to serve him, everywhere. 'I am thy servant and the son of thy handmaid. All serve thee; how shall I not serve thee?' I also considered the quite incomprehensible honor with which he has deigned to clothe us by introducing us into the holy of holies, and by ranking us with the princes of his people; an honor which God surely did not confer upon us to let us stand idle. 2. The labors, sweat, and sorrows of Jesus, our master, in every way so worthy of love, and of his disciples, with whose sufferings we are acquainted. 3. Soldiers of earthly kings serve them without p33 choice, and are forced to serve them for a ration of bread and water; and what trials do they not meet with, under how many forms do they not face death without any remuneration? Can it then seem equitable for us to shrink under any pretext whatever from the sweet yoke or service of the Lord, who holds out to us to great a recompense? 4. True, there are the dangers of the sea; but merchants expose to the same or greater dangers their money, their goods, their bodies, their souls, their families; and yet when they are broken down and exhausted by labors, they still find themselves empty-handed.
"Second. A firm hope of securing an eternal reward for ourselves, and of procuring it to so many others whom we will perhaps lead back from the ways of error; hence the hope of increasing God's glory, and of obtaining from Him, who is our stay and support, reasonable aid. The horror of eternal pains, which, according to the judgment already written, await the wicked and slothful servant, and will torture him forever.
"Third. A burning zeal for the salvation of souls, with the assurance of God's help, the protection of the Blessed Virgin, etc. St. Ignatius preferred to live in the uncertainty of his own salvation and labor for his neighbor's soul, than to die at once with the certainty of being saved. Aided by these and kindred thoughts, I felt arising in me that fortitude which enabled me to p34 say, when the storm of objections arose, 'What I have resolved, I have resolved.'
"The objections which I successively answered, and my replies to them, were the following:
First objection. You must have a vocation.
"Reply. 1. But it need not be confirmed by miracles. 2. I am a priest, and it is rather late to raise doubts as to my vocation. Better examine a vocation before ordination, than hesitate after being initiated into the holy ministry. To be a parish priest, with care of souls, in Belgium, requires a divine vocation just as well. Comforts of life, affection for parents, love of home, or a clinging to one's native soil or house, through puerile attachment, do not supply a surer testimony in the choice of a state of life. We have rarely heard the excuse of want of vocation alleged when there was question of accepting a parish. When a rich benefice is vacant, powerful motives are needed, not to induce most men to accept, but on the contrary to prevent men from seizing it. When you can get an advantageous position, you find a vocation readily; but when there is question of going to undertake labors abroad, vocation is doubtful! Moreover, the vocation is not wanting to him who is called; but, now and then, the one called is unfaithful to his vocation.
"Second objection. The faithful in Belgium also require our help.
"Reply. Only those who choose to stand in p35 need of help, suffer for the want of it; those who choose to look for it, can easily find it. Alt, there is certainly more need of our presence in America, where there are not two priests to a league, aye, where there is not a priest to be found within •a hundred miles, whilst the Catholics multiply in numbers, and the Word sown there produces fruit a hundred fold — that Word, now so unpalatable to most Belgians.
"Third objection. The people will perhaps say, 'If all the good priests go, what will become of us?'
"Reply. Who are you, who suffer yourself to be called good? Only trust in your vocation, expecting all from God's goodness. And even so, neither should the wicked, who neglect serious amendment, leave their country to go to fields ripe for the harvest; nor will all the good ones go. But if, by a just judgment of God, all the good ones did go, He is the Master — let Him do what is good in His sight. But, in the meantime, what evil hast thou prevented in thy own country? What errors hast thou opposed? What corruptions hast thou extirpated? What violations of the law of God hast thou not consented to? etc., etc. Weep, then, over thyself, and take pity on thy own soul. If apostolic men had remained in their own country — and their number was small enough — we should not have been christians to‑day. Should we then not pity our brethren?
p36 "Fourth objection. We need means, money, aptitude.
"Reply. As to means and aptitude, the judgment must be left to prudent men, who do not belong to your family; and who, although not bound to do the same, are not over-partial to those who are interested in the matter. As to money, God will provide it, my son.
"Fifth objection. Our parents, who need help or consolation, will be afflicted.
"Reply. Remember that the priest belongs to the Lord, and not to his own father. Assist your parents as much as you can, and provide for the future; but remember, too, that you must be about your heavenly Father's business. As to the precept of leaving father and mother for God's sake, examine the Scriptures, the acts and lives of the Apostles, and the examples of the Saints.
"You see, then, dear friend, what induced me to undertake this journey. I have never yet repented coming; and, if any one of these motives can be useful to another, I willingly permit him to adopt them, and confirm them by new and better ones. There are, doubtless, many stronger and more cogent reasons. But, as those I have set forth suffice for me, who am so obtuse, and whose heart is so slow and perverse, I do not see why I should insist further.
