Father Leopold Snyder, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1880-1967)

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Born John Nicholas Snyder on November 2, 1880 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he was the son of John Snyder and Elizabeth Bauer. At sixteen he entered Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania and completed his studies there in 1902. Two years later he entered the Passionists and professed his vows on June 15, 1905. His religious name was Leopold.. His master of novices was Father Fidelis Kent Stone, C.P. On May 21, 1910 he was ordained a priest at Saint John the Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York by Bishop McDonnell of Brooklyn. Father Snyder was trained in sacred eloquence by Father Robert McNamara, C.P. and the next year was assigned as professor and director of students which he held for ten years in West Hoboken, New Jersey. He was known to be a strong upholder of the Passionist rule of life. He was assigned as vicar of St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton, Pennsylvania and after one year in the assignment was asked to go to Germany. Father Valentine Lehnerd was a key person in the development of the German foundation and is said to have first proposed the idea. Father Silvio, the Passionist superior general at the time who appointed Father Victor Koch as the superior. Koch and Lehnerd arrived in Munich, Germany in the summer of 1922 and once there, they petitioned that Father Snyder be sent as well. Father Snyder arrived in Germany on February 1, 1923. At that time there was terrible inflation in Germany right through the beginning of World War II in 1939. Nazi pressure forced him to return to the United States that year. At that time the vice-province had three monasteries, forty students in the preparatory seminary, ten novices and twenty-five priests. Father Snyder went back to Germany in the late 1940s and in the 1950s for other ministry there. He served as rector, master of novices and provincial consultor for that foundation. In the United States he also worked for four years at Snake Hill, the Hudson County Institutions at Laurel Hill, New Jersey and resided at other monasteries where he was a confessor. In May 1966 he was diagnosed with liver disease and he lived his final years in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

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