Gerald Dolan, OFM
1930 – 2020
Fr. Gerald Dolan, OFM, was born on May 29, 1930 in Long Island City, New York. After attending high school at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, New York, he was received into the Franciscan Order in 1950 and professed first vows one year later. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from St. Bonaventure University and studied theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., before professing solemn vows in 1954. He was ordained to the priesthood two years later.
Fr. Gerald held a variety of pastoral and academic positions throughout his nearly seven decades as a Franciscan. His first assignment after ordination in 1957 was to St. Anthony’s Guild in Paterson, New Jersey, where he served for two years. He then earned a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome in 1960. He returned to the Guild for four more years before returning to higher studies at the University of Louvain in Belgium in 1964, completing his doctorate in theology in 1971.
While finishing his doctoral thesis, he returned to the United States to begin a long career teaching seminarians. His first assignment was to Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C., where he served as assistant professor of theology from 1968 to 1969. From 1969 to 1986, Fr. Gerald taught systematic theology at Christ the King Seminary, first on the campus of St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, New York, and then, after 1974, in East Aurora, New York. While at St. Bonaventure, he served as chairman of the university’s Department of Theology from 1970 to 1974.
In 1987, Fr. Gerald was named guardian of the friar community at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. While there, he also served as director of institutional planning and assistant to the president. In 1991, he was appointed consultant on theological matters to the late James Lyke, OFM, Archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, he was also assigned to Hapeville, Georgia, where he served as parochial vicar of St. John the Evangelist Parish. From 1994 to 1995, he lived in Peachtree City, Georgia, serving at Holy Trinity Parish and at the University of Georgia as the campus minister. In 1995, Fr. Gerald moved north, serving at several locations, including St. Anthony Shrine, Boston; Aston, Pennsylvania, where he served as chaplain to the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia; and Warwick, New York, where he was chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital.
In 2001, he moved to southern New Jersey as director of formation for the permanent diaconate program of the Diocese of Camden. He was assigned first to St. John Neumann Parish in Sicklerville, and then to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Cape May, serving as an associate. He also served as curator of the Province’s friary in Margate, New Jersey.
Fr. Gerald retired in 2009 and lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, until 2020, when he moved to Teresian House in Albany, New York.
He died on April 21, 2020 at Albany Medical Center. He was 89 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 68 years and a priest for 63.