Cyprian Bradley – Benedictine abbot in America

Cyprian Bradley was the son of Eugene Owen Bradley (1848-1910) and Bridget Brennan (same birth and death dates as her husband so I think that needs investigating). Cyprian died in 1959. He was unmarried because he became an abbot in the Benedictine order of monks.

Cyprian was related to the McMahon family through his grandfather Charles Andrew Bradley who married Anne McMahon. Anne was the sister of my great great grandfather Eugene Owen McMahon. See the family tree attached but I’m guessing Cyprian’s father was named after his uncle – taking the names Eugene and Owen.

Charles Andrew Bradley and Anne McMahon emigrated from Ireland to Dunfermline, Scotland. That is where they died. But one of their sons – Eugene Owen Bradley – emigrated to the US.  He then married Bridget Brennan and had four children we know about including Cyprian.

Cyprian was an abbot at the Benedictine College in Pueblo, Colorado and there is a letter from him written to his aunt, Sister Pantaleon (Margaret Bradley), on 19 April, 1916. You have to wonder what influence his aunt Margaret had on his decision to take holy orders.

Cyprian was trained at St Vincent’s seminary in Pennsylvania and ordained as the first abbot of the new Holy Cross Abbey, Fremont County, Colorado on 1 July, 1911. The building of this abbey apparently angered the local Ku Klux Klan who wanted a Protestant ascendancy and disliked the influx of European immigrants into the area, mainly in the mining industry.

The abbey had 90 monks at its height. But it ran into financial difficulties in the Depression of the 1930s and Cyprian was replaced as abbot in 1937. On Amazon, there is still a history of the diocese of Boise listed for sale and authored by him. He is buried at Fremont.

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