Father Maurice Smith, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1857-1894)

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Born Theodore Dehon Smith on January 1, 1857 in Logan County, Ohio he, was the son of Elizabeth McCullough and General Kilby Smith of the United States Army who had won distinction during the United States Civil War as a Chief of Staff with General U.S. Grant during the Mississippi campaign. In 1878 he entered the Passionists and professed his vows January 19, 1879. He was ordained a priest on March 1, 1885 by Bishop W.M. Wigger of Newark, New Jersey in St. Michael’s Church, West Hoboken, New Jersey. During the seven years after ordination he was stationed at Cincinnati, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis, Missouri. He preached in those cities, Chicago, Illinois, and in other parts of the country. He was then appointed a professor of students in Normandy, Missouri where he stayed until on October 1890, with Passionist Fathers Fidelis Kent Stone, Sylvester Harrington, and Stephen Kealy. Father Smith sailed from New York to Rome and then to Buenos Aires, Argentina. However, due to a heart ailment his life was cut suddenly short. He was noted for his study of literature. Father Smith had known Father Stone when the latter was a member of the Paulists. Visits with Stone then and later when Stone was a Passionist novice in Pittsburgh help lead to the decision to enter the Passionists. It was Helen Grace Smith, the sister of Father Smith, who was a biographer of Father Fidelis Stone and a life of Father Maurice Smith entitled A Knight of the Cross.