"I commend myself earnestly to your prayers, p37 your holy sacrifices and other pious works, and subscribe myself,
"Your very devoted servant,
"Missionary in America."3
Having succeeded in obtaining an interview with his old and tried friend, Very Rev. Delandtsheere, November 16, 1803, Father Nerinckx laid his resolution before him, and the Vicar General heartily endorsed it, promising, at the same time, to write to Bishop Carroll, of Baltimore, in his behalf. However, the imprisoned priest was unable to fulfil his promise; for, on the nineteenth of the same month, he was hurried off to Paris by a brutal soldiery, there to be tried and convicted for his fidelity to God and to His representative on earth.
Rev. Nerinckx had hardly left the prison which he had visited in disguise, when suspicions about their visitor's real character induced the officers of the law to follow him in hot pursuit, not soon enough, however, to overtake him. Foreseeing the result of his bold adventure, Father Nerinckx got them off the track by retiring, for a few days, to his parents' home in Ninove, until the excitement would subside.
But he lost no time; from this new place of p38 concealment, and without telling his family any thing about his intentions, he applied to Bishop Carroll, by letter of November 20, 1803, for admission to his diocese. He also secretly advised his friend, Mr. Peemans, a pious and estimable merchant of Brussels, of this step; a happy thought, inspired, no doubt, into our missionary by an ever-watchful Providence. For, the prelates to whom Rev. Nerinckx referred in his letter of application, as willing to testify to his character and good intentions, viz.: Cardinal de Frankenberg, Archbishop of Mechlin, and Bishop Vandevelde, of Ruremonde, were at that time unable to render him that kind office, being held in close confinement in the dungeons of the French Republic. Bishop Carroll might have had his misgivings about accepting a stranger among the priests of his diocese, under such unfavorable circumstances. But Mr. Peemans, being a pious catholic and a prominent man of the Belgian capital, corresponded with many distinguished persons attached to the persecuted faith, who were able and willing to do some good to proscribed priests. He accordingly wrote to Princess Gallitzin, whom he had frequently met during his stay in the Netherlands, and who, he knew, had a son, the renowned priest, Prince Demetrius Gallitzin on the American mission. The following extract of a letter of the Princess to Bishop Carroll, dated Munster, 1803, tells the result:
p39 "My Lord Bishop:
. . . . . . . "And now, Monseigneur, I have to speak to you about a subject almost as interesting to my heart as that which I just treated [viz., the welfare of her son]; it is the question of help for your dear mission, which my son and yourself, Monseigneur, deigned to ask of me for many years.
"I always did what was in my power, without being able to find any one whose honesty of purpose I could answer for, up to this time, when, by the mediation of a friend, a priest as noted for his science as for his virtue, I have found two men of great worth and entirely reliable: Mr. Nerinckx and one of his relations. The first, lately a curé in the Netherlands, is preparing to leave for Baltimore, having already studied some English, to render himself useful to the mission. He comes, highly recommended by two persons of the greatest merit: Monsieur de Venise, a priest, and Monsieur Peemans, a business man.
"Mr. Peemans, a valiant catholic, writes to me, as follows: 'Mr. Nerinckx was pastor under the old order of things, and would be so to‑day, if he thought he could subscribe to all the government asks of him, without jeopardizing his soul. The Rev. de Venise, who knows him well, having studied with him in the Seminary of Mechlin, testifies that he a first-class man; that when he was a curé he was truly the father p40 of every one of his parishioners; that his flock had such a veneration for his person that he controlled, so to say, every household. He was loved and cherished by all the children, whom he instructed and guided as a true missionary. As he can not remain idle, he made up his mind to go to Baltimore. He is studying English for that purpose; and as he may leave on short notice — since I have already made inquiries for a good stopping place in Amsterdam — I beg of you to send to Rev. Beckers, catholic priest in the Krytberg, on the Syngel, Amsterdam, the letters of recommendation to his Lordship of Baltimore, which you destined for him, as also your errands for that country. Mr. Nerinckx will be accompanied by one of his own kinsmen, a pupil of Monsieur de Venise, who goes to America with the same sentiments. He would already have been a priest, if, when he was ready, our bishops had had the power of ordaining priests for this diocese. He will take with him his exeat and other papers necessary for that purpose, hoping that the Bishop of Baltimore will ordain him. . . . .'
"Considering such respectable testimonials, I could not, Monseigneur, hesitate to present you, Mr. Nerinckx, and that, with all the greater assurance, that if I knew him personally I would only have my own poor judgment as a guarantee. . . .
"I must end my letter, not to run the p41 risk of not finding Mr. Nerinckx in Amsterdam.
