17 August 1867

Father Marco of the Holy Catholic Church came back last Tuesday morning healthy and well-kept from European trip and he was picked up with respect and received by a large part of his church members. We see from many newspapers that Mr. Marco was treated with distinction in Paris, although we haven't read anything about that in the "Moniteur." The catholic "Church Newspaper" in New York gives the following report that contains many unexpected and interesting pieces of news for many citizens of La Crosse. In his duties our friend, Mr. Marco, is ever more many sided and is not honored enough for that.

The cited article goes as follows:

Rev. P. Marco, who as Commissar of the state of Wisconsin was sent to Paris to take over the direction of the Indian Department at the Paris World Exhibit, has, after he also visited Rome, landed in America in order to continue his agency as "Missionary" among the people of La Crosse, who comprise many different nationalities - German, French, Bohemian, Irish and Indian!! As is well known the United States sent a rich collection of crafts, clothing, weapons, etc. from American Indian tribes to the exhibit on which P. Marco was able to make accessible to the visitors through his good knowledge of the languages and customs of the various tribes.

He was also pleased with considerable recognition in Paris. The Emperor Napoleon gave him a cross of the Legion of Honor and the Empress Eugenie, after his audience at which he presented her with Indian works made from feathers and pearls, gave him a beautiful chalice with the inscription: "Gift J.M. of the Empress of the French to the Abbey Marco, Delegate and Missionary from Wisconsin, U.S.A." The Catholics from Wisconsin, or more accurately from the whole United States, can be pleased to have priests among them who are so honored from both sides of the ocean. (!)

Rev. Marco has a brother in the Emperor's bodyguards. An invitation from the Emperor Napoleon to take up in Paris a pleasant and honorable position was declined by the good missionary that since he knows well the languages and customs of America (P. Marco speaks French, German, Indian and Bohemian with equal ease), he believes that he can "best serve and that he would best give the Emperor and France satisfaction when he can, as a Frenchman, in a distant part of the world work for the glory of God and for the growth of the church." That will do!

The Bishop's Appointment

29 Feb 1868

We couldn't include the news of the appointment of the Head of the Milwaukee Convent School, Rev. Heiss, to be head of the La Crosse Diocese in all of the papers, as we had already gone to press Thursday Evening. Moreover it wasn't so much an appointment as a confirmation on the part of the Pope as the appointment already happened two years ago in Baltimore at the Concilium where top high-church officials gathered. Although Father Marco, who is the Catholic clergyman stationed here for many years, naturally knew of this, as he was in Baltimore to stake his claims to the honor of being bishop and let his parish think he might be the chosen one!

It has been communicated to us authoritatively that Father Marco has had a considerable capability for promoting himself while he's been here, and he'll now leave La Crosse for he won't feel comfortable under the supervision of such a creditable priest as Bishop Heiss is supposed to be, a fact that even the most enthusiastic Catholic in his parish won't lament.

Also he wants to hang up his stole, for he has been chosen an envoy to Rome with the help of some local Americans whom he's known for years how to court. At least he was in Madison to get a recommendation for these purposes from the Governor and some of the representatives. He seems to be unaware that the envoy position for Rome was abolished, but maybe he'll let himself be consoled by a consular position from Andy [President Andrew Johnson JM]. To represent the Republic, however, Mr. Marco will probably first have to become a citizen -- we congratulate him moreover on his scheme.