thomas frederick price

Co-founder of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America in 1911

Thomas Frederick Price was born on August 19, 1860, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was the eighth child of Alfred and Clarissa Bond Price. His parents were converts to the Catholic faith, and he was raised as a devout Catholic in the midst of Southern antipathy toward Catholicism.

Youth and Education

As a youth, Price had close contact with the priests of his parish (St. Thomas, Wilmington, North Carolina). One priest who figured prominently in his early life was Bishop James Gibbons, newly appointed first Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina. Gibbons established his headquarters at St. Thomas Church and soon began to show a special interest in young Price. Price often served Mass for Gibbons and accompanied him on special trips throughout the Vicariate.

Thomas Frederick Price, Maryknoll Society co-Founder

The Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America

Fr. James Walsh’s interest in the foreign missions led to his founding, together with Rev. Thomas Frederick Price, the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America (C.F.M.S.A.) (commonly referred to as the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers) in 1911. He acted as spiritual father and co-founder, with Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, of the Foreign Mission Sisters of St. Dominic (now called Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic). He served as Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers until his death in 1936. During the founding process and in his service as Superior General, Walsh made trips across the United States, to Rome and to other places throughout the world.

A Lifetime of Service

In 1933, Walsh was elected to the episcopacy and named Titular Bishop of Siene. He was consecrated in Rome on June 29, 1933, in the College of Propaganda Fide by Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi. He died at Maryknoll, New York, on April 14, 1936.

In addition to his writings in The Field Afar, he wrote a number of books: Choral Sodality Handbook (1898,1955), A Modern Martyr (1907), Thoughts from Modern Martyrs (1908), Observations in the Orient (1919), and In the Homes of Martyrs (1922).

A biography of his life, All the Day Long, written by Daniel Sargent, was published in 1941 by Longmans, Green & Company, New York and Toronto. Further biographical information may be found in issues of The Field Afar (Maryknoll Magazine) and in writings of Maryknollers.