Father L. (who was under five foot tall) was hiking with students in the High Bridge section when a great gawk of a country man exclaimed: 'Gosh! Look at Tom Thumb!' A student named Ted, fearing no one and thinking the priest insulted, leaped over the fence and knocked the country man senseless with one blow of his fist. Father's gentle words to both parties reestablished peace.
Father B. impressed us as one who had faithfully devoted the energies of a wonderful intellect to the solution of the great problems of life. He had studied harder, looked deeper, seen better and clearer than we could ever hope to do into the vexed questions, the mysteries and the doubts that assail us. And, after all his study, he deliberately became a saint.
—reminiscences of a Forty-Niner—
Repulsed from many a door in my search for food and work, I wandered on with my gripsack until toward noon I reached Fordham College, famished and footsore. I'd eaten nothing since the previous day. The college gates were open. I strolled wearily in without aim or purpose. An old Father, whose noble face I sometimes recall in my dreams, came over and asked kindly if I was hungry. I was fearfully so and said as much, although I did not mean to. I never saw a real live monk before. My Lutheran training did not exactly incline me in their favor. I ate, not without a secret suspicion I'd next be asked to abjure my faith—do homage to the Virgin Mary—which I firmly resolved not to do. The meal over, I was sent on my way with enough to do me for supper. I felt heartily ashamed of myself. I'm just as good a Protestant as I ever was, but I have no quarrel with the excellent charities of the Roman Church or with their noble spirit and management. I learned that lesson at Fordham, thirty years ago.