Father Philip Bebie, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1931-1986)

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Born on March 31, 1931 in Hawthorne, New Jersey he was the son of Edwin Bebie and Florence Foy. He was introduced to the Passionists through Sign Magazine. His aunt, Claire Foy, and his mother were secretaries at the magazine. His father supplied the paper for the printing of the magazine. As he grew up he met, on Sunday visits to his home, Fathers Pius Trevoy, C.P., Emmanuel Trainor, C.P., Ralph Gorman, C.P., David Bulmann, C.P. and Augustine Paul Hennessey, C.P. Through these visits the young man became aware of the various Passionist apostolates and way of religious life. Also impressive was a devotion to the Blessed Mother.

For a while Bebie matriculated at Stevens Institute, Hoboken, New Jersey. Then he decided to go to the Passionist Novitiate in Pittsburgh. He took his vows on July 16, 1953. After studies in various monasteries, he was ordained by Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara, C.P. at St. Michael’s Church on April 28, 1960 at Union City, New Jersey.

From 1961 to 1967 Father Bebie was Passionist Vocation Director in Canada. Then he was called back to Union City to be Director of Students at the Theologate. In 1968 he was assigned as an Associate Retreat Director at St. Gabriel’s, Brighton, Massachusetts.. Then he volunteered to be part of Core Group which set about to establish the Passionist House of Greater Solitude. With Fathers Silvan Rouse, C.P. and Malachy McGill, C.P. he went to Birmingham, Alabama to commence the experiment in Passionist community life. In 1974 they moved the foundation to Bedford, Pennsylvania.

At that point Father Bebie desired to share his spiritual depth more in the apostolate. At the invitation of Father Michael Scanlon, O.F.M., President of Steubenville College he moved to the campus so as to organize retreats for priests involved in the charismatic movement nationwide. Still his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary increased. In 1976 he returned to the province and joined the Passionist Charismatic Community at Chelsea, New York where he lived and prayed with Fathers Bennet Kelley, C.P., Owen Lally, C.P. and Michael Salvagna, C.P. During the next six years Father Bebie gave over one hundred missions throughout the United States. He was innovative in that he shared the pulpit with Sr. Angelique Dryden and Ms. Loretta Armstrong.

At that point in time he got involved with Marian Pilgrimages in co-operation with the Blue Army. This led him to travel through the United States, Europe and Asia to instill greater devotion to Mary. Father Bebie wrote his first book Proclaim Her Name and did many tapes on the Blessed Mother. In 1982 Father Bebie came to Holy Family Monastery, West Hartford, Connecticut. For some time he cared for Father Rene Luedee who had cancer. After Father Luedee’s death, Father Bebie learned he himself was terminally ill with rare liver cancer. He was relegated to a motorized chair and received many visitors during his last days.