by John Gavin Nolan
Subtitled A Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the Near East, the CUs purpose was to establish and to maintain Roman Catholic missions in Eastern Europe and to create and sustain a friendly interest in the religious and moral life of the peoples of Eastern Europe. Those attesting to the certificate were five in number: Martin Conboy, P. Augustine Galen, Daniel F. Cohalan, Stuart P. West (of the Catholic Converts League), and William F. Heide (Henry Heides eldest son).18
Undoubtedly the Heide influence behind the scenes also helped, for Father von Galen learned by accident that Cardinal Hayes had not endorsed the Catholic Union because of a hope the Benedictine had expressed: that the CU would eventually become for the Oriental Congregation what the S.P.F. had become for the Propaganda Fide. A work of such worldwide magnitude, Cardinal Hayes believed, should not be private; it belonged in Rome, under the watchful eye of the Vatican.19 Father Von Galen at once assured the cardinal that the hope he had expressed in passing was a secret hope, and not one that he would ever divulge publicly. The Catholic Union, he insisted, was by statute a pious work for the erection and support of seminaries and for furthering the reunion idea, nothing more.20 Thereupon, on 15 January 1925, Cardinal Hayes wrote Father von Galen, I recommend you to the courtesy and charity of any members of the archdiocesan clergy or the laity who may desire to assist your mission; but again he said that an archdiocesan collection was inopportune because of the need to emphasize the S.P.F.21
Soon afterwards, with Cardinal Hayes permission, Father von Galen opened an office in New York City,22 and among the new patrons he acquired were the Grand Duke and Duchess Boris, expatriates then in residence at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Although Orthodox themselves, the duke and duchess undertook to help the Benedictine for the reason that nothing should be left untried to save Russia from the Soviets. Accordingly, they introduced him to social circles that represented, according to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, an enormous amount of influence in this country.
Before long, Bishop Calavassy had to be told that Father von Galen, who was about to set off on a lecture tour, had the backing of a substantial sampling of the American bishops. Monsignor Barry-Doyle explained that the Russian cause was simply more popular with Americans than that of the Greeks.23 Joseph Moore had his own explanation, however. He maintained that: