Father Andrew Ansboro, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1907-1993)

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Born James Ansboro March 20, 1907 on Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of John and Catherine Ansboro. After elementary school in Brooklyn he attended Regis High School in Manhattan and Fordham University where as a senior he seriously entertained entering the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. During a college retreat he thought about entering the Passionists and went to Dunkirk, New York. He professed his vows August 15, 1925 and received the religious name Andrew. He was ordained on February 8, 1931. He was an ardent Brooklyn Dodger fan and built a crystal radio in the monastery to secretly listen to the games. It made sense when one realizes he was at one time a bat boy for the team. For almost his whole life vocations were his business which he advocated through the Catholic Career Conference. This was for vocations to priesthood and religious life for men and women. It was also an organization that instilled the reverence for the married vocation. In essence, the Christian life was the true Gospel life. This came to life through the St. Gabriel’s Club of the 1940s. Father Ansboro’s activities were often in tension with his Passionist community in Jamaica and through the graces of Monsignor Francis Mugavero of Queens who directed Catholic Charities, the club was able to get office space on Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York. Thus the Catholic Career Conference was born. Meetings were held twice a month usually on Sunday evenings at the Union Hall Street office. This was also a place of counseling and numerous other activities such as the Legion of Mary groups. Father Ansboro was a popular speaker at Communion Breakfasts. In 1971 he received papal recognition for his work from Pope Paul VI. In the later years of his life, with the help of the Sisters of Charity of the Union he moved to a retreat at Walden, New York near Newburgh. For more than twenty years St. Andrew’s House was a place of spiritual consolation for many visitors. He frequently assisted at St. Benedict’s Church, Walkill, New York