Confrater Nicholas Curtin, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1897-1930)

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Born John C. Curtin on July 10, 1897 in Newark, New Jersey, he was the son of Thomas and Nora Curtin. He attended parochial schools in Newark, graduated from St. Peter’s High School, Jersey City, New Jersey and then went for two years at St. Peter’s College in the same city. He then entered the U.S. Navy and was assigned to light craft patrol along the Atlantic coast. During this time he came down with influenza and was a patient in the Navy hospital, Brooklyn, New York. He was able to return to active service and in 1918 was given an honorable discharge. In September of that year he entered the Passionist novitiate, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is said that his military training allowed him to fit with comfort into the rigorous training of the Passionist religious life. He professed his vows on November 3, 1920. He entered the first year class at Dunkirk, New York and then his health began to fail. He was ordained a sub-deacon on March 6, 1925. By 1925 he had to give up studies. Eventually he was walking with the appearance of an old man. He had lack of coordination and movement. He could not perform ordinary tasks with his hands. In the summer of 1925 he was sent to St. Mary’s Hospital, Hoboken, New Jersey and then on to St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. He spent the summers at Shelter Island, New York and the Preparatory School, Dunkirk, New York, as well as in the Maine woods and with his brother at Saranac Lake, New York. He even was sent to the Charlestown, Massachusetts Naval Hospital but still no cure was forthcoming. He was diagnosed with encephalitis. It is from this that he eventually died.