Father Aloysius Blakely, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1847-1912)

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Born Joseph Blakely in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 19, 1847 he decided to enter the Passionists in Pittsburgh at 18. He professed his vows on November 3, 1865 and received the name Aloysius. He was ordained a priest on April 8, 1870 at Illchester, Maryland by Bishop Thomas J. Becker, Bishop of Wilmington, Delaware.

For a short time he was curate of St. Michael’s Parish in Pittsburgh and was able to minister with a good command of the German language. He then was a curate at St. Joseph’s Parish, Baltimore, Maryland. Later he was at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky. On August 19, 1880 he was elected the First Rector of Sacred Heart Retreat, Louisville. He was installed in office on September 2, 1880. On August 20, 1884 he was elected Master of Novices and then after his term was completed he was elected as Rector again after the acting Rector resigned.

In the Provincial Chapter of 1890 he was elected Rector of St. Michael’s Monastery, West Hoboken, New Jersey. This was when the Apostolic Delegate visited the monastery much to the discussion of the provincial at the time. He then became Vicar of Louisville. After that he went to Rome. He was then invited to work in Bulgaria with Bishop Doucet, which he did for six years. While in Bulgaria he was Rector of the Cathedral in Roustchouk and Vicar General of the Diocese of Nicopolis. He then returned to the United States to raise money for the Cathedral. He went back to Bulgaria in 1903. Subsequently he resigned his office and went to Rome where he was two years as Vicar of Scala Sancta. Illness forced him to return to the United States. Cancer left him weak and like a skeleton. He died on October 31, 1912 and was buried in Dunkirk, New York.

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