The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Father Tom Burke O.P.

Father Tom Burke O.P.

Born Thomas Nicholas Burke in Galway on 8 September 1830, he studied first under the Patrician Brothers and afterwards at a private school. In 1847 he was received into the Order of Preachers and on 29 December of that year, he received the habit of the Dominicans. He preached his first notable sermon in 1859 and quickly attracted great attention. Bishop Leahy took him as his theologian to the First Vatican Council in 1870, and the following year he was sent as Visitor to the Dominican convents in America. He was besieged with invitations to preach and lecture. The seats were filled hours before he appeared, and his audiences overflowed the churches and halls in which he lectured. In New York he delivered the discourses in refutation of the English historian James Froude. In eighteen months he gave four hundred lectures, exclusive of sermons, the proceeds amounting to nearly $400,000. His mission was a triumph, and on 7 March 1873 he returned to Ireland.

During the next decade he preached in Ireland, England, and Scotland. He began the erection of the church in Tallaght in 1882, and the following May preached a series of sermons in the new Dominican church, London. He died at Tallaght on 2 July 1882 and was buried there.

Photographed by Scholten of St Louis, Missouri.

Code: 123235
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