Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/James Nugent

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Philanthropist, temperance advocate and social reformer b. 3 March, 1822 at Liverpool; d. 27 June, 1905 at Formby, near Liverpool. Educated at Ushaw, 1838-43, and the English College, Rome, 1843-6, he was ordained at St. Nicholas's, Liverpool, on 30 August, 1846. After being stationed at Blackburn and Wigan he was sent to Liverpool 1 January, 1849. In 1851 he introduced the teaching Sisters of Notre Dame, now directing an English Catholic training college for teachers at Mount Pleasant. In 1853 he opened the Catholic Institute in which Dr. Newman delivered in Ocotber, 1853, his lectures on the Turks. In 1863 he was appointed chaplain of Walton Prison, and held the office twenty-two years. In 1865 he established the Refuge for Homeless Boys, which from 1865 to 1905 trained 2000 boys. In 1867 he founded "The Northern Press", which in March, 1872, became the "Catholic Times". On 29 February, 1872, he organized for the spread of temperance the League of the Cross. This he considered his greatest work. In 1870 he began a series of visits to America. After retiring from the chaplaincy of Walton Prison in 1885, he devoted nearly two years to parochial work and inaugurated the new mission Blundellsands, which he resigned in 1887. To prevent drunkenness he instituted a series of Saturday night free concerts, which gradually became a civic institution and in 1891 established in Bevington Bush a Refuge for Fallen Women and a Night Shelter for homeless women which (1891-1905) received 2300 poor women. In 1892 Leo XIII appointed him a domestic prelate. In memory of his golden jubilee as a priest he purchased for Temperance meetings and concerts, the Jubilee Hall in Burlington St. The citizens of Liverpool on 5 May, 1897 presented to him at an enormous public meeting his own portrait now in the Liverpool Art Gallery and over (1300 with which he began the House of Providence, West Dingle, for young unmarried mothers with their first babies; 200 such cases were sheltered from 1897-1905. In 1904 at the age of eighty-two, he visited America with Abbot Gasquet but taken ill at St. Paul, Minnesota, he hurried home to die. On 8 December, 1906 there was erected near St. George's Hall, a bronze statue commemorating him as: Apostle of Temperance, Protector of the Orphan Child, Consoler of the Prisoner Reformer of the Criminal, Saviour of Fallen Womanhood, Friend of all iin Poverty and Affliction, An Eye to the Blind, a Foot to the Lame, the Father of the Poor.

Catholic Times Liverpool Daily Post, Catholic Family Annual, file; London Catholic Weekly (29 June, 1906).

James Hughes.