Father Ernest Welch, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1903-1991)

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Born August 12, 1903 he professed his vows on September 14, 1924 and was ordained on February 8, 1931. From 1932 until 1937 he was director of students in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Jamaica, New York; and Union City, New Jersey. He then was a preacher of parish missions from 1937 until 1939 and resided in Brighton, Massachusetts. From 1939 until 1941 he was rector of St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, New York and held the same position at West Springfield, Massachusetts from 1941 until 1944. From 1944 until 1947 he was pastor of Mother of Mercy Mission, Washington, North Carolina and also acted as superior of the Passionists in North Carolina. The primary emphasis of the apostolate here was with Black Catholics. From 1947 until 1950 he was the first provincial consultor and lived in Union City. From 1950 until 1959 he was the provincial and was postulated for an unprecedented third term in 1956. From 1959 until 1962 he was superior at Riverdale, New York. He then had several years as an overseas missionary. From 1962 until 1968 he was superior of the mission in Jamaica, West Indies; from 1968 until 1971 he was mission procurator in Manila, Philippines. From 1971 until 1974 he was mission econome in Calumpang, Philippines and finally he was, from 1978 until 1991, superior of St. Gabriel’s Residence, Brighton. When he was provincial the Prep school was full, there were many chaplains in the military and preachers out giving parish missions. Monasteries were full. At the same time China closed. New wings were added in Pittsburgh and West Springfield. Missions were opened in Jamaica, West Indies in 1955 and the Philippines in 1958. He also helped facilitate the opening of the Atlanta foundation. In addition, he added the pool to Shelter Island, New York and the renovation of the vacation house there. While in the Philippines he came down with the rare disease of sprue. This left him in a chronic weakened condition.

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