Father Bertrand McDewell, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1889-1962)

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Born in Danvers, Massachusetts on August 14, 1889, he was the son of Bernard McDewell and Mary Morris. He attended public schools in Danvers and St. John’s Preparatory High School, Danvers. He then went to study civil law at Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts and was eventually admitted to the bar. As a young attorney he attended a mission in Danvers given by the Passionists. This led him to enter religious life. In 1915 he went to the Passionist Preparatory Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland. One year later he began his novitiate at St. Paul’s Monastery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He professed his vows on October 17, 1917 . Studies were conducted at Scranton, Pennsylvania then St. Gabriel’s, Brighton, Massachusetts where he was ordained on January 21, 1923 by Cardinal O’Connell of Boston. After sacred eloquence he was an assistant at St. Michael’s Parish, Union City, New Jersey from 1924 until 1926. From 1927 until 1930 he was professor of moral theology. From 1931 until 1940 he was back in Union City as assistant pastor at St. Michael’s and superintendent of St. Michael’s High School. While at the high school he upgraded the athletics program especially in football and basketball. From1940 until 1947 he was pastor of St. Mary’s, Dunkirk, New York. In 1947 he was pastor of St. Gabriel’s Parish, Brighton until 1952. There he purchased additional land and erected a new elementary school which was necessary due to the increase of parishioners related to the city owned housing development adjacent to the monastery and parish. In 1952 he moved to Jamaica, New York. In the winter months he would serve at St. Anthony’s Parish, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He died at Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale from heart failure after prostate surgery.