Thomas Esser

Baptismal name: Herman Joseph Esser. Bishop, born Burtscheid, Germany, 7 April 1850; died Rome, Italy, 1926. After a classical course at Aix-la-Chapelle he studied at the University of Bonn and from there went to Würzburg. In 1871 he entered the theological seminary of Cologne, was ordained priest 1873, and appointed curate at Euskirchen. He was imprisoned three times for not producing the document of his appointment and for fulfilling his "official clerical duties." Unable to continue as a priest in his own country, he moved to Rome to complete his studies. In 1877 he went to Vienna and received the Dominican habit as Father Thomas. Appointed to the chair for the study of Saint Thomas at Maynooth College, he was recalled, 1891, to lecture on canon law at the University of Freiburg, Switzerland. Summoned to Rome, 1894, to edit the new Index Librorum Prohibitorum, he became professor of canon law at the University of Saint Thomas. He was subsequently appointed a member of the Roman Curia, and on 18 June 1917 was created titular Bishop of Sinide. He contributed to over 30 German, Italian, and English publications, and preached retreats in many lands, including the United States.

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