Champion of the Church: Extraordinary Life of
Entrepreneur, Defender of the Faith, Teacher, Writer, Speaker, Leader
Follow the journey from a small-town, horse-riding pastor ...
... to one of the most influential prelates in the history of the United States.
Read how he:
- Stood toe-to-toe against anti-Catholic preachers at tent meetings and worked to keep the Klu Klux Klan from gaining influence in his town
- Penned a series of religious education pamphlets for his parishioners, which led to his founding Our Sunday Visitor, one of the largest Catholic publishing houses in the world
- Began Our Sunday Visitor Offering Envelopes and Our Sunday Visitor Institute
- Played a central role in the founding of the Catholic Press Association, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Legion of Decency
- Assisted in launching NBC radio's "Catholic Hour" with then-Father Fulton J. Sheen
- Faithfully met the needs of his own growing diocese from starting a Catholic Charities to aid families devastated by the Depression to becoming a brick-and-mortar bishop following World War II; from confirming 133,000 people and ordaining 500 priests to -- even in his later years -- taking the time to hold Sunday evening information sessions in the Fort Wayne cathedral to teach the Catholic Faith.
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1875, John Noll was raised in a time when Catholic Americans were considered suspect, if not actual second-class citizens.
Ordained in 1898, Father John Noll began his priesthood in an era when basic Catholic teachings were barely known by many members of the Church, and were often ridiculed and misrepresented by non-members. By helping both groups learn the truths of the Faith, he shaped his ministry, his legacy through Our Sunday Visitor, and the Catholic Church as a whole, in the United States.