Father Anselm Secor, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1902-1961)

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Born James I. Secor on October 7, 1885 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was the son of William A. Secor and Catherine Otis. He made his vows on August 15, 1902 at St. Paul of the Cross Monastery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was given the name Anselm. His class was the last class to have students from the east and west. At the 1906 division of the provinces some of the class chose to go with the eastern province of St. Paul of the Cross while others remained with Holy Cross Province in the west. Father Secor was ordained on April 28, 1909 for Holy Cross Province.

After ordination he was involved in mission work and lay retreats. He served as Vice-Master of Novices, Lector at the Preparatory Seminary, Director of Students and Lector of Moral Theology. In 1920 he was elected first Rector of the new Preparatory Seminary at Normandy, Missouri. He held the position for six years. Under his leadership a new wing was added to the monastery, a swimming pool was provided, a devotional chapel was put into operation, the curriculum of studies was extended and organized. This was the foundation for the Passionist Seminary system of Holy Cross Province.

In 1929 Father Secor was elected Second Consultor and served, at the same time, as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Norwood Park, Chicago. In total Father Secor worked five years at St. Anne’s Parish, Normandy, eleven years at Immaculate Conception, Norwood Park and eleven years at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.

Father Secor was pastor at Immaculate Conception during the Great Depression from 1930 to 1933. He collected food for many people. He changed the school auditorium into a beautiful church which was opened on April 18, 1938. At St. Agnes, Louisville he built a new school and recreational center and Sister’s convent.

His last assignments were conducting lay retreats at Houston, Texas and Cincinnati. In his early years he also wrote articles on marriage and family life for the new Passionist publication The Sign Magazine (1921-1980). Father Secor suffered a stroke and died shortly thereafter in Chicago.