Gerald Osterberg, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1926-1949)

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Born Jerome Stephen Osterberg on February 9, 1926 in Iron Mountain, Michigan, he was the son of Gerald and Bernadette Foley. The family moved to California and he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1944. For two years and three months he was a member of the Navy as an electrician’s mate 3/c. He entered the Passionist Preparatory Seminary, Normandy, Missouri and then on June 6, 1949 he went to the novitiate at St. Paul, Kansas where he was given the name Gerald. He was not able to receive the habit on June 8 with the rest of his class, because his father was not Catholic and the necessary dispensation had not yet been received. On July 25 he and his classmates went for a swim. The river was three feet higher than normal. He did not think of swimming because of poison ivy. Then he was stung by some wasps. At the same time when he saw his classmates swimming he decided that he would change his mind and join them. Upon crossing the swift river he could not grasp the slippery bank and was washed down river in the swift current. Brother Charles responded to his cry for help but as both went under Brother Charles let go in order to prevent his own drowning. Gerald did not surface. The next day divers found the body at Flat Rock Creek. Novice Master Faustinus Moran, sadly, accompanied the body of this Passionist novice back to California where he was buried at the Passionist burial plot at Sierra Madre, California.