Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett

Other Writings by Father W. J. Howlett

Father Howlett wrote many other works besides his own memoir, many of which are mentioned in his memoir. He wrote biographies and collected writings of other priests as well as a tribute to the seminary he attended. Most of his works have close ties to the people and places he knew personally or were related to his vocation as a priest. This page provides a short description of his other available works with links to access those works.

A Fortuitous Find of Some Letters of Ira B. Dutton, The Brother Joseph of The Lepers of Molokai
This work is a collection of Ira B. Dutton's letters which depict “Brother Joseph,” a man who worked with lepers in Molokai, Hawaii from the late 1880's to his death in 1931. Brother Joseph was not a priest or a Brother, but he did stay at a monastery for some time as a postulant and a novice. The letters provide insight into his path to the Lepers of Molokai and his work there. Father Howlett copied these letters, providing an introduction to Ira B. Dutton and Howlett’s own intention for the work. He also included short explanations for some of the letters as well as a very brief conclusion to the letters.

Bishop Flaget's Diary

Bishop Flaget's Diary (Continued)
Bishop Flaget's Diary (Conclusion)

This work was published in three installments (each reached by a different link). Father Howlett once again provided an introduction to Bishop Flaget and a brief description of the format and contents of the diary entries. While Bishop Flaget lived before Father Howlett’s time, they shared a connection to Saint Thomas’ Seminary, which Bishop Flaget helped found. Bishop Flaget was born in 1763 and died in 1850, and the diary entries are all from 1812. The diary itself was mostly composed of very brief daily entries that were only a line or two long. The repetition found in the diary entries reveals the life of a missionary on the western frontier just prior to the time of Father Howlett. One of the more notable topics discussed in the diary is Bishop Flaget’s own disagreements with a priest, Father Badin. Father Howlett contextualized this conflict and emphasized their good intentions and eventual friendship, all while allowing the readers to make judgements for themselves based on the text.

Historical Tribute to St. Thomas’ Seminary at Poplar Neck, near Bardstown, Kentucky
Father Howlett wrote a historical tribute to the seminary he attended, St. Thomas’ Seminary. It contains both an account of the history of the seminary as well as his and others’ personal recollections of the seminary. It reveals a seminary full of life from its opening in 1811 to its closing in 1869. Father Howlett also details the related institutions and religious history of the before describing the ways the Seminary’s campus was used after it’s closure.

Life of the Right Reverend Joseph P. Machebeuf, D.D.
This is a biography of Bishop Machebeuf.  Father Howlett personally knew Bishop Machebeuf, but this biography goes far beyond his personal experience with him. The book is an extensive look into his life and his role in the Catholic missions on the western American frontier. It is accompanied and supported by Machebeuf’s personal letters. Bishop Matz expressed the heart of the work best: “You have rescued from oblivion the life, virtues and heroism of the saintly Bishop Machebeuf—the Apostle of Colorado… my heart filled with enthusiasm for your hero, overflowing with admiration for his sanctity and zeal, and with a determination to emulate his great virtues as far as may be within my power.”

Life of Rev. Charles Nerinckx: Pioneer Missionary of Kentucky and Founder of the Sisters at the Foot of the Cross
This biography was about Father Nerinckx, an important pioneer missionary in Kentucky who lived from 1761 to 1824. Father Howlett also had a personal connection to him, as Fr. Nerinckx preceded him as a priest in Kentucky and was a founder of the Sisters of Loretto. Father Howlett explained that there had been previous biographies done of Charles Nerinckx, which he indeed referred to, but wrote this biography to include information from newly-discovered documents and provide more context to the historical details surrounding his life and labors.

W. J. Howlett papers, [191-?]-1933
These papers are only available at the Denver Public Library, and include a variety of other writings related to Father Howlett.

"A Review of Father O'Daniel's Estimate of the Early Secular Missionaries of Kentucky"
Rather than a work by Father Howlett, this is a response to review by Howlett on a work by Father O'Daniel.  Father O'Daniel's work appears to have focused on the disagreements between Father Flaget and Father Badin, which Father Howlett tried to argue against in his review.  This response reveals the passion on this subject by both men and provides more context to Bishop Flaget's Diary.  This response is available in the Catholic University of America Libraries.


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