Father Matthias Mayou, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1879-1929)

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Born William Mayou in Brockville, Ontario, Canada on January 19, 1879, his family moved to Erie, New York when he was a young boy. At fifteen he entered the Passionist Preparatory School at St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, New York. He was admitted to the novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in January 1896 and professed his vows on January 27, 1897. His religious name was Matthias. After studies at Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; and West Hoboken, New Jersey he was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1904. After sacred eloquence he was assigned as a vice-master, seminary professor, and director of students. In 1914 he was elected the rector of St. Paul of the Cross Monastery, Pittsburgh. He was re-elected to the same position in 1917. In 1920 he was elected second provincial consultor and in 1923 first provincial consultor. He participated in four provincial chapters, one general chapter and was influential in the founding of the West Springfield, Massachusetts monastery and The Sign magazine to which he was an early and frequent contributor. He was a strong advocate of the improvement of Holy Cross Prep School in Dunkirk and the laymen retreat movement especially the expansion for a retreat house in Pittsburgh. As a result, through his efforts, the retreat directors began to meet and the Passionists served as important voices in the National Laymen Retreat League. In 1926 his health began to fail. In February 1929 he was on retreat at St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, New York when his health took a sudden turn for the worse.