Father Bonaventure Griffiths, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1904-1970)

Home / Biography / Father Bonaventure Griffiths, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1904-1970)

Born Benedict Griffiths on May 10, 1904 at Clonmel, outside Tipperary, Ireland, he was the son of Isaac Griffiths and Mary Fogarty. His father was an officer in the British Army. His early schooling took place in South Africa, India, England and Canada. When his father retired from the military the family moved to Ontario, Canada. While attending St. Mary’s High School in Hamilton he made a Passionist mission and decided to enter. In 1921 he went to Holy Cross Seminary, Dunkirk, New York. He professed his vows on September 14, 1924 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His religious name was Bonaventure. Studies were at Brighton, Massachusetts; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Union City, New Jersey; and Jamaica, New York He was ordained on February 8, 1931 by Bishop Dunn of New York. A year of sacred eloquence followed. In 1932 he was assigned to the China missions where he was an active missionary and for a short time was secretary to Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara, C.P. He was also Mission Procurator in Hong Kong. A spinal injury required surgery in the United States. He never fully recovered, but that did not prevent him from being active as a preacher, writer, lecturer and contributor to Sign Magazine. He served a term in 1947 as a member of the Advisory Committee for Academia Activities in the Major Seminaries of the United States which was a project originated by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

In 1949 he resided at Baltimore, Maryland. In 1951 he resided at the Riverdale residence. In 1952 while waiting for a train at a New York City subway he was mugged. Several days later he suffered a slight stroke. This further limited his activities and led to his 1952 appointment as chronicler for the province. He provided a valuable service by indexing the material. Still his health and movement were a problem. He needed a wheelchair to get around . He died at Shelter Island, New York while visiting there.