Kieran A. Cassion, OFM
1915 – 2000
Fr. Kieran Cassion, OFM, was born on Feb. 25, 1915 in Philadelphia. He enrolled at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1932 and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1938, professing temporary vows one year later. Fr. Kieran made his solemn profession in 1942 and was ordained in 1945.
For the first five years, Fr. Kieran’s assignments were short-term parochial roles. They were followed by six years at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, New York City, spent mostly as a chaplain at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Manhattan and one year at St. Philip Parish in Statesville, N.C., followed by 14 years at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. The subsequent 10 years were spent at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., where he came to grips with some personal challenges.
He then spent 17 years at St. Joseph Friary in East Rutherford, N.J., where he served as auxiliary chaplain at three hospitals: St. Mary’s in Hoboken, N.J., Frances Schervier in the Bronx, N.Y., and St. Theresa’s in Middletown, N.Y. In 1997, he retired to St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., and then to a Bloomingdale, N.J., nursing facility. Fr. Kieran had a passion for railroads and railroading, with a vast knowledge of facts, minutiae and the history of the great railroad corporations, trains and routes that was of encyclopedic dimensions. Within Holy Name Province, his nickname, Chooch (from choo-choo), was recognized by everyone of a certain age.
He died on March 3, 2000 in Bloomingdale. Fr. Kieran was 85 years old, a professed friar for 60 years and a priest for 54 years.