New Orleans by Night
Father Abraham Wright
Retired Catholic Priest
Abraham’s greatest pleasures at seminary were studying and reading. He would awaken at four in the morning to complete his studies for the day ahead and then spend much of the day reading about theology, occult, and folklore.
The call to the priesthood came suddenly, when Abraham was 16, “…like a flash from Heaven to my heart during Benediction, and after that I had my name put into a hollow silver heart that hung around the neck of the sweet Virgin’s statue, in testimony of my resolve which rose up into a vow. I never had a regret for that resolve.”
It was at Niagara at the Seminary of Our Lady of the Angels that his eloquence and beautiful command of language won for him a lifelong reputation as a preacher. Why, even before priestly ordination, when he was still a deacon, throngs would attend his sermons; he became widely appreciated as a beautiful and poetic preacher of Catholic truths. He loved Our Lady and preached often of her. His ordination took place at his family’s home parish of Saint Vincent’s in St. Louis. His delicate health and the dissensions among the students and faculty of the seminaries took their toll on him. Eventually, Father Wright was sent to do parish work in New Orleans, LA.
Never in robust health, at age 52, Father requested to be relieved of his duties at the Archidioecesis Novae Aureliae so that he could retire to a quiet place to finish a book he was writing. New Orleans’ Archbishop Gregory Aymond granted him that favor, and he settled in a lovely home right on the river near St mary’s. He spent many hours writing poetry, especially the night-time hours. During the day, he wrote letters to friends and benefactors.
Abraham is not entirely retired, though, for he has been called upon a number of times to engage in fundraising tours for various Catholic religious charities.