Father Walter Coveyou, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1894-1929)

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Born October 17, 1894 in Petoskey, Michigan, he was the son of W. M. Coveyou and Flora Draper. He professed his vows on February 13, 1912 and was ordained on May 29, 1920. He quickly offered his ministry to the China missions, but it was decided that the time was not right. Instead he was assigned to Cincinnati, Ohio where he was a preacher who raised monies for the Passionist missions in China. He also preached sermons and gave Lenten courses. After 1927 it appeared that the civil strife which had consumed China was coming to an end. The western province decided to send more missionaries and Father Coveyou was chosen. For six weeks he took a medical course in order to prepare for the missions and then proceeded on to China. He arrived in late 1928 where he studied the Chinese language in Shenchow. The strain of the new life there caused him to suffer for a short time from herpes – an attack of the nervous system. He was brought back to health by Sister Finan of the Sisters of Charity. At the close of the annual retreat in Shenchow in April, Fathers Coveyou, Clement Seybold, and Godfrey Holbein proceeded to the mission at Yuanchow, Hunan. After spending the night at an inn they were attacked by Chinese bandits and murdered. They were the first three American Catholic missionaries to be killed in China.

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