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[45] Father Gavazzi's lectures in Boston, and heard the doctrines of purgatory, the intercession of the saints, transubstantiation, the infallibility of the Church, etc., explained, and then attacked by the reverend lecturer. With the boy listener, the explanations had more effect than the subsequent attempted refutation of the doctrines. He had never, up to this time, read a Catholic book, entered a Catholic church, or spoken to any Catholic of the state of his mind. Soon after, however, he obtained a Catholic Prayer-Book, and commenced its use, and about the end of the spring began to attend the Franklin Street Church, kneeling in the back part among the laborers, but never having spoken to a priest or educated Catholic. His summer vacation he spent in Maine, taking with him Cumming's ‘Lectures on Romanism,’ and, while reading it, very naturally for him, with his habitual love of argument, constantly espoused the opposite side.

During his visit in Maine he was examined by Rev. John Bapst, a Jesuit clergyman, and baptized at Bangor, August 19, 1854. Thereafter he was a Catholic from the heart, and, as he matured in years, with all the enthusiasm and strength of his nature. More particularly during the last two years of his college life, absorbed by religious investigation and religious interests, he kept in a manner aloof from his classmates, from whom he could have had but little sympathy, and devoted himself to controversial reading and discussion, and to active labors in Boston among the Catholic youth of the city. He consecrated himself to a religious life with sincere intent, according to his faith, dedicated himself to the work of the priesthood, and in the closing years of his life at Cambridge, looked forward with much longing to that which should be to him a quiet retreat from all conflicts, with entire abnegation of personal aims and ambitions,—the Novitiate of the Order of the Jesuits.

His inward experiences in regard to this important religious change may best be learned through an extract from his autobiography in the Class-Book, written at the time of graduation:—

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