Father Edmund Campbell, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1889-1925)

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Born in Donald Edmund Campbell in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on January 5, 1889, he was the son of Patrick Campbell who was a well-known lawyer. His mother was Frances MacDonald, a school teacher and convert to Catholicism. Another son, Walter Campbell also became a Passionist and died in 1920. After early schooling Donald applied to the Passionists. First he was accepted and then told that he would have to wait. Disappointed he waited until 1907 when he entered the novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He professed his vows on September 6, 1908. Studies took place at Baltimore, Maryland, the new monastery of St. Gabriel’s, Brighton, Massachusetts where his was the first class assigned, and then at St. Michael’s, West Hoboken, New Jersey. He was ordained on May 26, 1915 by Bishop John J. O’Connor of Newark, New Jersey. He was sent to Pittsburgh as assistant master of novices. When the master of novices became ill Father Campbell was able to fill in with great skill. He also had the opportunity to be a preacher of parish missions. Later he was transferred to another community to be the director of students. He resided at St. Gabriel’s Monastery, Brighton and gave laymen’s retreats at the monastery retreat house. While preaching at Newburyport, Massachusetts he fell and broke his arm. After much care he recovered. In 1920 his brother died suddenly. It was in the early 1920s that Father Edmund Campbell expressed his desire to go to China. He felt freer to go after the death of his mother. Finally on August 6, 1923 he and four other missionaries set sail from Seattle, Washington. On August 25, 1923 they arrived in Shanghai, by way of Tokyo. In Shanghai they were greeted by Father Celestine Roddan, C.P., Chinese Catholic layman Mr. Lo, and members of the Catholic Club in Shanghai. A week later he was in Hankow and it took longer to get into the interior. Once at Shenchowfu he began to learn Chinese. He served as a negotiator between bandits and in February 1924 he went to Hankow as mission procurator. Through his efforts he moved the building from the Maloo section of Hankow on Nanyang Road to the Racine Building on the Rue Dubail which was part of the French Concession. It was a healthier part of the city and near the Post Office and Customs House. Later the procuration moved to the Jardine Estate. For awhile Father Basil Bauer was an assistant procurator. Father Campbell died at the Hankow procuration after a short illness.

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