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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Peter Hasslacher

Preacher; b. at Coblenz, August 14, 1810; d. at Paris, July 5, 1876

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Hasslacher, PETER, preacher; b. at Coblenz, August 14, 1810; d. at Paris, July 5, 1876. He was one of that band of missionaries from the Society of Jesus whose fruitful labors throughout Germany, from Freiburg to Berlin and Danzig, reawakened and strengthened the country's Catholic forces after the stormy year of 1846. Hasslacher's youth was somewhat tempestuous. As a medical student at the university in Bonn, in 1831, he identified himself with the German student movement, which was looked upon as revolutionary; and he was compelled, in consequence, to undergo seven years' confinement at Berlin, Magdeburg, and Ehrenbreitstein. During these years he underwent a spiritual change, and in particular, by studying the Fathers of the Church, stored his mind with theological knowledge; after his liberation he entered, in the spring of 1840, the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, at St-Acheul, France. He was ordained to the priesthood, on September 1, 1844, and then preached with much success in the cathedral of Strasburg, until the year 1849. It was at this time that the popular missions were inaugurated in Germany; but Hasslacher's delicate health could not long withstand the physical exertions entailed; and this apparent difficulty and disadvantage led the zealous-hearted missionary into a field of activity which was peculiarly his own, namely, the conference. This he himself explains in a detailed letter (Deutsches Ordensarchiv) written from Bad Ems to his provincial in 1860. He gave conferences in all the larger cities of the district of the Rhine and Westphalia. His strength failing, he was sent in 1863 to conduct, in Paris, the St. Joseph's Mission for German Catholics; but even this labor became after ten years too much of a tax on his physical powers, so that he was compelled to abandon it and to take up similar but lighter duties at Poitiers. After a year he was brought back, very ill, to Paris, where he died.

N. SCHEID


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