Biographies

Father Maurice P. Gleason, MM

Born: July 4, 1894
Ordained: September 23, 1923
Died: May 31, 1940

Maurice P. Gleason was born on July 4, 1894 in Macroom, County Cork, Ireland. He and his father emigrated to the United States in 1903 and made their home in St. Louis, Missouri. Receiving the call to the priesthood, he entered the Society of the Divine Word at Techny, Illinois. In his third year of Theology, convinced that he was called to mission work as a secular rather than as a religious, he joined Maryknoll.

He was ordained on September 23, 1923 and assigned to the Vicariate of Kongmoon. Two years later Maryknoll was given charge of the region of Kaying and Father Gleason was transferred to assist Msgr. Francis Ford in the pioneer work of the new field. Despite almost continual ill health, Father Gleason served the Church actively in China for twelve years.

When his health necessitated a recall, Father was assigned to the mission of San Juan Bautista, California. While there he devoted all of his efforts to the teaching of catechism to the Mexican children of the mission. Fr. Gleason’s success among children was a notable characteristic of his entire mission career.

It was in California that Father became ill and went to Los Angeles for medical care. Despite his affliction he did what work he was able to do there among the Chinese.

In May of 1940 Father Gleason’s condition declined rapidly and on May 31 he gave himself up to Christ for whom he had suffered much and finally given his all. Burial was in the Maryknoll plot in the Los Angeles Catholic Cemetery.