Father Wilfred Avery, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1864-1934)

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Born Francis Patrick Avery on July 19, 1864 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was educated there and entered professional life in business. He made a retreat at the Passionist monastery, West Hoboken, New Jersey and decided to enter the Passionists. He went to the novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and professed his vows on January 7, 1887. His religious name was Wilfred. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1892 at St. Michael’s, West Hoboken. He was director of students in several monasteries, vicar in Chicago, Illinois, St. Paul, Kansas, and Des Moines, Iowa. He was the first master of novices in Holy Cross Province which was founded in 1906. The Passionists of Holy Cross Province were responsible for ministry west of the Ohio River. He held the position of novice master from 1906 until 1911 and from 1929 until the Provincial Chapter of 1932. While he had little experience as a preacher of missions he was a good retreat master especially for priests and religious. He respected the importance of solitude and prayer in the Passionist life. For many years he suffered from complications with a hernia. He lived in Chicago for some time before he was sent to Louisville, Kentucky during Christmas time 1933 in order to spend his final years at the novitiate site and reside in the infirmary where he had been novice master for eight years. He died at Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, Louisville after complications with appendix surgery.