Severin Brady, OFM
1940 – 2006
Fr. Severin Brady, OFM, was born on April 8, 1940, in Paterson, N.J. His family moved to the Province’s St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, where he attended St. Bonaventure Parochial School and graduated from St. Bonaventure High School before entering St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1957.
He was received into the Order at St. Raphael’s Friary in Lafayette, N.J., July 14, 1959, and professed simple vows Aug. 15, 1960. Fr. Severin professed final vows Aug. 22, 1963 at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y. He did his philosophical studies at St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H., and his theological studies at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest March 5, 1966, in the Church of the Franciscan Monastery, Mount St. Sepulchre, in Washington.
Fr. Severin’s first years in ministry were devoted to the formation of his brother friars. From 1966 to 1969, he taught in the brothers’ training program and assisted two mission parishes in Croghan, N.Y. From 1969 to 1970, he was procurator of Holy Name College and then, from 1970 to 1974, the Province’s vocation director, based successively in Callicoon, New York City and the Bronx. He then returned to his home parish, St. Bonaventure Church, to serve as parochial vicar for two years and pastor for six.
He then was assigned director of formation at the new friary on Lorain Avenue in Silver Spring, Md. Afterwards, 1984 to 1987, he returned to pastoral ministry, serving as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Winsted, Conn. He was parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York for one year.
In 1988, Fr. Severin began working as chaplain in the Franciscan Family Circle Pilgrimage office in New York City, which he directed from 1992 to 1995. He loved to travel and thoroughly enjoyed leading pilgrimages around the world. In 1995, he was assigned to St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., where he served as vicar of the community from 2001 to 2002. He then served as vicar and business administrator of St. Francis Residence in Boston and assistant to the guardian of St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla.
On July 11, 2006, he transferred to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
Fr. Severin was a big man with a big heart and an infectious smile. He was an authentically people-centered friar who modeled affability, kindness and the truly Franciscan spirit of caring about others, especially those in need or hurting. His countless hours in the confessional and his pastoral care of those seeking spiritual assistance made him a much sought after priest. His jolly sense of humor served as a welcome presence wherever he went.
He was loved by the people of Providence during those nearly 10 years he ministered there. The Providence birds appreciated him, as he fed them all year round — especially in the dead of winter. He also loved to bless the animals around the feast of St. Francis.
He died July 14, 2006, at Holy Name Friary. He was 66 years old, a professed friar for 45 years and a priest for 40 years.