Russell W. Carroll, OFM
1916 – 1997
Fr. W. Russell Carroll, OFM, was born May 7, 1916, and grew up in Baltimore, Md. He entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and was received as a priestly candidate for the Commissariat of the Holy Land on Oct. 31, 1933. He professed temporary vows on Nov. 1, 1934, pursuing philosophical studies with the friars of Immaculate Conception Province and theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. His solemn profession on Nov. 1, 1937, was received at Mount St. Sepulchre by the commissary, Fr. Leonard Walsh, OFM.
He was ordained to the priesthood June 11, 1940. After ordination, Fr. Russell earned an M.A. in Semitic Languages from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The following four years, he served as chaplain in the U.S. Army before going to the Holy Land for six years as a teacher and pastor.
During his time in the Holy Land, Fr. Russell became fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, French and Italian and produced a translation of the Quran from Arabic to English.
He return to the United States in 1951, and in 1952, Fr. Russell became a member of Holy Name Province. He ministered at St. Francis Parish, Wanaque, N.J.; Bishop Timon High School, Buffalo, N.Y.; St. Anthony Shrine, Boston; St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York City; St. Anthony’s Parish, Butler, N.J.; and finally, he served for 11 years in Paterson, N.J., from 1972 to 1983. During that time he spent several years as a history instructor at Passaic Community College; and being bi-ritual (Roman and Melkite), he also served as weekend assistant at Melkite parishes in North Jersey. Overall, his curriculum vitae lists 20 separate assignments at home and abroad.
After retiring in 1983, he lived in four different places as dictated by the type of medical care he required. His last residence was Albuquerque, N.M. Fr. Russell died May 8, 1997, Ascension Thursday, the day after his 81st birthday. He was a professed friar for 62 years, and was a priest for 56 years.