Father Maurice Tew, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1901-1976)

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Born Henry Tew in South Boston, Massachusetts on February 10, 1901, he went to elementary school and Boston College High School in 1914. In 1917 he applied to the Passionist monastery. He professed his vows on October 9, 1919 and received the name Maurice. He was ordained on February 27, 1926. He was assistant prefect of students at Holy Cross Seminary, Dunkirk, New York for one year. Then he was assistant pastor at St. Michael’s Parish, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1928 until 1934 he preached retreats and conducted novenas while at Scranton, Pennsylvania and Brighton, Massachusetts. In 1934 he was appointed retreat director at West Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1935 he went to work with Black Catholics in Greenville, North Carolina and was pastor at Mother of Mercy Mission, Washington, North Carolina which was about twenty-five miles from Greenville. In Greenville he began renting a store so as to learn about the area. This was a time of poverty and racism. He eventually became a student counselor at North Carolina State Teachers College and had a half hour radio show each day on the local radio station. He was a gifted pianist and would entertain troops from Camp Lejune at the Greenville USO. In 1964 the Greenville parish was turned back to the diocese and Father Tew was assigned to Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and Shelter Island, New York until 1967 when he had to accept semi-retirement. He was hospitalized with a stroke on October 19, went into a coma later and died on March 6.