John McGrath, OFM
1917 – 1971
Fr. John McGrath, OFM, was born on July 12, 1917, in Jamaica Plain, Mass. After graduating from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Frairy in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1939.
He professed temporary vows Aug. 13, 1940, and made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1943. Fr. John was ordained a priest June 9, 1946.
His first assignment took him to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he ministered for seven years. He then went to St. Anne’s Parish in Fair Lawn, N.J., Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., St. Stephen of Hungary Church in New York City, and St. Bonaventure’s Church in Paterson. He spent the last 13 years of his Franciscan life ministering at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, Mass.
Fr. John was a talented artist, and his portraits of the Provincials of Holy Name Province adorned the recreation room at St. Francis of Assisi Friary in New York. They now hang in the lobby of the Provincial Archives.
He was a disciplined artist, but among the people and the friars, Fr. John was known as a kind and understanding confessor who always had time for those who came to him.
He died in his room in New Bedford, one week after his Silver Jubilee celebration, on June 19, 1971. He was 53 years old, a professed friar for almost 31 years and a priest for 25 years.