Rev. Damian Lavery, director of St. Benedict’s College at Atchison, is a graduate of that institution and had been actively connected with it as an instructor since his ordination as a priest fourteen years ago.
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Father Lavery was born in Benson, Vermont, February 17, 1878, but had lived in Kansas since early infancy. His father, John Lavery, who was born in Connanght, Ireland, in 1835, came to this country when a young man, located in Vermont, was married there, and for many years followed his trade as a mechanic and employment as a railroad man. In 1879 he brought his family to Kansas, and was one of the early settlers at Hanover, where he followed his trade until 1903. Since then he had lived retired at Hanover. He is a democrat and a member of the Catholic Church. John Lavery married Alice Ryan, who was born in 1842 and died at Hanover, Kansas, in 1912. Their seven children were: Patrick, an engineer of the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad Company, living at Hanover; Cornelins, who was a locomotive engineer and died at Hanover at the age of thirty; Father Damian; Margaret, with her father; Richard, a locomotive engineer living at Hanover; John, who had also taken up railroad work, is an engineer and lives at Hanover; Louis, who died in infancy.
Father Lavery was educated in the parochial schools of Hanover and then entered St. Benedict’s College at Atchison. He was enrolled as a student in 1889, and remained until graduating in 1896. He then entered St. Benedict’s Seminary, where he completed the theological course in 1902. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1903 and at once began his duties as a teacher in St. Benedict’s. In 1911 he was made director of the institution.
Concerning this well known educational institution further mention is made on other pages of this publication.
Father Lavery is a noted public speaker as well as a teacher. He had been heard not only in his home city but in many places in the Middle West, and as a lecturer his subjects comprise a wide range of instructive and educational material.