Father Wilfrid Flanery, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1913-1987)

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Born John Flannery on March 30, 1913 in Omemee, North Dakota, he was the son of Edward and Catherine Flannery. In 1930 he decided to enter the Passionist Preparatory Seminary, Normandy, Missouri. In 1931 he commenced his novitiate in Louisville, Kentucky. Vows were professed on July 27, 1932. From there he spent two years in college at Mount Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio. There he became good friends with his spiritual director, Father Malcolm Lavelle. C.P. In 1934 he was transferred to the new monastery at Detroit, Michigan. Perpetual vows were professed on July 27, 1935. Two years of doctrinal study in Old Testament and Church history took place in Chicago from 1936 until 1938. His last two years of study were at Louisville, Kentucky. On May 15, 1940 he was ordained a priest by Archbishop John A. Floersch of Louisville at the Cathedral of the Assumption. He then went to sacred eloquence for a year at Cincinnati. From 1941 until 1943 he was at Des Moines, Iowa where he preached forty hours devotions. He was then assigned as a hospital chaplain at Hines Veterans Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. Father Jude McKinnon, C.P. was the senior chaplain. Father Flannery wanted to be a military chaplain in World War II, but the province already had its quota. From 1944 until 1948 he was the vicar of the Detroit monastery. After that he was assigned to Sierra Madre, California where he was a preacher of parish mission for three years. In 1951 he was appointed director of retreats at Holy Cross Retreat House, Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1960 until 1964 he was an assistant pastor, St. Agnes, Louisville. In 1964 the Mount Adams, Cincinnati area declined and Immaculata (German) and Holy Cross (Irish), parishes combined. Father Flannery was the pastor of Holy Cross-Immaculata in September 1964 and Father Dunstan Brannigan was his assistant. In 1971 declining membership led Holy Cross to be closed and Immaculata became the sole church. In 1971 he was assigned to vicar in St. Louis, Missouri. From 1973 until 1983 he was pastor at St. Francis Church, St. Paul, Kansas. The Passionists had been in the area since 1894. Under his guide the mission church was renovated. In 1975 the monastery closed yet Father Flannery stayed on as pastor. In June 1983 he left that assignment due to age. From 1983 until 1985 he was vicar in Chicago, Illinois and assisted as the weekend chaplain at O’Hare Airport. In 1985 he moved to Daneo Hall. He was confined to a wheel chair and suffered a series of strokes.