Finbar Carroll, OFM
1894 – 1976
Fr. Finbar Carroll, OFM, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on May 12, 1894. The family moved to Paterson, N.J., when he was still a boy, and he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., at age 15.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate July 28, 1914, and professed temporary vows July 28, 1915. Fr. Finbar made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 15, 1918, and was ordained a priest June 29, 1921.
The first 16 years of his ministry were devoted to the training of seminarians at Callicoon, where he served as prefect of discipline, vicar, vice-rector and guardian. He also cared for the Sacred Heart Mission in Pond Eddy.
In 1937, Fr. Finbar began a new career as a parish priest. He was assigned to Holy Name Church in Garfield, N.J., as pastor. In 1943, he was given the responsibility of developing St. Leo’s Parish in Elmwood Park, N.J. While living in Garfield, Fr. Finbar built a new church in Elmwood Park in 1949 and enlarged the convent and school. He also purchased a house to be used as a friary.
When he was assigned to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., as guardian in 1955, he left St. Leo’s a large and thriving parish.
Fr. Finbar was a kind and easy-going friar whom people found approachable and caring. His final 15 years of ministry were spent as a wise and kind confessor at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.
He enjoyed working and he enjoyed community life until his death on July 27, 1976, at Point Lookout, N.Y. Fr. Finbar was 82 years old, a professed friar for 61 years and a priest for 55 years.
He was the last of the “1914 Stony Road Quartet” — four altar boys from Paterson who became friars together — Fr. Arthur Brophy, OFM, Fr. Leo Ferrary, OFM, Fr. Daniel Ostler, OFM, and Fr. Finbar.