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The Boston Globe


Boston College overcame obstacles en route to 150th anniversary

At the height of the Great Famine in the 1840s, as tens of thousands of Irish immigrants poured into Boston, the Rev. John McElroy embarked on a dream to establish a Jesuit college where sons of Irish immigrants could ­receive a Catholic education.

McElroy, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in the North End, faced fierce anti-Catholic sentiment. But he persisted, and in 1863 obtained a charter for a new school in the South End. As “pious revenge” for the city’s resistance, he named it Boston College.

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