Bishop Paul Joseph Nussbaum, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1870-1935)

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He was the first Passionist bishop in the United States. Born Henry Nussbaum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 7, 1870, his parents died when he was young and he was raised by his relatives. He professed his vows on July 24, 1887. His religious name was Paul. While he was a student he volunteered for the missions in Argentina which was at that time attached to the province of St. Paul of the Cross. He completed his studies there and was ordained on May 20, 1894 in the Argentina missions. Stationed in Buenos Aires, he was a professor and preacher until 1904. Returning to United States, he was a parish priest in West Hoboken, New Jersey and Dunkirk, New York where he was also appointed as vice-rector. From 1908 to 1913 he was a provincial consultor in St. Paul of the Cross Province. He continued to be a preacher of missions and retreats. Based on his Argentina mission experience he was named the first bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas and installed on June 8, 1913. Bishop Nussbaum promoted parish missions, Forty Hours, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and daily communion. He encouraged participation in the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, the Corpus Christi Catholic Club, and The St. Ann’s Society. Special attention was given to vocations, Catholic education, diocesan stewardship and Mexican and African-American Catholics. In 1920, an accident forced him to resign and return to the monastery in West Hoboken where he was a professor of seminary students. Regaining his health, he was appointed Bishop of Marquette, Michigan, on November 14, 1922 where he was an able administrator until his death on June 25, 1935. In both dioceses he had support from Passionist priests.