Episode 140

Daniel Barber came from good Puritan stock and was a fine upstanding Congregationalist minister. Until some Episcopalians convinced him that Apostolic Succession matters when it comes to ministerial Orders. So he became an Episcopalian priest. He was a fine, upstanding Episcopalian priest for many years. He and his wife, Chloe, raised three children as good Episcopalians. But eventually the question of Apostolic Succession came back to him, and he realized that Episcopalianism didn’t satisfy the question of Apostolic Succession — the Catholics actually had it, and the Episcopalians didn’t. Meantime, his son Virgil had also become a fine, upstanding Episcopalian priest. He and his wife, Jerusha, were in charge of a good school and had a comfortable life with their children. But a chance encounter with a pamphlet on the life of St. Francis Xavier fired his heart to seek the faith that motivated a man like St. Francis to do what he’d done.

Eventually, Virgil and Jerusha became Catholic. Then Chloe converted, along with a number of other members of the family. And finally, Daniel also became Catholic.

The entire affair was very upsetting to fine, upstanding New England Protestant sensibilities, and caused a sensation.

But the sensations didn’t end there. The rest, however, is a tale for another time.

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