The American Converts Database

Mrs. Ignatius Higgins

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Mrs. Ignatius Higgins


Mullen, Lincoln

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Family Relations

Higgins, Ignatius (husband)

Places of residence

Biographical Text

At a Redemptorist mission in November, 1853, in Norfolk, VA, Ignatius Higgins was convicted by his young son and went to confession, having been previously baptized as a Roman Catholic. When the Redemptorists returned to Norfolk in March 1856, they found that his wife, Mrs. Ignatius Higgins, had converted from Protestantism to Catholicism after the death of her husband due to yellow fever.

Biographical Quotation

From the Paulist Mission Chronicles: "This circumstance deserves to be especially noted as being apparently the commencement of a new field of labor for our Congregation, viz., the application of the system of missions to the conversion of heretics. Rev. Fr. Rieland, the Provincial of the Congregation, had frequently spoken on the subject, and had directed the American fathers to prepare themselves for this work. The celebrated Dr. Brownson had also expressed his opinion that this was one of the chief branches of labor to be performed by our Congregation in America. The first beginning seems to have been made in Norfolk, and let us pray to God that it may issue in great results. (1:93)

**N.B.:** So the push to missionize was in part driven by Protestant attendance at missions.

> A Scotch Presbyterian was received into the church, and conditionally baptized. Two young window ladies were baptized (converts) and with one, a little daughter of 5 years of age. The 2 ladies received communion immediately after baptism. A number of others were on their way to the Church at the close of the Mission. In the account of the last mission, the conversion of a gentleman by means of his little son is mentioned. This gentleman, Mr. Ignatius Higgins, persevered in a pious life, and died a good death, during the Yellow-Fever. When he was dying, he said to his wife, "If you ever see F. Walworth, tell him that I persevered until my death, and ask him to pray for me." His Lady, who was a Protestant, became a devout Catholic, in consequence of this severe affliction, and was baptized a few days before this mission commenced." (1:93-94)


Paulist Mission Chronicles, 5 mss. volumes, Office for History and Archives, North American Paulist Center, Washington, DC.


“Mrs. Ignatius Higgins,” The American Converts Database, accessed April 21, 2018,

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