NAME(S): John Nageleisen
PHOTOGRAPHER: E. W. Mathews, Piqua, Ohio
CARD SIZE: 10.7 cm x 16.4 cm
WHERE PURCHASED: Bradenton, Florida
WHEN PURCHESED: February 18, 2017

“Charity for the Suffering Souls”, by John A. Nageleisen

Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine by Peter J. Thuesen

"Far more compelling to Catholic apologists . . . was the argument that the pious devotions of the communion of saints not only helped the dead but brought hope and comfort to the living. A leading U.S. spokesman for this idea was Monsignor John A. Nageleisen, who was born to a German immigrant family in Piqua, Ohio, in 1861 and wrote a book defending purgatory in the same era when German Lutherans in the Midwest were assailing each other over predestination. A priest of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, he originally taught at the congregation's St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, before becoming pastor of St. Nicholas German Catholic Church in New York City. In Charity for the Suffering Souls (1895), Nageleisen criticized Protestants for rejecting purgatory . . . Books such as Nageleisen's helped to popularize the devotion to the poor souls in purgatory, which was promoted by various popes, including Leo XIII, pontiff from 1878 to 1903, who offered indulgences for prayers for the dead. In the late twentieth century, Nageleisen's book [was] reprinted."

Daytonian in Manhattan, Tuesday, January 12, 2016
(The stories behind the buildings, statues and other points of interest that make Manhattan fascinating.)

The 1903 St. Nicholas Rectory -- No. 135 East 2nd Street

"In the meantime, Father John A. Nageleisen was dealing with bad press. Five years after the rectory was built, he had arrived from Cincinnati, Ohio to become pastor. By the time the day school was installed in the rectory, the sometimes controversial priest had become highly unpopular with residents around Congers Lake, near Nyack, New York. St. Nicholas Church ran a camp on the lake and in a rather un-Christian move, Father Nageleisen battled the local residents over its use. The New York Times explained on June 21, 1925 “The trouble between the priest and the natives is of longstanding and arose from a dispute over the ownership of the lake. Father Nageleisen has contended that the lake is his own property and that he has the right to determine who shall use it.” The newspaper noted that several of the locals depending on fishing and boat rentals for their livelihoods.Father Nageleisen enraged the citizens by establishing a fee for the privilege of using the lake, and then built fences around the property with warnings posted against trespassers. But the greatest offense came when he dumped four barrels of copper sulphate into the water on June 4, 1925 to, in his words, “destroy decaying vegetable matter.”Instead he destroyed more than 700 fish whose scaly corpses floated to the top. Tempers boiled over in the community and The Times reported “Feeling has continued to rise and it was rumored here that the Ku Klux Klan might take a hand. One report was that the Klan would burn across near the priest’s camp at midnight.”Father Nageleisen was charged with “violating the State Conservation law by killing fish” and his trial began on February 13,1926. The misdemeanor was punishable by a fine of $500, plus $10 for each fish killed. The State of New York contended, in addition, that the lake was owned by the State and “not by Father Nageleisen or any private owner.” The ugly ordeal apparently did not tarnish the pastor’s reputation on East 2nd Street. On May 30, 1935 the pavement outside the church and rectory was packed with “several thousand” according to The Times and “more than 1,500 occupied the church.” The event was the celebration of Rev. John A. Nageleisen’s golden anniversary of his ordination.“Throngs from the neighborhood came to watch the colorful procession of priests and children as it made its way from the priest house next door into the church,” reported the newspaper.But The Times made another pertinent observation. “Although St. Nicholas has only about fifty parishioners, due to the scarcity of German Catholics in the neighborhood, many former parishioners attended the celebration.”By now the New York’s German population had mostly migrated north to the Yorkville district. The Lower East Side was now mainly a Jewish neighborhood.


Probably: Rev. John August Nageleisen

Born: August 27, 1861, Piqua, Miami County, Ohio
Died: May 6, 1952, New York
Father: Wilibald Fidelis Nageleis
Mother: Rosa Schuler


1870 Census Piqua Ward 3, Miami County, Ohio
1880 Census Piqua, Miami County, Ohio
1915 State Census New York City,
New York County, New York
1920 Census Manhattan Ward 17, New York County, New York
1930 Census Manhattan, New York
County, New York
1940 Census Manhattan, New York County, New York

Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal
Nagelsen_CZ Family Tree on