John LaFarge, Jr.

John La Farge, SJ ( born February 13, 1880 in Newport, Rhode Iceland, † November 25, 1963 ) was an American Catholic priest who belonged to the Jesuit Order.


He was the son of the artist and author John La Farge (1835-1919), who was a descendant of French refugees. His mother, Margaret Mason Perry came from Rhode Iceland and was a distant relative of Benjamin Franklin.

Writer and journalist

La Farge described himself as a working priest - journalist whose main task it is to study the events of the day and to observe, to connect them with deep moral and theological questions. His publications showed the flow of his journalistic writing, which he explicitly characterized as the written by a priest and the priestly perspective emphasized. In August 1926, he assumed the position of editor of the Jesuit university magazine in the U.S., later became chief editor and managing editor.

Priestly formation

His career started very early in Newport and sat down in New York continued. In 1897 he took his advanced studies at Harvard University on and examined in 1901. During his studies he focused primarily on the Latin and Greek classics and published several articles in the Harvard Monthly, the University magazine. In the fall of 1901, he attended the University of Innsbruck on the study of theology, here the Jesuits initiated the chair of theology. On 26 July 1905 he was ordained in Innsbruck as a priest and joined the Jesuit order, after which he went back to the U.S., studied one year at Canisius University in Buffalo and later at Loyola College in Maryland where he graduated after two years course, depend on the Woodstock College in Maryland, with the master in philosophy.


An illness prevented him from continuing his studies, so he first took over a pastoral activity, which was marked by a 15-year pastoral work. This time took advantage of La Farge with the social and social problem areas, which included racial issues and racial prejudice, meet in its immediate vicinity. During these years he undertook with the support of some confreres attempt to confront racial conflict in which he tried to build in local communities a school for white boys and negro boys. Its difficult and dramatic experience in running this project brought him into close contact with the public, with Catholics and non - Catholics, and especially with persons and agencies interested in the education and welfare of the colored people. As a chaplain and priest he got transferred important offices, he became chaplain of the Liturgical Society of Arts ( 1933) and the Catholic Council for Racial Affairs ( 1934) in New York. He was chaplain of the Society of the Catholic laity and officer of the Catholic Association for International Peace, and in 1934 vice- president of the American Catholic Historical Association.

Against Racial Discrimination

His reputation had increased significantly and so he founded in June 1934 a council against racism in New York. In this council parents were represented, campaigning for a race free education. Hence, the National Catholic Council against racial discrimination, chaired was temporarily taken over by La Farge was born. His writings and newspaper articles found in the United States and the Vatican large and appreciative attention, his writings and essays have also been discussed in government circles of the USA.

Contributing to an encyclical

Pope Pius XI. planned a major encyclical ( " Humani generis unitas " ) to write against racism and had this in 1938 next to the Jesuit Gustav Gundlach also Father John La Farge involved in the deliberations, they should, along with Cardinal Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII. prepare the draft to an anti -racist encyclical. The planned encyclical was during the pontificate of Pius XI. not published, but a lot of thought went into the encyclical Summi approaches Pontificatus of Pope Pius XII later. one.