Father Alphonsus Maria Urbanowicz, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1884-1949)

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Born on January 15, 1884 in Lithuania he was sixteen when his father died. He left school in St. Petersburg, Russia to come home and provide for his family. Within eight months his mother passed away. In 1902, at eighteen, he came to the United States to live with his brother in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1905 he came to St. Ann Monastery to request entry into the Passionists. Accepted by then Provincial Felix Ward, C.P. he made his novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and pronounced his vows on December 3, 1907. He was ordained a priest on May 26, 1915 which was followed by Sacred Eloquence.

He was a prominent missionary in the United States. His first mission was at Immaculate Conception, Cambridge, Massachusetts to the Lithuanian Catholics. He worked for that group throughout his life. In 1923 he began the work of founding the Sisters of Jesus Crucified and the Sorrowful Mother. This came into being through contributions of his friends and the support of Bishop Michael J. Hoban of Scranton. The first convent was founded in 1923 in Elmhurst, Pennsylvania. The community was accepted by the Holy See on January 21, 1925. In 1926 the Sisters of Jesus Crucified established their first mission at Immaculate Conception Church in Cambridge. Later they went to St. Peter’s in South Boston and St. Rocco’s in Brockton. In later years they had foundations in Scranton, and Millers Mills and Plymouth, Pennsylvania and in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in Girardville, Tamaqua and Frackville. In 1945 they came to the Archdiocese of Boston and moved their mother house Brockton. In 1949 there were eleven foundations and ninety-three sisters. In 1939 Father Urbanowicz suffered his first coronary attack. In 1943 he suffered another which left him paralyzed on the left side. In July 1948 he was stricken with pneumonia.