Category: Coming of Age: 1861-1880

  • Arson and Racism, Bricks and Crosses

    Hugh McKeadney, who as a Jesuit novice had designed SI’s second Market Street school, began drawing plans for the Van Ness campus. He designed the school in the shape of an “E” — with rooms and corridors extending alongside the church. Varsi first wanted the church to face Van Ness but decided to abandon this […]

  • The Memoirs of Fr. Richard Gleeson, SJ

    As mentioned in the previous section, Varsi returned to the states with far more than permission to relocate the college. He brought with him 13 Jesuit novices, much needed recruits for the school in a time of dwindling vocations. Among those young men was Richard A. Gleeson, SJ, an enthusiastic 15-year-old. The following accounts of […]

  • Another Battle with the Archbishop

    In 1873, Bayma stepped down as president, and the next two presidents — Fr. Aloysius Masnata, SJ, and Fr. John Pinasco, SJ — began making plans to move the school and church westward to Hayes Street and Van Ness Avenue, the present site of the Louise Davies Symphony Hall. For all the success of the […]

  • Three Greats: Bayma, Neri & Varsi

    Throughout the 1870s, the school’s fame increased as a result of the work of three key professors: President Joseph Bayma, SJ, Fr. Joseph Neri, SJ, and Fr. Aloysius Varsi, SJ. Bayma authored several major works including The Love of Religious Perfection in 1863, Treatise on Molecular Mechanics in 1866, Force and Matter (published posthumously in 1901), and a series of high […]

  • Fr. Joseph Bayma: SI’s Fifth President: 1869–1873

    Born in Piedmont, Italy, Joseph Bayma entered the Society of Jesus in 1832 and began a distinguished career as a teacher of literature, mathematics, physics and chemistry. (Look for more on Bayma’s scholarship in the next section.) While administering an Italian seminary in 1860, Bayma found himself in the middle of anti-Catholic riots, forcing him […]

  • Stability & Earthquakes: 1863-1868

    The debating society began February 4, 1863, with the unwieldy name of the “Philodianosian Society.” Riordan writes that this name “must have been a matter of long and deep consideration. It had to be learned, uncommon, drawn from the parent Greek and with enough roll to it to give due distinction to such as fortune […]

  • The Opening of the Second Campus: 1861-1862

    Tension between SI and the archdiocese convinced Maraschi to put plans to build a new church on hold as early as 1861. Something had to be done, however, as the old church was far too small. When Fr. Bouchard preached, “the little edifice [of the church] was taxed to its utmost, so that crowds stood […]