Father Austin Whittle, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1894-1953)

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Born Joseph Whittle on March 11, 1894 in Covington, Kentucky, he was educated at St. Patrick’s School and then decided to continue his education at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. However, a nervous condition prevented his matriculation. Instead he worked for a while. It was during this time that he decided to pursue studies for the priesthood. In September 1913 he went to St. Lawrence College, Mt Calvary, Wisconsin where he studied for seven years. He then decided to continue his quest at St. Paul Diocesan Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota; however, he was not satisfied with this program of theology studies. In the summer of 1921 he went to the novitiate of the Capuchins in Detroit, Michigan. Accepted, it only took a short while for him to conclude that this was not the place for him. Instead, he concluded that the Passionists, whom he had known from his Cincinnati boyhood was the proper religious order. He professed his vows on September 15, 1922. His religious name was Austin. He was ordained on November 23, 1924 at St. Gabriel’s Monastery, Des Moines, Iowa. He was a professor and later vicar at Immaculate Conception Monastery, Chicago, Illinois. In 1932 he was elected rector of Holy Cross Monastery, Cincinnati. A dispensation was needed for him, because he had not yet completed ten years in the Passionist Congregation. As time went on he suffered from an emotional breakdown, and this prevented him from developing his ministry as a preacher.