Monday, March 15, 2010
Fr. Faherty at Visitation
Fr. William Barnaby Faherty, S.J., professor emeritus of history at Saint Louis University, speaks before the Spring Conference of the Saint Louis chapter of the Catholic Library Association, held at Visitation Academy, in the Saint Louis County suburb of Town and County, Missouri. The conference was held on March 13th, 2010.
Fr. Faherty is a prominent teacher of American history, who specializes in the colonial and Catholic history of the United States, and has written numerous books, including a novel which was adapted for the film Guns for San Sebastian.
Father has also written about aviation history. During his talk here, Fr. Faherty discussed his work as a historian for the NASA Apollo program which sent men to the Moon. Father said this program had some setbacks, in particular the fatal ground test of the Apollo 1 rocket, and the aborted mission of Apollo 13. These failures were an embarrassment to those involved and some thought they were best forgotten, but Father Faherty insisted that these stories ought to be told; his work on recounting the effort to get the Apollo 13 crew back to Earth helped change the perception of a near-tragic shame into a triumph; this eventually led to a highly-regarded Hollywood motion picture from 1995 titled Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks. Father's book Moonport can be viewed here.
Father Faherty is the author of the recent book Catholic St. Louis: A Pictorial History, which features some of my photography of churches in the area. You can purchase a copy by clicking the link in the sidebar.
I would like to offer many thanks to those involved with the Catholic Library Association and Visitation Academy for their hospitality, as well as to the students who assisted that day. I talked to Father Faherty this morning, and he said that he also had a delightful time.
See also: Rev. William Barnaby Faherty, S.J. -- R.I.P.