“In a scene that was to repeat itself many times in our history, a priest by the name of Dolan and a physician by the name of Donovan met a ship in the Baltimore harbor arriving from famine-stricken Ireland. The year was 1847. Father Dolan wrote in his diary that the ship was ‘freighted with human misery and death’ (Cf. Spalding, Premier See, p. 139).
“These vulnerable men, women, and children – like Abram in today’s first reading – left behind their homeland and came to these shores in hope of a better life. They were fortunate to be greeted in our harbor by a compassionate priest and a devoted doctor, both of Irish descent, They assumed responsibility for the stricken people on that ship. They found shelter for the dying passengers. Father Dolan heard their confessions and anointed them while Dr. Donovan did his best to soothe their sufferings and to save any life that he could. They did not hesitate to take charge of some forty orphans on that ship and with the help of the Hibernian Society opened an orphanage to house them and to teach them a trade or to teach them how to farm (Ibid).”
Read the complete homily HERE.