Harry Monaco, OFM
1963 – 2011
Fr. Harry Monaco, OFM, was born on Oct. 14, 1963 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He was educated at local public schools in Ballston Spa, N.Y., before attending St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., where he came to know the friars. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1985, Fr. Harry entered the affiliate program at Holy Cross Friary in the Bronx, N.Y., the following year. He was received into the Order at St. Francis Friary, Brookline, Mass., in 1987, professing temporary vows one year later.
After his simple profession in 1988, Fr. Harry spent a yearlong pastoral internship in campus ministry at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., but at its conclusion in 1992, decided to withdraw from the Province’s formation program. For the next decade, he lived and worked in Boston. He first obtained a job at Seton Manor, and then for nine years, was employed as a social worker for Victory Programs, which provides services for men and women suffering from AIDS and substance addiction. He also earned a master’s in social work from Boston College in 1997.
In 2002, Fr. Harry was again drawn to religious life. Since contemplative prayer was always important to him, he decided to enter the Trappists at St. Joseph’s Monastery in Spencer, Mass. However, after two years, Fr. Harry realized he also wanted to share his spiritual life with others in active ministry, and so returned to our Franciscan brotherhood.
After several months at Holy Cross Friary, Fr. Harry was received as a novice at Siena College, professing temporary vows one year later in 2005. He made his solemn profession in 2008 and was ordained in 2009. That year, he also completed a master’s degree in Franciscan studies.
Fr. Harry served at St. Bonaventure University, where he taught and was faculty advisor of Bonavoyagers, an outdoors club that goes hiking and canoeing. During his three years at Bona’s, he also contributed his musical talents as pianist at University liturgies, and was very engaged at Mt. Irenaeus, the Franciscan mountain retreat in West Clarksville, N.Y.
In 2010, Fr. Harry enrolled in the doctoral program in theology at The Catholic University of America, Washington. He was forced to discontinue his studies because of illness.
He died on Dec. 5, 2011 at Holy Name College. Fr. Harry was 48 years old, a professed friar for nine years and a priest for two years.