Father Columban Courtman, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1887-1971)

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Born Walter Courtman in New York City on April 29, 1887, he was the son of Walter Courtman and Mary Ennis. Shortly after his birth the family moved to West Hoboken, New Jersey and became members of St. Michael’s Monastery Parish. Walter attended the school. At sixteen he went to St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, New York to the Preparatory school. Later he entered the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania novitiate, professed his vows on April 4, 1904 and received the religious name Columban. He was ordained on December 12, 1912 at St. Michael’s Church, West Hoboken. His first assignment was as assistant master of novices. Then he was director of students in Scranton, Pennsylvania followed by an assignment as a seminary professor. After that he preached retreats and missions. Ill health led him to be assigned to Holy Cross Seminary, Dunkirk and once his health improved he taught, for almost forty years – French, Italian, Astronomy, English and Religion. When the seminary closed in 1968 Father Courtman lived in retirement at the Apostolic Center. He died on December 20 while walking along the lake front property of Holy Cross. He had a stroke, fell into the water and drowned.