Newspaper Page Text
The Indian Advocate.
Rev, H, G, Ganss' Address at the Catholic Feck j eratinn in Chicago. August 1902. R. President and Gentlemen of the Federation; It strikes me that no gathering of American M Catholics assembled in deliberate session would reflect the reoresentat i ve character of the Church, the enlightening spirit of its members, and the sacred traditions of its past, without in including the most historic and pathetic element of our Republic. I refer to the real, true and, in the literal acceptation of the word, the origi nal American the Indian. The Indian question has at all times been a most vexatious one; has been a problem full of perplexities. It has been one, although it enlisted the most consummate statesmanship, the highest judicial opinions of the nation, the most lavish expenditure of philanthropic endeavor, and, again, the whole United States army, it has not even at this day been solved. It has baffled all solution. My province in speaking to you today is, not to dwell upon it in its politi cal bearing, but to give to you a simple and lucid explanation of the Catholic work among the Indian people. The work began four hundred years ago, and it has gone on without cessation or interruption to the present day. In this work we have the most heroic efforts that the Church has ever made to establish the faith on the American conti nent. More than thirty martyrs have crimsoned the Ameri can soil with their blood and consecrated it by their labors in this great work. And at the present day, on our frontiers, the same heroic self-sacrifice that characterized the labors of Las Casas, or the labors of a Fra Junipero, or the labors of a Father De Smet, are revealed to us in undiminished vigor.