The Death of
Father Kavanaugh

(Excerpted from Crónica del Monasterio de San Francisco, CA 1929-1938 by Sister María del Cristo Rey; translated and edited by Bali K. Nelson, 2010)

The community's happiness in June 1937 over our lovely monastery and newly completed chapel was tempered by the increasingly frail health of our beloved Father Kavanaugh, who had done so much to help us establish our new home in San Francisco.

On one occasion, Father Kavanaugh had come to visit us accompanied by the man who had been his Master of Novices. This man created a concise elegy which faithfully portrayed Father Kavanaugh when he told us: "Father Kavanaugh has a heart bigger than his body." Truly, he did. This was easy for us and for the Carmelite Sisters to understand because for both of us he had been in all ways a father who had provided for us tirelessly during all these years. He was a well known speaker in the United States and in his sermons he always spoke of us, trying to arouse charity in people so that they would help us. He introduced us to people who could be of assistance, recommending that they help "his daughters." He took care to find people who would send us supplies and was always looking to see that we lacked nothing. The Lord purified this "martyr of charity" through physical and moral sufferings before finally opening for him the doors of Paradise, where the crown of glory awaited him, on February 24th, 1939.