Father Xavier Sutton, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1852-1926)

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Born James Sutton on September 22, 1852 in Tiffin, Ohio, he received his early education at St. Xavier’s College, Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of twenty he entered the Passionist novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He professed his vows on December 1, 1873. His religious name was Xavier. He was ordained on October 18, 1879. He was assigned as a preacher of parish missions. He had a reluctance to accept any offices of leadership in the Passionists. Still he was Provincial Consultor and Rector in Baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, Illinois. As a preacher, he was most known for his attention to non-Catholics. He was a gifted preacher, with a good memory and pleasant personality. He went to many areas, among which were Alabama, Georgia and to the mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky. There he expounded the truths of the Catholic faith. He also took attention to compose books which he thought would be helpful to people in the pews. One was entitled Crumbs of Comfort which was nearly three hundred pages in length. Another book was for non-Catholics which was in pamphlet form under the title Clearing the Way. Later, it was titled What Is a Catholic?. This apologetic literature was distributed free of charge during the mission exercises. Another writing was a vocational pamphlet entitled The Life of Blessed Gabriel for Boys and Girls. It is said to be the first life of St. Gabriel that was printed in English. In 1926 when giving a retreat to the Passionist community in Baltimore he was found to be ill. Checked by doctors, they determined that nothing could be done so he returned to Cincinnati where after months of suffering he was sent to Good Samaritan Hospital and after several weeks he died.