Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DRUMGOOLE, John C., clergyman, born in County Longford, Ireland, in 1828. He studied for the priesthood in the United States, and, soon after being ordained priest, offered himself to Archbishop McCloskey to establish a mission for the protection of homeless and houseless children. His first effort in this direction was to take charge of " St. Vincent's lodging house " in Warren Street, which was transferred to his care by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in 1871. He changed the title to that of "St. Vineent's home for the protection of homeless and destitute boys." Here he opened evening schools, and lodged homeless boys at a nominal price, with a free dinner on Sundays to encourage them to come for religious instruction. The extraordinary efforts the boys made to throw off bad habits encouraged him to greater enterprises. As there was not room enough in the building in Warren Street for the children who applied for admission, Father Drumgoole was forced to build a larger house. To obtain funds he established the Mission of the immaculate virgin and St. Joseph's union, and made arrangements for publishing an illustrated annual, entitled "The Homeless Child and Messenger of St. Joseph's Union."
The fund accumulated from the subscriptions to this paper enabled Father Drumgoole to purchase the property on the corner of Lafayette place and Great Jones Street, and to erect there, at a cost of over $400,000, the first house of the "Mission of the immaculate virgin," in which more than 500 boys are boarded and educated. Shortly afterward he purchased a farm of over 600 acres on Staten Island, gave it the name of Mount Loretto farm, and erected on it large buildings in which nearly 700 children are comfortably housed. The expense of carrying on these establishments has come almost entirely from the subscriptions to Father Drumgoole's paper. Since 1871 he has provided for 15,730 children. But the benefits of his mission have not been confined to children. During the same period 6,264 destitute adults have been clothed, thousands of outside poor have been fed every year, and the number who receive their breakfasts gratuitously every day exceeds 200.
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