Father John Hirtenberger, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1856-1919)

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Born November 1, 1856 in Kitanning, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Anthony and Margaret Hirtenberger. Another son became a Passionist and a daughter entered the Benedictine convent. He professed his vows on November 3, 1872 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was ordained on May 23, 1880. After ordination he was sent to Louisville, Kentucky and after a short time became assistant pastor at St. Michael’s Parish, Pittsburgh. However, he was chosen by the provincial to be a member of the Passionist mission to Argentina and set sail on November 10, 1883 from Hoboken, New Jersey. He ministered in Argentina for almost twenty years as the mission developed from its base in Buenos Aires. He was crucial in overseeing the erection of the church of the Holy Cross which was attached to the monastery in Buenos Aires. It is of fine Gothic style. In 1903 Father Hirtenberger returned to the United States and was vice-rector at Normandy, Missouri; St. Paul, Kansas; and Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1914 until 1917 he was rector of the foundation in Normandy. During this time he also took time to preach parish missions. When his term of office ended he was sent to the monastery at Chicago, Illinois. He died at the monastery in Chicago after suffering from several months from dropsy and heart trouble. The final reason for his death was acute myocarditis.