Raymond Beach, OFM
1918 – 2009
Fr. Raymond Beach, OFM, was born June 8, 1918, in West New York, N.J. In 1937, he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate in 1939 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J. and professed his first vows there the following year. In 1943, Fr. Raymond professed his solemn vows at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest in 1945 at the Church of Mt. St. Sepulchre in Washington.
Following a brief assignment at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, Fr. Raymond devoted his priestly ministry to the people of northern New Jersey in parishes and as a chaplain.
In 1947, he began a three years as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Church in East Rutherford, N.J. He then became parochial vicar at Holy Name Church in Garfield, N.J., and later pastor there in 1955. In 1961, Fr. Raymond moved to St. Francis Parish in Wanaque, N.J., to serve as parochial vicar, becoming pastor there in 1964. He was assigned to Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Wood-Ridge, N.J., as parochial vicar in 1970 and served there for six years before moving to Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, N.J. in the same capacity. Fr. Raymond remained at Sacred Heart until 1981.
In 1981, Fr. Raymond began his chaplaincy work, first in Warwick, N.Y., at Mount Alverno Health Care Center, then, in 1983, to the sisters’ community at Mount St. Francis in Ringwood, N.J., where he served for four years. Finally, in 1989, he began a 16-year stint serving the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in Totowa. In April 2005, Raymond retired to St. Anthony Friary in Butler.
He died Sept. 14, 2009, at St. Joseph’s Home in Totowa, where he had been residing since mid-August following a stroke. Fr. Raymond was 91 years old, a professed friar for 69 years and a priest for 64 years.