Father Edward Hennessey, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1920-1981)

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Born James Hennessey on October 5, 1920 in Hamilton. Ontario, Canada, he was educated at St. Mary’s School and Cathedral High School. He entered St. Peter’s Seminary, London, Ontario in 1938. He professed his Passionist vows on October 9, 1942. His religious name was Edward. He was ordained a Passionist priest on April 29, 1946 at St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, New Jersey. After sacred eloquence he went to Munich, Germany to become director of the minor seminary there. After a few years there he returned to the United States and was made principal of St. Michael’s High School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He then was made pastor of St. Gabriel’s Parish, Toronto, Canada where he became very active in the liturgical movement. He was a founding member of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission before leaving Toronto for Boston, Massachusetts in 1963 where he was pastor of St. Gabriel’s Parish, Brighton, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Liturgical Commission there and lectured on Theology of the laity and ecumenism. He also started a choir school at St. Gabriel’s. In 1967 he became director of Holy Cross Centre, Port Burwell, Canada. This ecumenical work took him to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he was co-founder of Julian House. He and the I.H.M. sisters, from 1968 onward, developed the House of Prayer. He then went for a year to a hermitage at Port Burwell. After a year of studies in Toronto he went back to Port Burwell and in May 1973 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s from which he eventually died. He remained with the community until 1977 and was admitted to Providence Villa at that time.