Gerald McMinn, OFM
1894 – 1992
Fr. Gerald McMinn, OFM, was born in Butler, N.J., on Feb. 28, 1894. He attended St. Anthony Parish Grammar School in Butler and entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. as a youth.
He was received into novitiate July 28, 1913, and professed temporary vows on July 28, 1914. Fr. Gerald made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 20, 1917, and was ordained to the priesthood at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., on June 29, 1920.
Fr. Gerald was a record breaker. No other friar in the history of Holy Name Province lived as a priest of Christ for 71 years. After ordination, Fr. Gerald went to St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y., where he taugh for 52 years, the longest continuous service record in the history of the university. He filled with distinction the many and varied offices assigned to him: prefect, dean of studies, dean of discipline, Socius Praefectus Studiorum, and for some 40, vice president of the university. However, his entire life was not confined to Allegany.
Fr. Gerald did graduate studies at Columbia and Harvard, and studied sociology in Munich for two years, where, in his free time, he worked in some of the worst ghettos of Europe. While at St. Bonaventure, Fr. Gerald served for 20 years as chaplain of the Newman Center at Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y., and was pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Vandalia, N.Y.
He remained clear of mind and holy in heart until his last breath. He died at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., May 20, 1992, after the community had prayed for and with him. His cousin Thomas Walters summed up Fr. Gerald’s life during his homily with the words: “Gerald was a trusting servant with ready optimism, with words, prayers, blessings and encouragement for our family so that we could travel on in our journey through life.” The same could be said by the thousands of Bona graduates who revered him in life.
Fr. Gerald was a grand old friar of 98 years, a professed friar for 77 years and a faithful priest for nearly 72 years. He was the cousin of Fr. Gervase Walters, OFM, who died Feb. 8, 1987.