Brother Norbert Friedel, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1938-1991)

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Born Albert William Friedel on May 21, 1938 in Meppen, Illinois, he was the son of George Friedel and Anna Keim. This was a rural area where he grew up. In his late teens he began to make retreats at the Passionist retreat house, Warrenton, Missouri. He consulted Father Raymond McDonough, C.P. who was the vocation director and Brother William Baalman. C.P. who was also from Meppen.. In 1960 he went to the Passionist novitiate, St. Paul, Kansas. On August 15, 1961 he professed his vows as a brother and chose the religious name of Norbert. After that he was assigned to Chicago, Illinois where for one year he was a cook. In 1962 he was assigned to the minor seminary, Warrenton, Missouri which had about six hundred acres, a herd of black angus cattle, and tractors and trucks. Of course the primary purpose was the training of future Passionists. At that time there were about 150 seminarians. In 1969 the seminary closed and Brother Friedel was assigned to Louisville, Kentucky where he soon began to renovate the house and tend the grounds. This was his assignment for two years. In 1971 he was transferred to Chicago where he was in charge of the renovation of the third floor of the monastery into the Provincial Offices. The job was well done but the process of completing it under the auspices of multiple persons in leadership did exact a strain upon him. Next he was assigned to Louisville and later his nerves required that he go to Our Lady of Peace hospital for psychiatric care. He did return home and later had a heart attack and subsequent by-pass surgery. All this precipitated a move to Citrus Heights, California where he joined the retreat team and assisted with the manual labor. He was most helpful on the AA retreats. He remained there for seven years. He then went for two years at the retreat house in Houston, Texas and spent the last three years of his life at St. Louis, Missouri on the retreat staff. After more heart trouble in 1990 he was sent on September 17 to Chicago. His health began to fail and it was there that he died.