Father Marion Durbala, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1899-1960)

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Born April 3, 1899, he was the son of John and Mary Magyar Durbala. The family was originally from the Slovak area of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. In Louella, Iowa he met Father Benedict Hanley, C.P. who preached a parish mission. The young Mr. Durbala sought and found work in Chicago as a mail clerk on the Illinois Central railway. He would travel between Chicago and Davenport, Iowa in order to pay for his Passionist education. In June 1917 he entered the Passionist Preparatory College, Cincinnati, Ohio. Two years later he went to the novitiate in Louisville, Kentucky where his master of novices was Father Jerome Reutermann, C.P. He professed his vows there on August 20, 1920. Studies were in St. Paul, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; and Cincinnati, Ohio where he was ordained by Bishop Paul J. Nussbuam, C.P. on February 27, 1927 which was the feast of St. Gabriel. For many years he was a preacher. After ordination he spent a year of sacred eloquence in the eastern province to train for preaching in his native Slovak language. Father Eugene Kozar, C.P. was his professor and fellow mentor for preaching. In later years, back in the western province he preached almost exclusively in English. When not preaching he was busy, often as a repair man around the monastery where he fixed boilers, door knobs, clocks, or automobiles. He also trimmed bushes and hedges. He was most active when sadly a heart attack slowed him down. For seven years he lived at Sierra Madre, California where he died.