Cary Kean, OFM
1925 – 2000
Fr. Cary Kean, OFM, was born on Oct. 4, 1925 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and baptized Kevin. His family moved to Knight’s Eddy, near Port Jervis, N.Y., and became congregants of the Province’s Pond Eddy mission. During World War II, Fr. Cary was a seaman in the U.S. Navy and served on two ships that were sunk under him, targets of kamikaze attacks.
He entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1950 and professed temporary vows one year later. Fr. Cary made his solemn profession in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1955.
Fr. Cary’s first assignment was to St. Elizabeth Parish, Wyckoff, N.J. He then spent 13 years as a missionary in Japan before returning to the United States, where he ministered for one year as assistant chaplain of St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City and by four years at St. Stephen’s Friary in Croghan, N.Y., with charge of the Belfort and Indian River missions. He then served for 12 years as chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Hoboken, N.J., before spending five years as an associate at Sacred Heart Friary, East Rutherford, N.J.
In 1992, he moved to St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., for his final years of active ministry, including serving as chaplain at St. Francis Preparatory School in Brooklyn, N.Y., and ministering as a supply priest at various New Jersey parishes. Fr. Cary moved to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J., in 2000.
Known as a born debater, Fr. Cary was highly entertaining, with an inexhaustible store of humorous tales, imitations and mimicries.
He died at Holy Name Friary on Oct. 6, 2000, two days after his 75th birthday. Fr. Cary was a professed friar for 49 years and a priest for 45 years.