Born at Ennis, Ireland: February 1, 1824.
Taking of the habit: Marseilles, October 31, 1840.
Oblation at N.-D. de Lumières: November 1, 1841 (No. 91).
Ordination to priesthood: December 1846
Dispensed from his vows at the end of 1859.

John Naghten was born at Ennis in county Clare in Ireland on February 1, 1824. He entered the novitiate at Marseilles on October 31, 1840 and made his oblation on November 1, 1841. After studying theology at the major seminary of Marseilles and received the sub-diaconate on June 29, 1845, he was sent to God’s Grace in the county of Leicester in England where an Oblate house had just been opened. At the beginning of 1846, Father Perron, the superior wrote that he was “not satisfied with” Brother Naghten. Brother Naghten then received his obedience for Penzance and was ordained to the priesthood during Ember Days of December 1846.

The financial situation of his family obliged the Congregation to grant him “all the necessary permissions” to carry out his duties of assisting his parents. He remained outside the Congregation until 1850 and then asked the Congregation to provide his mother a pension so that he could come back into an Oblate community. In 1853-1854, he was at Everingham; in 1855, he was at the college in Galveston (Texas); in 1856 in the college at Bytown and in Buffalo, U.S.A, in 1857-1858 where he was preaching retreats.

October 16, 1858 Father Edward Chevalier through a telegram made it known that Father Naghten was “completely mad.” There was no place for him but the Saint Michael the Archangel Hospital in Quebec where he was interned from October 30 to December 25, 1858. According to the medical reports, his was a case of intermittent mental illness. He spent 1859 either at the hospital or with the community of Saint-Sauveur in Quebec. Father Flavien Durocher, the superior, begged Bishop Guigues, the provincial asking to be relieved of this burden, all the more so since the sick man was under interdict in the diocese.

In the month of November 1859, Bishop de Mazenod received a letter from Cardinal Barnabò informing him that Father Naghten had written to the Congregation of the Propaganda to ask to be dispensed from his vows. The Founder immediately accepted. Upon the insistence of Mrs. Naghten, the ex-Oblate was sent to his mother’s in Manchester where he was already in January of 1860. In March, Mrs. Mary Ann Naghten told Bishop Guigues that her son was doing quite well, but needed a pension from the Oblates to live on. This pension was granted him. On November 13, 1862 Abbé Naghten was in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. and asked Bishop Guigues to accept him into the diocese of Ottawa. We do not know what happened to him after that.

Yvon Beaudoin
and Gaston Carrière, o.m.i.