Father Isaac Thomas Hecker

Father Isaac Thomas Hecker, c.1890Article

Founder of the Paulist Fathers. Owing to family reverses, Hecker began to work as a baker’s assistant before completing his education. Although his parents also neglected his religious instruction, he was naturally studious and thoughtful. He read Kant, but found him over-exalting human reason. Luther and Calvin, by their doctrines of man’s utter depravity and moral helplessness, repelled him, and he finally entered the Catholic Church in 1844. In 1845 he joined the Redemptorists in Belgium, and in 1851 returned with four companions to the American mission. A misunderstanding between them and their European brothers having arisen, Hecker went to Rome to obtain an authoritative solution, and there received his exeat from the congregation. With the approval, however, of Pius IX, he returned to New York to found with his companions a new institute, the Paulists, to conduct missions, especially for Protestants and for others who are not even Christians. He met with great success and in addition became an apostle of the Catholic press. His Congregation of Missionaries of Saint Paul the Apostle, the only community of men of United States origin, has prospered and has widely influenced Catholic life, especially in devotion to the liturgy and preaching. His Cause for Canonization has opened.



Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Father Isaac Thomas Hecker“. People of the Faith. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 December 2018. Web. 26 February 2021. <>