Born in New York in 1819 of parents who had come from Germany, Isaac Hecker grew up in a non-Catholic family but eventually became a Catholic himself. He became a priest of the Redemptorist order, but left to found a new group, the Paulist Fathers.
"He worked, during the prime of his life, with immense energy," says the Catholic Encyclopedia
. "In addition to his duties as superior, he continued his work as a lecturer; he notably promoted the apostolate of the press among Catholics in America ... and created a new movement in Catholic literary activities. ... His object in view was always simple: the propagation of Catholicity."
Fr. Hecker died in 1888.