'I remain, Monseigneur,
"Your most humble and obedient servant,
After having given to Bishop Carroll all the details about himself and his family, narrated in our first chapter, Father Nerinckx, speaking of the spurious document attributed to Reverend Cersonmont, which specially urged the want of German priests in America, concludes as follows: "These letters, if genuine, ought to excite any priest who is free and who has the glory of God and the salvation of souls ever so little at heart, to come to you. And although entirely unworthy of so noble a mission, although not a German, and speaking French very inaccurately, I have determined to come to you, not, to seek promotion or comfort, which, generously proffered in my native land, I refused without regret; but that I may save my own soul, and work a little for the spiritual welfare of my neighbor, if my superiors deem proper. My secondary motive is to encourage others, more able than I am, and who, because of the sad state of religion in Belgium, have nothing to do, to come also to the missions, and there exercise their well-known zeal."5
p42 Bishop Carroll received this letter May 31, 1804, and having subsequently received Princess Gallitzin's letter, he wrote to Father Nerinckx an answer — directed, at his request, to Mr. Provost, a rich Brussels merchant, Mey-boom street, No. 1067, in order not to set the blood-hounds of the Republic on his track — instructing him to come to America as soon as possible.
The priest's preparations were soon made. Having left the care of forwarding his luggage to the kind sisters of the hospital to which he had previously returned, he bade them a hasty farewell. On the morning of "the second day of July, 1804," he writes, "having left my parents and friends in ignorance, and without bidding them good-bye, I started from the Hospital of Dendermonde, where, being condemned to exile, I had remained unknown to the world."6
Father Nerinckx left on foot and without luggage, so as to avert suspicions, and not to give a scent to the gens d'armes always on the alert after him. Although all alone, and in constant danger of being arrested, he was in the best of humor, and arrived on the twelfth in Amsterdam, where he was met by Father Malavé, formerly pastor of Jodoigne, near Tirlemont.7 A letter to his aunt, Mother Constantia, written on p43 the very day of his arrival in that city, tells us how he fared on the way:
Amsterdam, July 12, 1804.
"Dear Aunt Superioress and the whole Holy Community:
"May God bless you all!
"Thanks be to the good God! I reached this city, in good health, to‑day towards eight o'clock, A.M., after a journey of nine days on foot and forty-eight hours on the water. I was all alone on my travels, hence I could not quarrel with any body; I had companions on board the ship, but they were not of the best. We had a heavy wind, and made twenty-six leagues in ten hours, although the wind was in no way favorable. I embarked at Breda, and sailed by Willemstad, Delft, Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Leyden and Haarlem, and saw very remarkable views on the way. Every where I wonder at the perfectly incredible cleanliness of the churches, especially of the catholic ones.
'I do not know when I will be able to continue my journey. I write this letter in all haste to let you know that I am safe, and hope to be able to write more details later. It may be, however, that we will not have to wait long here, for there are many occasions to sail. I hope you are all well, and that you remember me in your prayers, as I do you in mine, although they are poor prayers indeed. Greet Mr. D'haens (the director of the hospital), for me. p44 Be always very faithful to all your spiritual exercises, and, if possible, try to improve upon them; for your good will and zeal have to obtain your perseverance. Remember that the labor and sufferings are of short duration, and that the recompense is without end. If you think proper you can communicate this letter to my parents and friends, taking care, however, to explain to them, why I did not bid them farewell. As soon as I have made all necessary arrangements for my departure, I will write to them myself.
"I hope you have taken care of my trunks. If you write, address: Mr. Beckers op het Cingel in den Krytberg, Amsterdam;8 and inside: for Mr. Nerinckx.
In the midst of all his dangers and secret negotiations for a speedy embarkation, he never forgets his mission; his interest in the spiritual welfare of others never flags, and he finds time to encourage the good hospital sisters in the practice p45 of their devotional exercises, and excite them to work perseveringly for the sanctification of their souls.
Forced to use the greatest precautions in preparing for his emigration to America, Father Nerinckx "suffered the most annoying delay of a whole month at an inn in Amsterdam."10 Whilst there he had the good fortune of meeting the saintly Princess Gallitzin, who had come all the way from Munich to meet him. She intrusted to his care a box of goods and a letter for Prince Demetrius, her son, and favored him with the following letter for Bishop Carroll:
"Amsterdam, July 31, 1804.
"As the precarious condition of our property does not permit me to pass the season, as usual, at the baths, and as my physician, moreover, finds it absolutely necessary for my health that I should make a carriage journey of, at least, ten or twelve days, I chose coming to Amsterdam to see and speak with the missionaries, who are to have the honor of receiving your blessing, and are to see my dear son face to face . . .
