Father Roland Flaherty, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1919-1974)

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Born Francis Flaherty on September 19, 1919 in Sharon, Pennsylvania he was the son of Michael Flaherty and Rose Huck Flaherty. His uncle was Father Benedict Huck, C.P. and his cousins Father Victor Koch, C.P. and Father Basil Bauer, C.P. He attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Sharon and then three years at Sharon High School. In 1936 he entered the Passionist Preparatory Seminary, Dunkirk, New York where he completed his senior year in high school and two years of college. He was a novice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under Father Berchmans Lanagan and professed his vows on August 15, 1940. Studies were first year philosophy at St. Mary’s, Dunkirk, second and third philosophy at St. Joseph’s, Baltimore, Maryland, first and second theology at Immaculate Conception Monastery, Jamaica, New York and his last two years of theology at St. Michael’s Monastery, Union City, New Jersey. He was ordained by Bishop Thomas Walsh of Newark, New Jersey on April 28, 1947.

In November of 1947 Father Flaherty and Fathers Basil Stockmeyer, Ambrose Maguire, Edward Hennessy and John Patrick Moore went to minister in the Germany-Austria Vice-Province. While in Germany Father Flaherty was vice-master of novices and vicar in all three monasteries in Schwarzenfeld, Munich and Maria Schutz, Austria. In Munich he also served as an auxiliary military chaplain in the United States Army at Erding Air Force Base. In this capacity he lived part of the week at the base and part of the week at the monastery in Munich. For eighteen years Father Flaherty served in Germany and would return every four years on a furlough. When his mother was quite ill in 1965 he was assigned to the Pittsburgh community where he resided from 1965 until 1968 and was a confessor as well as substitute chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital, South Side and Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh.. In 1968 he was assigned as associate pastor at St. Michael’s, Union City and in 1970 transferred to St. Gabriel’s Parish, Brighton, Massachusetts where he served as an associate pastor until April 1973 when illness led him to reside at the Boston monastery infirmary. He was able to visit his family in Pennsylvania from April until December 1973 but back in Brighton, his health began to fail and in January 1974 he was admitted to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Brighton where he died.

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