Father John Thayer (1755–1815)

First native New England priest

Born of Puritan stock in Boston, Massachusetts, and educated at Yale, he converted to Catholicism during a trip to Europe in 1783. Ordained in 1789, he returned to Boston, where he failed as a pastor, and served in missions in Virginia and Kentucky before retiring to Ireland. At his death, he left a bequest to found a convent in Boston; it was done—and later burned to the ground by a Protestant mob.


Catholic Encyclopedia * Famous Americans


J. Thayer, An account of the conversion of the Rev. John Thayer