Daniel Berrigan Walt Whitman Martin Sheen Nick Virgilio Edwina Gateley Mother Theresa Thich Naht Hahn Mairead Corrigan Mick Maloney Eugene O’Donnell Barbara Dever Harry Reasoner Othmar Carli Sister Peg Hynes Cesar Chavez Eileen Egan Paddy Doherty Michael Flatley Tommy Sands Lester Conner Father Des Wilson
FAMOUS FACES AT SACRED HEART
One of Camden’s most celebrated citizens was, and is, the remarkable poet Walt Whitman, who embraced and celebrated America – finding lyric beauty in city and countryside and the greatness of ordinary people. Whitman’s history coincides with our own, as he lived the last 19 years of his life, from 1873 to 1892, in Camden. Having first come to live with his brother after a stroke, the poet bought a house on Mickle Street in 1884, the year before Sacred Heart parish was incorporated. Many an evening in 1886 he would have driven his buggy down Broadway, as was his custom, past workmen putting their backs into the building of Sacred Heart Church. He was on his way to Gloucester, to Billy Thompson’s Public House, to eat broiled shad from a plank and to mix with the working men at the edge of the Delaware.
Walt Whitman is buried within Sacred Heart parish in Harleigh Cemetery, founded in 1885, the year Sacred heart parish began. Truly, the coincidence of the last years of Whitman’s life with the first years of Sacred Heart’s own, gave birth to a collective spirit still shared by the poet and the parish he passed along the road.
From A Heart in Camden for a Hundred Years