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Charles Nerinckx

NERINCKX, Charles   - A Stan Klos Biography

NERINCKX, Charles (ner'-inks), clergyman, born in Herffelingen, Belgium, 2 October, 1761; died in St. Genevieve, Missouri, 8 August, 1824. He was educated at the University of Louvain and the Theological seminary of Mechlin, was ordained in 1785, and in 1786 appointed vicar of the metropolitan church of St. Romualdus, Mechlin.  When the army of the French republic entered Belgium in 1797, an order was issued for his arrest, and for the next four years he was obliged to secrete himself.  

In 1800 he applied to Bishop Carroll for permission to labor in the United States, and, on the receipt of a letter assuring him of welcome, he embarked at Amsterdam and reached Baltimore in August, 1804. In July, 1805, he was sent to assist Father Stephen T. Badin (q. v.), who was the only priest in Kentucky. In April, 1806, he visited Vincennes, where he engaged for a time in missionary work.  

Father Nerinckx was known among his coreligionists as the "church-builder." During his nineteen years on the Kentucky mission he built ten churches, laboring with his own hands on some of them. Father Nerinckx is regarded as sharing with Father Badin the credit of consolidating the Roman Catholic Church in Kentucky.  

A ride of twenty miles without breaking his fast was with him a common occurrence, and he never allowed himself more than a few hours' sleep after the most exhausting labors. Although he had charge of but six congregations in Kentucky, the stations that he served were scattered over the whole extent of the state. Sometimes in swimming rivers at flood-tide he was swept from his horse and saved himself only by his great physical strength.  

In 1808 he was appointed bishop of New Orleans, but declined the honor. Father Nerinckx visited Europe twice in the interest of his church in Kentucky, for which he thus obtained over $15,000. He was the founder of the Institute of Friends of Mary at the Foot of the Cross, better known as the Sisterhood of Loretto. The sisters were soon in charge of institutions for the education of girls; but the rules that he established for their guidance were looked on as excessively severe, and a dispute between him and Father (afterward Bishop) Chabrat on this point led to his withdrawal from Kentucky in June, 1824.  

He went to the convent of Bethlehem in Perry county, Missouri, a branch house of his Loretto sisterhood, intending to prepare for missionary work among the Indians. He erected a house in Bethlehem for the education of twelve Indian girls, for whose tuition the United States government had agreed to pay; but the contract was not fulfilled, owing to the death of the priest in a few days. See "Life of the Reverend Charles Nerinckx," by the Reverend Camillus P. Maes (1880).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

 

NERINCKX, Charles (ner'-inks), clergyman, born in Herffelingen, Belgium, 2 October, 1761; died in St. Genevieve, Missouri, 8 August, 1824. He was educated at the University of Louvain and the Theological seminary of Mechlin, was ordained in 1785, and in 1786 appointed vicar of the metropolitan church of St. Romualdus, Mechlin. When the army of the French republic entered Belgium in 1797, an order was issued for his arrest, and for the next four years he was obliged to secrete himself. In 1800 he applied to Bishop Carroll for permission to labor in the United States, and, on the receipt of a letter assuring him of welcome, he embarked at Amsterdam and reached Baltimore in August, 1804. In July, 1805, he was sent to assist Father Stephen T. Badin (q. v.), who was the only priest in Kentucky. In April, 1806, he visited Vincennes, where he engaged for a time in missionary work. Father Nerinckx was known among his coreligionists as the " church-builder." During his nineteen years on the Kentucky mission he built ten churches, laboring with his own hands on some of them. Father Nerinckx is regarded as sharing with Father Badin the credit of consolidating the Roman Catholic church in Kentucky. A ride of twenty miles without breaking his fast was with him a common occurrence, and he never allowed himself more than a few hours' sleep after the most exhausting labors. Although he had charge of but six congregations in Kentucky, the stations that he served were scattered over the whole extent of the state. Sometimes in swimming rivers at flood-tide he was swept from his horse and saved himself only by his great physical strength. In 1808 he was appointed bishop of New Orleans, but declined the honor. Father Nerinckx visited Europe twice in the interest of his church in Kentucky, for which he thus obtained over $15,000. He was the founder of the Institute of Friends of Mary at the Foot of the Cross, better known as the Sisterhood of Loretto. The sisters were soon in charge of institutions for the education of girls; but the rules that he established for their guidance were looked on as excessively severe, and a dispute between him and Father (afterward Bishop) Chabrat on this point led to his withdrawal from Kentucky in June, 1824. He went to the convent of Bethlehem in Perry county, Missouri, a branch house of his Loretto sisterhood, intending to prepare for missionary work among the Indians. He erected a house in Bethlehem for the education of twelve Indian girls, for whose tuition the United States government had agreed to pay; but the contract was not fulfilled, owing to the death of the priest in a few days. See "Life of the Reverend Charles Nerinckx," by the Reverend Camillus P. Maes (1880).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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