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Louis Jouin

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Linguist, philosopher, author, b. at Berlin, 14 June, 1818, d. at New York, 10 June, 1899. He was descended from a French Huguenot family, which had been forced by the Edict of Nantes to take refuge in Prussia. After spending some time in a French school he went to Poland, where he entered the Catholic Church, and determined to embrace the priesthood. With considerable difficulty he secured his release from military service, renounced allegiance to the land of his birth, and made his way to Rome. He was admitted into the Jesuit Order, entering the novitiate of San Andrea, 20 Aug., 1841. He studied philosophy for three years in the famous Jesuit college, called the Roman College, and labored for a time at Reggio, at which place he was ordained priest on 30 April 1848, but was forced by the Revolution to flee the country. Accordingly in October, 1848, he came to America, remained in New York City till 1852, studied theology at Fordham, 1852-56, taught in Fordham College until 1859, and spent the following year at Sault-au Recollet, Canada. Returning to Fordham in 1860, he taught theology in the scholasticate (1860-3), and later (1866-72) filled various positions in the college. After a visit to England in 1872, he went to Guelph, Canada, and remained at this place till 1875. During 1875-6 he was in Montreal and during 1876-9 at St. Francis Xavier's, New York. In 1879 he returned to Fordham, where he remained until his death.

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As a teacher he occupied in Italy, Canada, and the United States the chairs of science, mathematics, and theology ; but it was to philosophy that he gave the best part of the fifty-eight years he spent in the Society of Jesus, teaching it year after year, especially to young college students, with remarkable conciseness and clearness. Indeed it may be said that his life-work consisted in sowing the seeds of truth in the minds of American youth, and thus guarding them against the insidious errors of the times. For the use of his scholars, he prepared, either in lithograph or in print, various treatises on philosophical and scientific subjects. Unfortunately, only a few of these were given to the public. His published works are: "Elementa Logicae et Metaphysicae" (4th ed., New York, 1884); "Elementa Philosophiae Moralis" (New York, 1886); "Evidences of Religion" (1877); "Logic and Metaphysics ", and "What Christ Revealed". Father Jouin was an accomplished linguist, speaking with fluency German, French, Italian, Spanish, English, Polish, and Latin, besides being well versed in Greek, Hebrew, and Gaelic. He was a skilled moralist, and for many years presided over the theological conferences of the Archdiocese of New York. His practical piety, acquaintance with ascetic literature, and deep knowledge of men caused him to be much sought after as a spiritual director and as a preacher of retreats.


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