Father Matthias Coen, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1898-1975)

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Born Bernard Coen on February 5, 1898 in Sheffield, England, he was the son of James Coen and Elizabeth Scott who were both Irish. He was raised in Sheffield and after 1910 the family moved to Kankakee, Illinois. He graduated from St. Patrick’s School, Kankakee. In 1912 he entered the Passionist Preparatory Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio where Father Peter Hanley, C.P. was Director and Father Eugene Creegan was Rector. He went to the novitiate in Louisville and professed his vows on August 16, 1914. He was a student in St. Paul, Kansas and Chicago, Illinois. He was in Chicago when the students from Mexico arrived. He was ordained on August 14, 1921 at Holy Angels Church by Bishop A. J. McGavick, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. After sacred eloquence, in 1923 he was assigned as professor at the Preparatory School, Normandy, Missouri. He later taught in Cincinnati and Chicago. In 1932 he became vicar at Cincinnati. In 1926 he was elected Rector for three years. In 1941 he was elected Provincial Consultor. Father Boniface Fielding was provincial. In 1941 he resigned his passive voice. He then set out to be a preacher of missions and retreats. But at the same time he found himself going through a spiritual turmoil and found changes in the church to be upsetting. For some years he lived in St. Paul, Kansas. In 1972 he moved to Chicago to Daneo Hall. At one time he assisted as hospital chaplain at Dunning State Hospital, Chicago.