Father Arnold Vetter, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1901-1956)

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Born Leo Vetter on August 18, 1901 in Lindsay, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Peter Vetter and Stella Lang. His family grew up in the Passionist parish of St. Michael’s, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After some basic education he worked at C. A. Turner’s Mine and Milling Supply Company in Pittsburgh. At the same time he found time to teach religious instruction classes in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine at a small mine town of Willock, Pennsylvania. Still, other factors were important in the decision of Leo Vetter to enter the Passionists. His uncles were Passionist Fathers Charles and Frederick Lang. The two cousins of his mother, Fathers Henry and Matthew Miller were also Passionists. In 1921 Leo Vetter applied to the Passionist Preparatory Seminary at Dunkirk, New York but the quota for the year had been filled. Thus, he applied and was accepted at the Passionist Preparatory Seminary, Normandy, Missouri. In 1922 he entered the novitiate in Louisville, Kentucky and professed in 1923. He was ordained a Passionist priest on December 22, 1929 in Des Moines, Iowa. Father Vetter, on his own outlined a course on the sacred study of the Passion. Though he had a desire to go to China, after ordination he was made Lector of Latin in Cincinnati, Ohio. Then with the urging of Father Matthew Miller, Father Vetter was sent to Germany for five years. He returned in 1938 and was assigned to the new African-American Passionist apostolate in Birmingham, Alabama. After years there Father Vetter preached missions and retreats. He had two brothers, the twins Henry and Matthew Vetter also became Passionist priests. Father Arnold Vetter died while conducting a parish mission in Bolivar, Missouri.