Father Gabriel Mary Jaskal, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1904-1970)

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Born June 11, 1904 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, as a young altar boy he met the Passionist Lithuanian preacher Father Alphonsus Maria Urbanowicz. After attending the Passionist Preparatory School in Baltimore, Maryland the young man went to Holy Cross College, Dunkirk, New York. He made his novitiate at St. Paul’s Monastery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and professed his vows on September 9, 1923. His studies followed the Passionists practice of living in various monasteries: Scranton, Pennsylvania; Brighton, Massachusetts; Baltimore; and Jamaica, New York where he was ordained a priest on March 15, 1930 by Bishop Paul Nussbaum, C.P.

Father Jaskal soon found himself back in the classroom to prepare for his ministry. He learned Polish part of which required three years in Poland and Lithuania. When he returned to the United States he was fluent in three languages and conversant in six. At that point he began to learn Russian. To achieve this he resided at St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois. Father Jaskal was the first United States born Passionist of Lithuanian ancestry so he was most interested in bringing the gospel message to this ethnic group. He did this for forty years all around the East Coast and in the Chicago area. With Vatican II (1962-1965) the need for this preaching and devotions somewhat diminished. During the last years of his life Father Jaskal lived in Brighton, Massachusetts.