Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Czolgosz Taken into the Church”
City of publication: St. Louis, Missouri
Date of publication: 26 October 1901
Volume number: 54
Issue number: 66
|“Czolgosz Taken into the Church.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch 26 Oct. 1901 v54n66: p. 1.|
|Leon Czolgosz (religion); Leon Czolgosz (incarceration: Auburn, NY: visitations); Hyacinthe Fudzinski; Hyacinthe Fudzinski (public statements); Edwin F. Davis; Czolgosz family (at Auburn, NY).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Waldeck Czolgosz [first name misspelled below]; Edwin F. Davis; Hyacinthe Fudzinski; William McKinley.|
Czolgosz Taken into the Church
The Assassin to Renounce Anarchy in Death Chair.
RESTORED TO CATHOLIC FAITH
CONVERTED FROM ANARCHY TO CHRISTIANITY BY PRIEST.
Preparations for Execution of Death Sentence Complete—State Electrician
Davis Will Release the Fatal Current.
AUBURN, N. Y., Oct. 26.—There are now good reasons for stating that Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley, who is to die in the electric chair next Tuesday morning at 7 o’clock, has repented and returned to the faith of his early childhood, that of the Catholic church. He is now spending the few remaining hours of his life in prayer.
It is understood that the assassin will make a declaration of his belief in God and of his return to the Catholic faith, at the same time renouncing anarchy, in the presence of the 26 persons gathered to witness his death.
Father Fudzinski, the most learned Polish clergyman in Buffalo, and one who has interested himself in prison missionary work, has three times visited the jail at Czolgosz’s request. The presence of the priest seemed to be most welcome to the dejected wretch who was wavering between anarchy and Christianity.
It may be stated that Father Fudzinski’s mission was most successful. When about to leave the jail he informed the condemned man that he would return to him Sunday afternoon and spend more time with him. Father Fudzinski, immediately after leaving the prison, was found by a Post-Dispatch reporter. The clergyman was extremely reticent.
“Did the assassin renounce anarchy?” he was asked.
“All I will say,” replied Father Fudzinski, “is that from the time I first saw him in his cell until I left him there was a change for the better, and such a great change.”
“Did you know him previous to coming here?”
“Has he accepted Christianity?”
“He was born a Christian, and although he renounced Christianity, he is now a Christian.”
“Will you see him again?”
“I hope so. That is all I will say.”
State Electrician Davis, who is to take an important part in the execution of the death sentence will arrive in Auburn today. The death-dealing apparatus will be thoroughly tested and Monday further tests will be made. The switchboard will be in charge of Mr. Davis, and it will be he who will turn on the fatal current.
The out-of-town witnesses will arrive in the city Monday.
The assassin on Sunday, after receiving religious instructions, will make his last confession to Father Fudzinski. On Monday he will receive the last rites of the Catholic Church. When he travels the narrow corridor to his death it will be by the side of the priest who has brought him spiritual consolation in his last hours.
Czolgosz’s brother, Waldek, and a brother-in-law arrived at the prison gate this morning. The former was admitted, but the warden was not satisfied as to the latter’s identity, and he was not allowed to enter. It is believed that the visit has something to do with claiming the remains of the assassin after his electrocution.