The Ailing Associate

Past Associate Pastors: Fr. Matthew Newman, OSB (1927-1928) 
Published on May 10-11, 2014 in the Parish Bulletin of Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY

To assist Fr. Sebastian Siemer, OSB (1876-1936) who had been suffering from a duodenal ulcer, the abbot of Saint Bernard’s started sending monks to serve as associate pastors at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Danville, Kentucky. Fr. Matthew Newman, OSB, was the first one sent and he ministered to the two missions in Mercer County, Saint Andrew Church in Harrodsburg and Saint Nicholas Church in Rose Hill, from 1927 to 1928.

matthewosbThe Rev. Matthew Newman, OSB, was born on September 6, 1895, in Taylorsville, Kentucky, and received the name James at his baptism. His widowed father, James Caleb Newman (1860-1910), raised the five children—Joseph A., Mary E., Addie C., James C., and John B.—in Spencer County, Kentucky and Pasco County, Florida. Three of the Newman children entered religious life.

The oldest, Joseph A. Newman (1889-1957), had studied at Saint Bernard College in Cullman, Alabama, and Saint Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Indiana, before he was ordained a priest for the Diocese (later Archdiocese) of Louisville. He was the second chaplain of the Louisville Catholic Deaf Society. He had ministered at Saint Leo the Great Church in Highland Park (closed since 1990) and Saint Rita Church in Okolona before he was sent to Saint Helen Church in Shively, Kentucky, to serve as pastor from 1938 until his sudden death at the age of sixty-eight. (On January 1, 2009, Saint Helen’s was merged with the parishes of Saint Basil and Saint Denis to form the present Mary, Queen of Peace Church in Louisville). In 1949, he was raised to the rank of monsignor. After his death, Council 4665 of the Knights of Columbus (in Louisville) and the library of the city of Shively (now the Shively-Newman Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library) were named in his honor.

Addie C. Newman (1893-1979) professed her vows as a nun of the Order of Saint Benedict (OSB) in 1910 at Holy Name Priory (now Monastery in Saint Leo, Florida) at its old site in San Antonio, Florida, and took the name Maria Annunciata in religion.

James C. Newman professed his vows as a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict (OSB) on July 25, 1919 at Saint Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama, and took the name Matthew in religion. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1925 by the Right Rev. Edward P. Allen (1853-1926), the fifth Bishop of Mobile (1897-1926). He taught briefly at Saint Bernard’s before he was sent to do parish work in Kentucky. He had contracted tuberculosis; yet, instead of nurturing his fragile health, he exerted himself in his ministry to the missions. He had served a little more than a year in Kentucky before his illness forced the abbot to send him to the care of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in New Mexico.

Fr. Matthew, OSB, died on January 13, 1929 at the Holy Cross Sanatorium in Deming, New Mexico. He was thirty three years old. His remains were sent to Saint Bernard’s and were buried in the abbey cemetery.


~ by Fr. Noel F. Zamora on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

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