Charles Finnegan, OFM
1931 – 2020
Fr. Charles Finnegan, OFM, was born July 9, 1931 in New York City. After attending high school and college at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, New York, he was received into the Order of Friars Minor in 1951 and professed temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn vows in 1955 and was ordained in 1958.
After ordination, Fr. Charles completed his pastoral theological training at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston before moving to Buffalo, New York, where he served on the faculty of Bishop Timon High School for a year. In 1960, he began a decade of service to the Province’s Brazilian mission. Returning to the United States in 1970, he served as assistant pastor at Holy Cross Church in the Bronx, New York, and was elected to the Provincial Council in 1973.
On July 3, 1976, Fr. Charles was elected Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province, a role in which he served until 1980. During his administration, the Province deepened its engagement in social justice ministries, founding St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia. From 1980 to 2013, when Fr. Charles retired, he lived in a variety of places in the Northeast. He did retreat ministry at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, New Jersey, and at the Province’s House of Prayer in Warwick, New York. He also served as associate pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wanaque, New Jersey, St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, and St. Francis Chapel in Providence, Rhode Island. He spent six years at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, where he returned in 2001 to serve as director of the San Damiano Spirituality Center as a member of the Province’s Ministry of the Word.
In the following years, he served on the Province’s novitiate team when it was based in Wilmington, Delaware, and from 2009 to 2013 as a pastoral associate and confessor at St. Anthony Shrine. He retired in 2013.
He died on June 9, 2020 at St. Catherine of Siena Nursing Home in Caldwell, New Jersey. Fr. Charles was 88 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 67 years and a priest for 62.