Isidore O’Brien, OFM
1895 – 1953
Fr. Isidore O’Brien, OFM, was born on Jan. 26, 1895 in Braid, County Antrim, Ireland. He entered a minor seminary in Multifarnham, and completed the four-year course in two years. In 1921, he came to America, and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure in Paterson, N.J., in 1921. He professed temporary vows one year later, and after one year in Croghan, N.Y., continued his philosophy and theology studies in Allegany, N.Y. He made his solemn profession in 1925 and was ordained in 1928.
He was assigned to St. Bonaventure College in Allegany as a prefect in the seminary and a teacher in the college. Fr. Isidore was principal writer for The Anthonian for many years. In 1931, he moved to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, returning to Allegany seven years later as professor of sacred eloquence. In 1942, Fr. Isidore was assigned to Holy Name College in Washington as a scriptor.
Fr. Isidore’s last appointment took him to Paterson, N.J., in 1952. He was a popular preacher of retreats for priests and sisters, and preached numerous novenas at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. Fr. Isidore was a well-known author who wrote Mirror of Christ, Life of Christ, and Peter and Paul, Apostles. He also wrote over 28 pamphlets for St. Anthony’s Guild, and numerous articles for Columbia and The Anthonian.
He traveled the world doing research for his books, and in October 1953, while conducting research in Pretoria, South Africa, he was hospitalized.
He died there on Oct. 27, 1953. Fr. Isidore was 58 years old, a professed friar for 31 years, and a priest for 25 years.