Isaac Thomas Hecker

1819-1888. Founder of the Paulist Order. Born in New York City of Protestant German parentage, he worked in a bakery with his brothers until Transcendentalist ideas led him to the communal Brook Farm and Fruitland in 1843. He became a Roman Catholic in 1844 and entered the Redemptorist Order. After studying in Belgium, Holland, and England, he was ordained in 1845 and worked with Roman Catholic German immigrants after returning to the USA in 1851. Because of an unauthorized trip to Rome, he was excluded from his order, but freed from his vows by Pius IX to found in 1858 the Missionary Priests of St. Paul the Apostle to convert Protestants. Hecker was superior of the order until 1888. He also founded and edited The Catholic World (1865) and the Young Catholic (1870).