Born Arthur Palese on April 3, 1910, he grew up in the Northside of Pittsburgh making the Monday novena and at twenty-eight years old decided to enter the Passionists. He went to the novitiate in West Springfield, Massachusetts in July 1938 however in August 1938 he and he classmates were transferred to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to complete the novitiate. During the common walks through neighborhoods with his classmates he would hold his handkerchief to his face so he would not be recognized in his old haunts. He professed his vows on February 4, 1940 and received the religious name Benedict. As a youngster he was friends with Art Rooney who came to own the Pittsburgh Steelers and also trained with boxer Billy Conn. Some time after his profession he was assigned to Holy Cross Seminary, Dunkirk, New York where he had a tremendous influence on the young men. He was then transferred to St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Brighton, Massachusetts where he was the retreat house cook for over twenty five years. While there he became friends with Cardinal Cushing. In his later years he was back again in Pittsburgh where the smell of his cigar would announce his presence.
April 3, 1910
February 4, 1940
January 9, 1999
Benedict of the Mother of God Palese