Spiritual Journal of Walter Elliot

Authored by Meghan Tucker.

Image_00031The Spiritual Journal of Walter Elliott is a hand-written journal from the late 1800’s that includes many topics of faith, such as blasphemy, mortal sins, hell, death of sinners, and lessons on death, amongst other topics. Walter Elliott was a Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Saint Paul the Apostle Church. Saint Paul’s is the mother church of the Paulist Fathers, the community we are serving for our Academic-Service Learning project. The Paulist Fathers have housed this document in their archive at St. Paul’s College in Washington D.C. and requested the help of the St. John’s University Department of Library and Information Science Department community in its transcription. In 1891, Walter Elliott wrote Life of Father Hecker[1], which is a book about the life of the founder of the Paulist Fathers. Walter Elliott was ordained as a priest into the Paulist Fathers Parish in 1872[2].

The Paulist Fathers are a Roman Catholic organization that claims on their new Twitter page to “give the gospel a voice today”[3]. They dedicate their services to spread the word of God by seeking out “the lost, the alienated, the hurt, and the broken”[4]. As a missionary for this parish, Walter Elliott sought out to spread the word of the gospel to these populations. His journal shows his thoughts on various religious topics and seems to be the early workings of sermons he may have preached.

Elliott discusses Blasphemy in three segments under the following headings:

  1. “The Profane man has no fear of God,
  2. The profane man has no love either for God or man because he curses
  3. The profane man has (no) respect for God.”[5]

In these sections, Elliott discusses the different ways man can reject the loving nature of God, generally such as by cursing the name of the Lord. In his conclusion on the subject, he discusses ways to help to correct the actions of people who blaspheme and make excuses for their behavior.  He opens many questions on the subject and poses many extra thoughts in the margins of his pages and on inserts.

To create our group poster presentation, my group used PowerPoint and Jing. The images we used in our PowerPoint came from The Spiritual Journal of Walter Elliott[6].


[1] Elliott, Walter. The Life of Father Hecker. New York, NY: The Columbus Press, 1891.

[2] Paulist Fathers. “List of Deceased Paulists.” Accessed March 24, 2014. http://www.paulist.org/history/list-deceased-paulists.

[3] “Paulist Fathers (PaulistFathers) on Twitter.” Accessed March 24, 2014. https://twitter.com/paulistfathers.

[4] Paulist Fathers. “Mission Statement.” Accessed March 24, 2014. http://www.paulist.org/about/mission-statement.

[5] Elliott, Walter. The Spiritual Journal of Walter Elliott. (Paulist Fathers, Washington D.C., 2014), 104-107.

[6] Elliott, Walter. The Spiritual Journal of Walter Elliott. (Paulist Fathers, Washington D.C., 2014), 104-107.