New 1918 Pandemic Documentation: Sacred Heart Monastery and Camp Taylor, Louisville. Kentucky

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Passionists and the 1918 Spanish Pandemic Influenza. By Rob Carbonneau, C.P., Ph.D. Passionist Historian, St. Paul of the Cross Province. March 15, 2020. Email [email protected]

Louisville Passionists and the 1918 Pandemic. Part One is a short introduction. Part Two describes the historical eventPart Three is the archival document

PART ONE The present 2020 COVID-19 virus has been compared to the 1918 Spanish Influenza. On Friday March 13, I spent the morning digging through the Passionist Historical Archives located within the Special Collections at The University of Scranton. I also delved into the in-house archives at St. Ann’s Monastery, Scranton.

In the days ahead, I will post some historical summaries and supporting documents from the Passionist Historical Archives which will show how the 1918 Pandemic impacted Passionists in Pittsburgh, PA; Brighton, MA, Baltimore, MD, Scranton, PA, Louisville, KY and Corpus Christi, TX. 

You might ask why this is of value? Because, for the foreseeable time, it seems to me that this 2020 Pandemic reminds us that we all have something in common. At this moment what is most certain is uncertainty. The history of the 1918 Influenza reminds us how suffering can suddenly enter our lives. At such times, how do we respond with compassion and care? Such moments do test our faith. At the same time, history reminds us to be humble. History reminds us to be courageous. History reminds us to be wise. History reminds us to respect our common humanity. I suggest that a solemn and sacred understanding of the 1918 Pandemic is a window for us to view this 2020 COVID-19 virus.

This year, as the Passionists celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding (1720-2020), we recall that this pandemic is one of the many ways that the Passion of the Cross is part of everyday life. With faith, let us lift up and carry our personal crosses; when possible let us find creative ways to assist others to carry their cross as well. With confidence, let us as ask God to provide peace and healing for those in need.

PART TWO: When the 1918 Spanish Influenza Flu Pandemic hit Camp Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, Father Alphonsu Kruip, C.P. (1878-1962) ministered to those in need. A member of Holy Cross Province, Father Kruip was ordained on January 18, 1903. After ordination he and his classmates were sent to St. Michael’s Monastery, West Hoboken, New Jersey for Sacred Eloquence under the direction of Father Philip Birk, C.P. who was a personal friend of Orestes Brownson. After that Kruip ministered in Dunkirk, New York, Chicago, Illinois and St. Paul, Kansas. He also ministered in the Oklahoma Territory. When Holy Cross Province was established in 1906 Father Kruip went to Normandy, Missouri and then to Louisville, Kentucky where he was vice-master of novices and then finally Rector of Louisville. While he was Rector, he did extensive work as a hospital or military chaplain at Camp Taylor where there was a major flu epidemic.

PART THREE To view a copy of the actual archival document, click o 

(Should you find this information of interest Please consider sending these reflections on to those you know and join our sign up list at the Passionist Archives website If you wish to support our mission to educate the public on Passionist history please consider donating; large or small, it is of great assistance. May the Passion of Jesus Christ Be Always In Our Heart)