Father Conleth Overman, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1912-1997)

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Born Robert Joseph Overman on November 15, 1912 in Newport, Kentucky, he was the son of William Overman and Anna Louise Kelly. In December 1917 his father died as a result of an accident. In the spring of 1918 the family’s home was devastated by a flood. They moved to Mt. Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio to a rented house on St. Gregory St. and then to a home at 1002 Celestial Street. At that time Robert was six and he went to the local grade school on Mt. Adams where he became familiar with the Passionists. Mt Adams was always a place of home for him throughout his life. He did enter the Passionists and professed his vows on July 30, 1931. His religious name was Conleth. He was ordained on June 3, 1939. He was one of the pioneers of the Cana Conference with Father Dowling at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. He also did street preaching in Alabama. This was a challenging ministry for a Catholic in a anti-Catholic area. He was an advisor to the Crowleys in the Christian Family Movement (CFM) and had a concern about race relations in St. Louis. He was chaplain to the Oblate Sisters of Providence and president of the St. Louis Diocesan Interracial Conference. He was retreat director of the Passionist Retreat House in Houston, Texas and founder of the Catholic Drama Guild. He was author and director of a Passion play produced city wide at the Music Hall. Creative and energetic he obtained a Ph.D in Institutional Planning at 70 years old. He was writing fiction on his computer at 82 years old. He was working on a novel and was a founder and spiritual guide to the Passionist Lay Missionaries. One of his last projects was a video on centering prayer.