Anthony O'Driscoll, OFM
1905 – 1976
Fr. Anthony O’Driscoll, OFM, was born in Jersey City, N.J., on June 1, 1905. After high school, he attended Fordham University Law School for two years, and then entered the world of business until 1928, when he went to St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., to study for the priesthood.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 20, 1930, and professed temporary vows Oct. 3, 1931. Fr. Anthony made his profession of solemn vows Jan. 29, 1935, and was ordained a priest June 15, 1937.
After ordination, he served on the Mission Band as a popular preacher with a strong voice and an imposing oratorical presence. At the outbreak of World War II, Fr. Anthony volunteered for military service.
From 1942 to 1946, he was a chaplain, and most of his tour of duty was spent in the Pacific where he took part in the invasion of the Caroline Islands. He was awarded the Bronze Star for exceptional devotion to duty.
After the war, Fr. Anthony was appointed pastor of St. Anne’s Church in Fair Lawn, N.J. During his tenure, the parish experienced rapid growth, and he built a school, convent and gymnasium. He also served as guardian of St. Francis Retreat House in Brookline, Mass., and Holy Cross Friary in the Bronx.
In 1967, Anthony began a two-year period of service as confessor at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., but illness forced his transfer to Margate where he cared for the friars who came to rest there. Fr. Anthony went to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., to retire.
He died June 15, 1976, in his room at St. Anthony’s. That day was the 39th anniversary of his ordination. He was known among the friars as a man of gentle humor, solid piety and unfailing devotion to duty. Fr. Anthony was 71 years old and a professed friar for nearly 45 years.