In April we celebrate the 120th anniversary of the publication of the first issue of Truth, the magazine founded and for many years published by Maryknoll Society Co-Founder Father Thomas F. Price in North Carolina.

Fr. Thomas F. Price, circa 1880s

Fr. Thomas F. Price, circa 1880s

Fr. Price was the first North Carolinian to be ordained to the priesthood. He was assigned to missionary work in the eastern section of his native state. After his first few years of priesthood he obtained permission to begin a statewide evangelization program of which Truth was an essential part. The magazine was “intended principally for circulation amongst non-Catholics…to hold up to our readers a true and faithful picture of the Catholic Church.” Additionally, for Catholics in the state, it aimed to “furnish a means of keeping informed about the Church,” be “a means of useful instruction in piety and the proper fulfilling of religious duties,” and “as many, perhaps most, of its readers [would] be an agricultural population, give special attention to its farm department.”

Fr. Price relinquished control of the magazine after he and Fr. James A. Walsh founded the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America (Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers) in 1911.

The first issue, published in April 1897, featured a reprint of a section from Challoner’s Catholic Christian Instructed titled “Of the Fast of Lent” written in question/answer format. As Catholics are in the midst of observing Lent this year, we offer this excerpt on the purpose of Lent.

“Of the Fast of Lent” from Truth, April 1897


For what ends was the fast of Lent instituted?


  1. That by this yearly fast of forty days, we might imitate the fast of our Lord. (St. Matt. iv:2)
  2. That by this institution we might set aside the tithe, or tenth part of the year, to be more particularly consecrated to God by prayer and fasting…
  3. That by this forty days’ fast, joined with prayers and alms-deeds, we might do penance for the sins of the whole year.
  4. That we might at this time enter into a kind of spiritual exercises, and a retreat from the world; to look more narrowly into the state of our souls…
  5. That by this solemn fast we might celebrate in a more becoming manner the passion of Christ…

In fine, that this fast might be a preparation for the great solemnity of Easter and for the Paschal Communion.

Related Archives resources: Fr. Thomas F. Price Papers.