Father Colman Healy, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1900-1953)

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Born Charles Leo Healy on October 16, 1900 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, he was the son of William Healy and Ellen Dunn. He attended Graniteville Grammar School, Westford Academy, and Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts. While at Clark he decided to enter the Passionists and in September 1921 he went to Holy Cross Seminary, Dunkirk, New York. This was a new seminary building five miles west of downtown Dunkirk where St. Mary’s Monastery was located. He arrived at the seminary which was then under the direction of Father Ronan. In addition to studies students had to raze or move out-buildings, dig ditches, make roads, and assist in the construction of cement walks. That was a shock to the young man. Instead of concentrating on academics and faith he was spending as much time as a member of a construction battalion working on the new foundation. From Dunkirk he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and professed his vows on September 14, 1924. His religious name was Colman. He was ordained on February 8, 1931 at Immaculate Conception Monastery Church, Jamaica, New York by Bishop Dunn of New York. After ordination Father Healy was sent to The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. where he did post-graduate studies in biochemistry. He received a masters degree and returned to Holy Cross Seminary were he was professor of the subject for several years. During his summer vacations as a professor he was hospital chaplain so as to improve some of that knowledge as well as serve people. From 1941 until 1944 he was vicar at Holy Cross, Dunkirk. During this time he had to develop, due to World War II, a program of food rationing. To supplement this he worked for the development of a farm that supplied vegetables. He was also able to obtain meat and fowl. From 1944 until 1950 he as vicar at St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, New Jersey. He was able to get meat from a company in Patterson, New Jersey in order to maintain the diet of the community. At that point he was elected rector of St. Joseph’s Monastery, Baltimore, Maryland. He was saddened by a number of deaths in his community at that time. In June 1953 he attended the dedication of the new foundation in Toronto, Canada. While there he collapsed and for weeks was in critical condition in need of oxygen. By the end of July he was able to move about but with definite restrictions. He was assigned to the Brighton, Massachusetts community. He arrived there from Baltimore and lived in the infirmary. When he heard of the sudden death of Father Dunstan Thomas he suffered a heart attack. He went to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and had more attacks where he finally died. He was waked in Boston with Father Thomas. Each was in a different room to receive mourners.