Cronan Maxwell, OFM
1929 – 1984
Fr. Cronan Maxwell, OFM, was born in Jersey City, N.J., on Dec. 11, 1929. After graduation from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., he entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 11, 1951, and professed temporary vows Aug. 13, 1952.
He made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 16, 1955, and was ordained a priest on April 25, 1958. After ordination, Fr. Cronan went to Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., where he taught history. After two years, he went to England to study history at the University of London. In 1964, he joined the History Department of St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y.
While teaching full-time, Fr. Cronan became involved in the Marriage Encounter Movement which was just beginning in the United States. He founded the National Marriage Encounter expression in Olean, N.Y., and helped spread the organization to 10 other cities in western and central New York.
In 1977, he became the spiritual director of Long Island Marriage Encounter, while serving as chaplain to the Franciscan Brothers in Smithtown, N.Y. Fr. Cronan then became a member of the Mission Band for five years and preached parish renewals and novenas while continuing part-time with Marriage Encounter.
His ministry throughout his life revealed a humble and dedicated friar who loved the people with whom he lived and worked. In 1983, Fr. Cronan returned to the classroom at St. Bonaventure University.
Fr. Cronan died June 13, 1984, in Allegany. He was 54 years old, a professed friar for almost 32 years and a priest for 26 years.