The Healing Priest in Late 1800s, Thousands Sought Him out at Troy Hill Church

By Roth, Mark | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), June 8, 2014 | Go to article overview

The Healing Priest in Late 1800s, Thousands Sought Him out at Troy Hill Church


Roth, Mark, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


He was born to a wealthy Belgian family, studied medicine in Europe, became a priest, and rode on horseback in northwestern Pennsylvania to say Mass and treat people's ailments.

But it wasn't until the Rev. Suitbert Godfrey Mollinger arrived in Pittsburgh at the end of the Civil War and became priest at Most Holy Name of Jesus parish in Troy Hill that his reputation blossomed, said Kate Lukaszewicz, lead educator at the Heinz History Center.

During his more than 20 years here, she said in a talk at the history center Saturday, the "healing priest" became so well known that 20,000 people would make the pilgrimage to his church for the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua each June, seeking cures for everything from blindness and deafness to crippling ailments and heart problems.

A biographical dictionary page that Ms. Lukaszewicz displayed from the 1890s showed that the item for Father Mollinger was twice as large as the descriptions for both Queen Victoria and composer John Philip Sousa.

Yet he is little known today, despite his reputation as a faith healer and his ability to amass the second largest collection of sacred relics outside the Vatican, at St. Anthony's Chapel in Troy Hill.

Pictures of the German-speaking priest from the late 1800s show a man with a voluminous gray beard and pale blue eyes.

And while some priests in the region were none too happy with his faith-healing services, he was enormously popular with Catholics from around the nation.

An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people a week would make their way to his parish, Ms. Lukaszewicz said, and the trolley line to the base of Troy Hill was so crowded with invalids that it was known as "The Ambulance."

Once people on crutches and canes made it to that stop, she said, they would then struggle up the boardwalk and through the mud to the Troy Hill parish, just to see Father Mollinger.

When they arrived, he would treat them with either the practice of faith healing -- in which he would tell them to trust God to make them well but would also order them to carry out an act of penance - - or by administering medicines that he concocted himself in a nearby apothecary. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Healing Priest in Late 1800s, Thousands Sought Him out at Troy Hill Church
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.