New Advent
 Home   Encyclopedia   Summa   Fathers   Bible   Library 
 A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 
Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > H > John Holmes

John Holmes

Help support New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download or CD-ROM. Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more — all for only $19.99...


Catholic educator and priest; born at Windsor, Vermont, in 1799; died at Lorette, near Quebec, Canada, in 1852.

After a few years' schooling at Dartmouth College, he left home for Canada, bent on prosecuting his studies and converting Catholics. His own eyes were opened to the true Faith, which he embraced at Yamachiche, Province of Quebec, in 1817, where the pastor, Abbé Lecuyer, had housed and instructed him. He studied philosophy at Montreal Seminary, and theology at Nicolet College. Shortly after his ordination in 1823 he was appointed pastor of Drummondville, the centre during the four years of his ministry of a field of labour extending over a district now comprising fifteen or twenty parishes.

He then went as professor to Quebec Seminary, which was to reap such benefit from his talents and devotedness. Abbé Holmes, a born pedagogue, infused new life into the antiquated curriculum, introducing Greek, English, and all the branches of experimental science. His inventive genius and winning style lent a charm to all his teaching, especially that of geography. His "Traité de Géographie", first published in 1832, many times re-edited and even translated into English and German, is a model text-book. He first conceived the plan of a Catholic University, since realized in Laval, the charter of which was signed shortly after his death.

His zeal for education was not limited to the seminary. In 1836, when the Legislature of Lower Canada voted grants for the first normal schools, the task of organizing and equipping these institutions was entrusted to Abbé Holmes.

No patriot was more devoted to the country of his adoption. His experience in the eastern townships inspired him to promote colonization in that direction, so as to stem the tide of French Canadian emigration beyond the border-line. He also foresaw the possibility of a commercial union of all the British provinces in North America, a plan afterwards more completely realized by the confederation in 1867.

Abbé Holmes was an orator in the full sense of the word. His deep and varied knowledge, expressive mien and gesture, sonorous voice, and perfect mastery of the French tongue all combined to charm and convince the audiences that crowded the vast cathedral to overflowing, and produced on his hearers a life-long impression. His "Conférences de Notre-Dame" were first published in 1850. His friendly relations with his family soon reconciled them to his conversion. A brother and all his six sisters followed him into the Church.


Sources

CHAUVEAU, L'abbe Jean Holmes (Quebec, 1876); DECELLES, L'abbe Jean Holmes (Quebec, 1875); GOSSELIN, L'abbe Holmes et l'instruction publique (Ottawa, 1908).

About this page

APA citation. Lindsay, L. (1910). John Holmes. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07396a.htm

MLA citation. Lindsay, Lionel. "John Holmes." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07396a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Don Ross.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is webmaster at newadvent.org. Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

Copyright © 2012 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

CONTACT US