Father Sebastian Ochsenreiter, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1876-1943)

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Born Joseph J. Ochsenreiter on December 29, 1876, he was a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His home church was St. Michael’s, Southside and he was educated there under the direction of the Brothers of Mary. For a number of years he worked in the various industries in the Pittsburgh area. At sixteen he went to the Passionist Preparatory Seminary, St. Mary’s, Dunkirk, New York. He then went on to the novitiate in Pittsburgh and professed his vows on December 9, 1894. His religious name was Sebastian. He then pursued studies at Louisville, Kentucky; Normandy, Missouri; and Cincinnati, Ohio. He was ordained a priest on January 18, 1903 at Holy Cross Monastery Church, Cincinnati. He had a year of sacred eloquence at St. Michael’s Monastery, West Hoboken, New Jersey. He was then assigned to the new Passionist foundation in Chicago, Illinois which at that time had only three or four priests in residence. When the province split in 1906 Father Ochsenreiter became a member of the eastern province of St. Paul of the Cross. He was director of students at St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton, Pennsylvania and then directed, for four and one half years, the Passionist Preparatory School at Dunkirk. In 1911 he was elected rector and pastor of St. Joseph’s Monastery and Parish, Baltimore, Maryland. At this time he built an addition on to the parish school. In 1914 he was elected rector of St. Michael’s Monastery, West Hoboken. He then was a preacher of missions and retreats until 1922 when he was once again rector of West Hoboken. In 1923 he was elected provincial consultor and held the position for two terms. In his second term as consultor he made a visitation to the China missions and the German foundation. After six years as a consultor he was once again rector of Baltimore where he supervised the building of a new parish church. He was also vice-rector at Pittsburgh where he helped organize the laymen retreat movement and the building of the retreat house. He worked there for eleven years. He died a member of the Pittsburgh community. He had been in the hospital for removal of a gall bladder. Complications set in and he died from an infection.