Father Adolph Schmitt, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1902-1975)

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Adolph Schmitt was born in Kaiserlauten, Bavaria on July 15 1902. He was the son of Adolph Schmitt and Anna Hoche. When he was an infant, the family moved to West Hoboken, New Jersey. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Grammar School. He went to St. Joseph’s Passionist Preparatory Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland and then the Passionist novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He professed his Passionist vows on September 20, 1921. As was the custom, the Passionist philosophy and theology studies rotated throughout the province of St. Paul of the Cross in order to maintain the prayer observance which included matins at 2 A.M. This program meant that he studied at Passionist foundations in Dunkirk, New York, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland and Union City, New Jersey. Towards the end of his theological studies he was selected as a volunteer for the new Passionist foundation begun in Austria and Germany after World War I ended in 1918. He was told he would complete his studies in Europe. Thus, he was ordained to the Passionist priesthood by Cardinal Piffl in Vienna, Austria on August 15, 1927. After a time in parish work and teaching he was appointed Rector and Vice-Rector of the German and Austrian Passionist monasteries.

Just before World War II began in 1939 Father Schmitt returned to the United States. He became an Army Chaplain and served in the prisoner of war camps in Tennessee, then in the Philippines and Okinawa. After he was released from the military, he was assigned to St. Mary’s Parish, Dunkirk, and later St. Joseph’s Parish, Union City. For another ten years he was pastor of St. Michael’s Parish, Pittsburgh. and then was back again as assistant pastor at St. Mary’s, Dunkirk until the parish was transferred over to the diocese of Buffalo. Consequently Father Schmitt was assigned to the Passionist monastery in North Palm Beach, Florida. There he served as Vice-Rector and also served as an Auxiliary Chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach. He died of a heart attack while on a day fishing boat excursion off the Florida coast.

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