Father Luke Callahan, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1879-1944)

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Born John Michael Callahan on June 17, 1879 on Mt. Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio, he lived for fourteen years at home. His brother Dominic became a Passionist priest. When Father Stanislaus Grennan, C.P. was rector and pastor of Holy Cross Monastery in Cincinnati he got to know young John Michael. This led to the boy being sent to the Passionist preparatory college at St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, New York. After two years he went to the novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He professed his vows on October 7, 1906 and his religious name was Luke. This was the year that two provinces were created. So Father Wilfred Avery, C.P. was in Pittsburgh and led his group of novices to Sacred Heart Retreat, Louisville, Kentucky where his vows were professed. He was a student at Cincinnati, Chicago, Illinois, and Normandy, Missouri. He was ordained there on June 1, 1913 by Bishop Paul J. Nussbuam, C.P. At that time he and his classmates went to St. Paul, Kansas for sacred eloquence under the direction of Father Philip Birk, C.P. After that year he was assigned as professor at the preparatory college in Cincinnati. In 1916 for instance he taught afternoon classes in Latin, rhetoric, and mathematics. He also was a preacher and assisted at Sunday work. During the 1917 Provincial Chapter he was named as rector at St. Paul, Kansas. He was 28 and in the next chapter was re-elected. During that term of office he was stricken with malaria while preaching a mission in Arkansas. This left him weak for the rest of his life. He went later to the new Passionist foundation in Des Moines, Iowa and then in 1926 was assigned to Cincinnati as the director of students for two years. Then he was named pastor of Holy Cross Parish and was there for fourteen years. In January 1943 while visiting a sick child at Good Samaritan Hospital he suffered a stroke and this led to paralysis. In pain he went then to Rome City, Indiana and then to Mt. Carmel Hospital, Detroit, Michigan and then to the Mercywood Sanatorium at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Finally he made it back to the Detroit monastery. He died in Detroit.