Linn, Father John

1975, December 30

Date of Birth: 1900, August 27

John Linn was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 27, 1900. His early education was in public and parochial schools in Baltimore from 1907 to 1915. In 1915 he entered St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland, and graduated in 1921. In 1921-1922 he began his Philosophy at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, where he attained his B.A. He continued his study of Philosophy the next year in Rome as a student at the North American College. Having completed Philosophy in 1923, he went on to Theology, received his S.T.B. in 1925 from the University of the Propaganda, and was ordained to the priesthood on March 12, 1927 for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Desirous of becoming a Sulpician, Father Linn took up teaching at St. Charles College. In 1928-1929 he made his Solitude at Catonsville and rejoined the St. Charles faculty when Solitude was completed. He remained at St. Charles College until 1930, when he went to St. Joseph’s College in Mountain View, California. In 1935 he began attendance at the University of California, where he obtained an M.A. in Latin in 1936. He remained at St. Joseph’s College (teaching also at St. Patrick’s Seminary) until 1938. In 1938 Father Linn came back to St. Charles College as Prefect of Discipline in addition to teaching. In 1940 he moved to St. Mary’s Seminary, Paca Street. He became Vice-rector there in 1943. In 1946 Father Linn was appointed founding rector of St. Stephen’s Seminary in Hawaii.

He came back to Baltimore in 1951 as Superior of Solitude, then at the Paca Street seminary. He commuted to the Roland Park seminary to fill the role of Spiritual Director. Although there were no Solitudes at Paca Street after 1953, Father Linn remained in residence there. In 1955, he moved to the new Solitude building (the former Dohme mansion) on the grounds of St. Mary’s Seminary, Roland Park. He continued as Spiritual Director at the Roland Park seminary.

In 1958 Father Linn was appointed Rector of St. Charles College. He returned to the Solitude in 1963 as Superior, a position he held until 1967, when he returned to St. Charles College as a faculty member. In 1969 he became chaplain of the newly opened St. Martin’s Retirement Home, adjacent to St. Charles College. In 1972 he retired to St. Charles Villa, the Sulpician retirement home, a satellite of St. Martin’s, serviced by the Little Sisters of the Poor. He remained there until his final illness. He died at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore on December 30, 1975.

Adapted from Father Linn’s “Personal Data” sheet, from The Voice, and from an interview with his brother, Rev. Francis Linn.