Marcellus A. McCartney, OFM
1913 – 2000
Fr. Marcellus McCartney, OFM, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on Dec. 8, 1913. The family moved to the United States when he was eight. In 1931, he enrolled in St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., but health reasons later required him to take a year’s leave before finishing the course.
He was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1938, and professed temporary vows Aug. 14, 1939. He made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1942, and was ordained a priest June 11, 1944.
Fr. Marcellus’s first assignment was to graduate studies in canon law at the Catholic University of America, which awarded him a doctorate in 1948. He spent the following year as an associate at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City before signing on as a missionary to Brazil, where he did pastoral work at Catalao and Anapolis and taught at St. Ana Colegio in Anapolis and at the major seminary in Silvania.
He returned to the United States in 1956 and was assigned to Holy Name College to teach Canon Law. Eight years later, he moved to Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., for another eight years.
In 1972, Fr. Marcellus made his final move, back to St. Francis on 31st Street, for 26 years of active urban ministry. He retired there in 1998.
Fr. Marcellus, canon lawyer, popular confessor, retreat director and pastoral counselor, died on July 2, 2000. He was 86 years old, a professed Franciscan for 60 years and a priest for 56 years.