Father Cletus Brady, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1879-1947)

Home / Biography / Father Cletus Brady, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1879-1947)

Born William Brady on August 8, 1879 in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, he was the son of Thomas Brady and Julia Harty. While he was an infant, the family moved to Akron, Ohio. He had a blood brother who also became a Passionist priest-Father Bernard Brady. At an early age the young William Brady left school and worked as a plasterer with his father, and then at the rubber shops, for which Akron was noted.

Then one day while attending a parish mission given by Passionist Father Michael Klinsing and Alexis Cunneen William Brady decided to enter the Passionists. He proceeded to the Passionist preparatory seminary at St. Mary’s Dunkirk, New York. Father Clement Lee was the director there at the time. On December 8, 1901 he was professed a Passionist and received the name Cletus. On May 29, 1907 he was ordained. Father Brady was one of the first class of Passionist priests ordained for the new Holy Cross Province which was split from St. Paul of the Cross Province in 1906. He was appointed Assistant Master of Novices and later went to Normandy, Missouri as Lector of Philosophy.

At the 1911 Provincial Chapter Father Brady was elected Rector of Sacred Heart Retreat, Louisville, Kentucky. He held that position for six years. At that time the position of Rector also meant that one held the position of pastor at St. Agnes Parish. The novitiate was located in Louisville at that time as well. It was during his leadership that St. Agnes Parochial School was established. He purchased a country school house and moved it on to the property. He also organized the first Holy Name Society in the parish.

Next Father Brady was assigned to Holy Cross Retreat, Cincinnati, Ohio as pastor of the parish. He maintained this position through the completion of World War I in 1918. During this period he was a frequent speaker at meetings and rallies which expressed support for the war effort. It was during his tenure that Holy Cross School was enlarged and remodeled. He was elected Rector in Cincinnati and then in 1923 was elected First Consultor of Holy Cross Province. In 1925 he attended the Passionist General Chapter in Rome. At the expiration of his post as First Consultor in 1929 he was offered the position of Rector at St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Des Moines, Iowa.

After this assignment he gave missions and retreats. He went much of the time to the southwest United States. He did a great deal of pioneer preaching for the Passionists in Texas, particularly in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. While he was giving a mission in Jackson, Michigan in 1946 he suffered a heart attack and was taken to the Passionist retreat in Chicago. After time for recovery he went back to St. Paul, Kansas and then back to preaching. A short time later, while helping out at St. Patrick’s, San Antonio he became ill. For several months he battled and then was able to be moved to Parsons, Kansas where he died on October 8, 1947. He was buried in Louisville.