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Two Years After its Founding, Fordham Welcomes the Jesuits


Bishop John Hughes with his “Dagger John” signature

In 1846 the first complement of Jesuits came to Fordham, with the first two arriving in April and the final six arriving on Aug. 9. The 28 Jesuits left behind a mission in Kentucky that was beset with various difficulties, including a remote location that was sometimes hard to reach.

In taking over the fledgling school at Rose Hill Manor, still known as St. John’s College, they answered the ardent hopes of Bishop John Hughes, who had been trying to place the school in Jesuit hands since before he founded it in 1841. The new location appealed to the Jesuits because, among other reasons, it was close to the abundant opportunities for apostolic work in Manhattan.

The number of Jesuits at Fordham would grow in the coming months as others arrived from around the Northeast and Canada.


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