Michael Lillis, OFM
1902 – 1979
Fr. Michael (Camillus) Lillis, OFM, was born on Sept. 15, 1902 in Buffalo, N.Y. He joined his cousin, Fr. Harold Blake, OFM, at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., and was received into the novitiate in 1922. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1926 and was ordained in 1929.
Parish ministry and administration were his main apostolates during the first 21 years of his priestly life. Fr. Michael served at ministries in New York City, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Paterson, Garfield and Fair Lawn, N.J. He served as guardian at friaries in Paterson and the Bronx, N.Y., in a low-key but efficient way. Fr. Michael also served as vicar at St. Patrick’s Friary, Buffalo, N.Y., for nine years.
In 1964, he became chaplain to Mount Mercy Motherhouse, where he served for 10 years. Fr. Michael then went to Paterson to be chaplain at Holy Family Residence. In 1976, he retired and returned to St. Patrick’s Friary.
He died on Feb. 28, 1979 at the Provincial infirmary at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y. Fr. Michael was 76 years old, a professed friar for 55 years and a priest for 49 years.