Finding Aid Date
Biographical Sketch: Michael J. Ahern was born in 1877 in New York City. In 1896 he entered into the Society of Jesus at the novitiate in Frederick,MD after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from St.Francis Xavier College in New York City. He was ordained in 1910, after completing theological studies in Innsbruck,Austria. From 1911-1914 he was a Professor of Chemistry and Geology at Canisius College, as well as the director of Metereological and Seismology Observatories. In 1914 he did his year long tertianship at St.-Andrew-on-Hudson,NY and from 1915 to 1919 he taught Chemistry at Boston College. In 1919, Father Ahern was named Rector-President of Canisius College, serving until 1923. While President of Canisius College, Father Ahern also taught science and religion courses. From 1923-1926 he was the head of the Chemistry Department at The College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. In 1926 he left Holy Cross to teach Geology at Weston College in Weston MA. While there, he also served as the Director of the Seismology Station. Also while at Weston, he broadcast a radio show called the “Catholic Question Box” on the Yankee Network beginning in 1929. This show lasted several years under his direction. In 1940, Father Ahern received an Honorary Degree from Canisius College. In 1946 he was a delegate to the European Conference of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, an organization of which he had been a member for a number of years. He also was a member of the American Association of Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geological Society, and the Buffalo Academy of Science. He died on June 5, 1951 in Boston, MA.
Scope and Content: The collection consists of correspondence, postcards, newspaper clippings, and 1 folder of photographs. The correspondence generally relates to his radio show and courses he taught, as well as personal letters and memorabilia. The material also contains postcards and souvenir photographs mostly depicting geological sites around the United States.
New England Jesuit Province Archives; New England Province of the Society of Jesus; and Ahern, Michael J. SJ, "Michael J. Ahern, SJ Papers" (2015). Finding Aids, Special Collections. 25.