Owen Leary, OFM
1897 – 1958
Fr. Owen Leary, OFM, was born April 6, 1897 in Naugatuck, Conn. After high school, he attended St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., where he was an outstanding member of the football team. With the outbreak of World War I, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1923, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1927 and was ordained in 1928.
His first assignment was to St. Bonaventure College, where he taught philosophy and Latin and served as athletic director. From 1934 to 1941, he was a popular preacher with the Province’s Mission Band. During World War II, Fr. Owen served as an Army chaplain in Europe during the thick of the war. After the war, he returned to the Mission Band and became director in 1948, a position he held until 1955, when he was elected guardian and pastor of St. Joseph Parish, East Rutherford, N.J.
He died in his room there on March 15, 1958. Fr. Owen was 60 years old, a professed friar for 33 years and a priest for 29 years.