Father Casimir Horvat, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1909-1960)

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Born John J. Horvat in Jessup, Pennsylvania on June 12, 1909 he was the son of Alexander Horvat and Julia Gavalla. He attended schools in Jessup and the high school which was attached to the then St. Thomas College in Scranton, Pennsylvania which was then operated by the Christian Brothers. At first he decided to join their religious community so he studied for a short time at the Brothers Juniorate in Ammendale, Maryland. In 1928 he decided to join the Passionists and went to Holy Cross Seminary, Dunkirk, New York. He then went to the novitiate in West Springfield, Massachusetts and professed his vows on August 15, 1929. He received Casimir as his religious name. Three years of philosophy and one year of theology followed at St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton followed by three years of theology at St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, New Jersey. He was ordained on May 30, 1936 in the basement of the unfinished church in the first episcopal consecration of Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara. Upon the completion of sacred eloquence, Father Horvat embarked on a career as a preacher to the Slovak people in their native language. Likewise he was a popular preacher in English. A timid and self-conscious man, sometimes he found the dynamics of public ministry to be a burden even though he did relish the preaching He died as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage. Father Columkille Regan, C.P., then director of students at West Springfield was with him when he died at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts.