Father Gerard Rooney, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1908-1973)

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Born October 8, 1908, he professed his Passionist vows on August 15, 1928 and was ordained on April 28, 1934 at St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton, Pennsylvania. After ordination he did post-graduate studies at Fordham University and then was a professor for eleven years in the Passionist seminary where he taught Sacred Scripture, Hebrew, and Ecclesiastical History. He was also a professor of Catholic Social Doctrine. From August 19, 1942 until July 1943 while he was stationed at Baltimore, Maryland he wrote a course in sociology. This was a time when there was a debate about whether sociology should be part of the seminary system. He then directed the Passionist Radio Apostolate in Scranton for three years followed by seven years as associate retreat director at Brighton, Massachusetts with director Father Lucian Ducie, C.P. Then followed a five year assignment as associate editor of Sign Magazine. From there he was elected as provincial of St. Paul of the Cross Province for six years. He then went on to be rector of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. When his term expired in 1965 Bishop Flanagan of Worcester, Massachusetts asked him to be Chairman of the Re-organization of the educational system of the diocese and in 1971 he became director of education for the diocese of Worcester. He was also co-founder of the Catholic Social Action Conference and served for two years as the president. His support was critical in the development of the Center of Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). He was a member of the executive board of the Conference of Major Superiors and was named to the Advisory Counsel of the United States Catholic Conference. He wrote Preface to the Bible. His was provincial during the period of change brought about by Vatican II in the 1960s. His vision was crucial in the reorganization of the Passionist education and formation program and reconstructed the operating function of provincial chapters which in part led to research and study committees on each aspect of Passionist life. Internationally he was a supporter of the development of the Passionist assistancy plan of government according to language and region as well as the adaptation of the Passionist Rule and General Government in the post-conciliar era. Another book was The Mystery of Calvary. At times aloof, he could be very sensitive to a individual as well if need be.

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