Father Reginald Frigerio, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1882-1926)

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Born on February 11, 1882 in Lombardy, Italy, when he was four years of age he arrived in the United States with his parents. They settled in West Hoboken, New Jersey. He attended St. Michael’s School and graduated at fourteen. Then he applied to the Passionists and went to the Passionist Preparatory School, Dunkirk, Ne w York. After that he went to the Passionist novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and professed his vows on September 20, 1898. After his first ten months of study he was sent to the Rome to finish his studies towards ordination. He remained there for eight years and was ordained in Rome on December 17, 1904. He then returned to the United States for a year of sacred eloquence. Once completed he began preaching parish missions and devotions to Italians in the United States. While successful, he also had to grapple with the fact that he had a strong Italian accent when he spoke English so he rarely gave missions in English except for the four year period when he was pastor of St. Anthony Church, Union City, New Jersey. In 1924 Father Frigerio was given permission to visit Italy where he was given charge of the Passionist Exhibit at the Mission Exposition during the 1925 Holy Year. He was given a special diploma and medal by Pope Pius XI for his efforts. He returned to the United States. In early March 1926 he was hearing confessions at old St. Peter’s Church, Barclay Street, New York City. When he returned to the Union City monastery he went to hear more confessions for religious sisters in Jersey City, New Jersey and Newark, New Jersey. On his way home he collapsed on the sidewalk from a cerebral hemorrhage.