Father Canute Christensen, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1882-1927)

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Born Moritz Peter Christensen on February 12, 1882 in Hammel, Denmark, he was the son of Lutheran parents who brought him to the United States when he was eight years old. They settled in Omaha, Nebraska where he attended Lutheran schools. At twelve he completed school and went to work as a clerk in an Omaha department store in order to assist his family. He took a commercial course at night school. At twenty years old he became a Roman Catholic and at twenty-one entered the Passionist Preparatory College at St. Mary’s, Dunkirk, New York. From there he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for novitiate. That same year the provinces were divided. He completed the novitiate in Louisville, Kentucky and was professed on October 30, 1906. His religious name was Canute. He was ordained on June 1, 1913 by Bishop Paul Nussbaum, C.P. in Normandy, Missouri. For twelve of his thirteen years he was Provincial Secretary. During this time he was also a preacher of Forty Hours and missions whenever time permitted. During Lent of 1926 he contracted a cold which, over time, got worse. It developed into pleurisy by Easter of 1926 and by September 1926 he was ordered to go West so as to improve his health. After a year in California his health did not improve and at his own request he returned to Chicago, Illinois.