"I have found, independently of Mr. Charles Nerinckx, whom I have already had the honor of announcing to you, in a letter dated at Munster, which, without doubt, has reached you long before this, Mr. François Malavé, another candidate perfectly recommended by all that p46 there is most pure in Brabant; he had come intending to accompany Mr. Nerinckx to Baltimore, to put himself under your orders, but it happened that the Jesuit Father Becker, curé here, authorized by the Father General, Gruber, to receive persons eligible for the Society, showed him a letter he had just received from the Father General, in which it was mentioned that you, Monseigneur, had presented thirteen of your missionaries for admission into the Society of Jesus. This letter, joined to the representations of Rev. Father Halnath, whom to name suffices to say all, and who, it may be remarked, in passing, had contributed no little toward attracting me here, determined Mr. Malavé to commence by passing several months at Duneburg, at the Jesuit novitiate, whence he begs you to have the goodness to reclaim him from the Superior General Gruber, as belonging to you, for he feels himself in the most special manner called to America, and only goes to Duneburg in order to make himself more capable of fulfilling your orders and intentions in whatever you may deign to use him.
"You will see in this, Monseigneur, what he has entreated me to say to you — he is not entirely decided himself how it will be — just as I am about leaving Amsterdam, where I have spent only three days, for and with the saintly personages who drew me here — I have not even an entire sheet of paper at hand, but I must still mention to you, Monseigneur, Mr. Charles Guny, p47 curé near Brabascon, who accompanies Mr. Nerinckx to Baltimore, undecided as yet whether he will there join the order of La Trappe, or whether God will call him to the missionary life, for which he now believes himself incapable: he has the same recommendations in his favor, and I do not think he will lose any thing in your estimation by his own opinion of himself.
"I venture to entreat you, Monseigneur, to write me a few words concerning these earnest men, who interest so many saintly souls here, and whom I hope you will like.
"I do not speak of the excellent news which Father Halnath brings us from St. Petersburg, whence he has just returned. The bearers of this letter will give you all the interesting details. God be blessed that His mercy deigns thus to repair the losses, which we have every day in the larger part of Europe, and to prepare us the missionaries, of which we shall soon have more need than the countries beyond the sea.
"I am with the most respectful attachment,
"Your most humble and obedient servant,
Faith Nerinckx was greatly edified by the solid piety of the Princess, and had several conferences on spiritual subjects with her. Among other sayings of hers, he always remembered p48 the seven spiritual pebbles of St. Teresa, by which to kill the Goliah of the world, which he sends to his aunt of Dendermonde, and which he doubtless often recalled in his instructions for the edification of his Loretto community. 1. Let nothing trouble you; 2. Let nothing frighten you; 3. Every thing passes away; 4. God alone is unchangeable;º 5. You will gain Him by patience; 6. Who has God, wants nothing; 7. God alone is sufficient.
Rev. Nerinckx finally succeeded in securing passage to America aboard an old, rickety ship, and with Father Charles Guny, a Benedictine priest, of Cambray, France, who afterward joined the Trappists, he embarked on the 14th of August, 1804, leaving Amsterdam the next day, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.12 The voyage lasted three months, "in the midst of various miseries, and dangers of all kinds;" the vessel was often in imminent danger of foundering at sea, and to add to the distress of our passengers, a contagious disease carried off forty-two of their number. Still, the crew was not chastened by the rod of affliction, and, the pious Father Nerinckx, speaking of the irreligion and immorality which reigned aboard this vessel, used to call it "a floating hell." He was wont to ascribe his preservation from shipwreck a special interposition of Divine Providence.
"We arrived in Baltimore," he wrote in 1811, p49 "the 14th of November, and were kindly received by Bishop Carroll. I remained a month in the maritime city of Baltimore; thence, I was sent to Georgetown, where I was entertained by the Right Rev. Leonard Neale with generous hospitality, in the College of the Jesuits, for a period of four months."
1 God's works are done by the Franks.
2 Letter of Rev. C. Nerinckx, of 1811.
4 MSS. letter in the archiepiscopal archives of Baltimore, Md.
5 Autograph Latin letter of Rev. Nerinckx to Bishop Carroll, dated "Ninove, in Flanders, November 20, 1803."
6 Autograph letter to Bishop Carroll, 1811. Baltimore Manuscripts.
7 We find no further trace of Father Nerinckx' youthful kinsman above referred to.
8 "The catholic worship was secretly practiced in Holland until the beginning of the present century. The churches in commercial cities were designated by names such as those which were usually given to warehouses and taverns. At Amsterdam, the catholic churches bore the titles of Pool, het Haantje, de Papegaai, het Duifke, de Poost-Hoorn, de Krytberg, de Zaayer, etc., instead of those of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Ann, St. Nicholas, etc." Life of Father Bernard, by Rev. P. Claessens, pg. 19.
9 Autograph letter of Rev. Nerinckx, in the archives of the Dendermonde Hospital.
10 Autograph of Rev. Nerinckx, 1811.
11 Life of D. A. Gallitzin, by S. M. Brownson, pgg. 154‑6.
12 Autograph letters of Rev. Nerinckx of 1811 and 1824.
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