Father Paschal Drew, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1908-1968)

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Born Harry Drew on June 28, 1908 in East Newark, New Jersey, he grew up in nearby Harrison, New Jersey. In the spring of 1925 he graduated with honors from Seton Hall High School in South Orange, New Jersey and decided to enter the Passionist Preparatory Seminary at Dunkirk, New York. When he began in September of 1925 the enrollment was 129 students. His nickname was “the bishop” due to his stately demeanor. During his fifth year at the Prep, the year after high school, he was noted for his excellence in Latin and Greek. He professed his vows on August 15, 1927. His religious name was Paschal. His novice master was Father Clement Lee, C.P. Studies were conducted at Brighton, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Union City, New Jersey and then back to Baltimore. He was ordained on June 15, 1933 by Archbishop Curley of Baltimore at the Baltimore Cathedral. After a year of sacred eloquence under Father Stanislaus Grennan, C.P. he was so skilled as a preacher that he was asked to take the place of a priest who was ill – a rare event for a student in sacred eloquence! However, once sacred eloquence was completed he was asked to be a professor of Latin and Greek at the Preparatory Seminary, Dunkirk. He did this for almost twenty-five years except for two years when he studied at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. where he obtained an M.A. For seven months he was also vice-rector in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at the Prep in Dunkirk he was known for the production of the various shows and presentations. He also cared for many sick religious. About 1948 the Prep in Dunkirk began weekly radio broadcasts. Father Drew was the master of ceremonies for the program. In 1959 he was asked to go to Scranton, Pennsylvania to take over the Radio and Television programs. That meant three different talks each week. Two were on radio and a third was the televised Sunday Mass with a sermon. He also was director of The Confraternity of the Passion at Scranton. He led two pilgrimages. One was to Rome for the beatification of Blessed Dominic Barberi and the other to the Holy Land. In the fall of 1967 he went to West Springfield, Massachusetts to assist the radio show, The Hour of the Crucified. During Holy Week of 1967 he was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph glands but despite two operations it continued to spread. West Springfield was his last assignment.