Francis B. Carroll, OFM
1909 – 1998
Fr. Francis Borgia, OFM, was born June 10, 1909 in Paterson, N.J. He was a member of the memorable group of friars whose Franciscan roots were at St. Bonaventure Parish, Paterson, where he was baptized in 1909. In 1927, he was received into the novitiate there and professed temporary vows one year later. Fr. Borgia made his solemn profession in 1931 and, deferred because of illness, was ordained in 1936.
He spent most of his priestly ministry between St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., and the service churches of New York City and Boston. Interspersed were a three-year stint at St. Joseph’s Parish, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and one year each at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., Princeton University as a student, St. Joseph’s Parish, Winsted, Conn., and St. Bonaventure Parish, Paterson.
His St. Bonaventure University years were served in two shifts — the first, immediately following his simplex year, from 1936 to 1939, and the second, from 1945 to 1963. Fr. Borgia was a popular teacher. Students vied for a place in his history classes, having heard of his interesting and amusing lectures peppered with anecdotal trivia dear to lecturers and students alike.
Fr. Borgia’s second great love was the urban ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, New York City, where he spent 27 years. He also served six years in Boston — at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, from 1963 to 1967 and at St. Anthony Residence, from 1995 to 1997. He then moved to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
He died there on Feb. 19, 1998. Fr. Borgia was 88 years old, a professed friar for 69 years and a priest for 62 years. He was the younger brother of Fr. Finbar Carroll, OFM, who died in 1976.