Brother Sebastian Lehane, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1836-1918)

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Jeremiah Lehane was born on July 8, 1836 at Macroon County, Cork, Ireland. On January 7, 1865 the Passionist missionaries – Father Peter Maganotti and Father Amadeus – who had been part of the failed mission in Virginia City, Nevada arrived in West Hoboken, New Jersey with Jeremiah Lehane who came east to join the Passionists as a lay brother. He had come to the United States when he was about eighteen years of age. He was a shoemaker in Randolph and Brockton, Massachusetts. After about six years he went to California to mine for gold where he heard of the Passionists in Virginia City. He arrived at the Passionist monastery after a day long stagecoach ride and six hundred dollars in gold. Of course, the foundation was abandoned after a short time as it was reported that local church officials wanted the Passionists to staff parishes and thereby put in jeopardy their monastic life. When the decision was made in 1865 to return east, Jeremiah Lehane decided to accompany the men. They sailed to the Isthmus of Panama where they crossed overland by way of the Nicaragua River. Once in West Hoboken Mr. Lehane visited his sister in the Boston, Massachusetts area and then proceeded on to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to enter the Passionist novitiate. He professed his vows on February 2, 1866 and received the religious name Sebastian. For two years he was a cook in the novitiate and then held the same ministry at St. Michael’s German parish down the hill from the monastery. After four years, in 1872, he was transferred to West Hoboken, New Jersey where he was assigned to make sandals and shoes. He continued this assignment for almost fifty years.