Brooklyn Native Edward Metzger Dies

Rebecca Doel Friar News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Edward Metzger, OFM, died July 25 at St. Anthony’s Hospital. The 78-year-old was a professed friar for 57 years and a priest for 52.

Several weeks ago, Edward was admitted to the hospital for low blood platelets and then low blood pressure, then contracted an infection. His physicians believe he was suffering from an aggressive form of bone marrow cancer.

A wake will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., with a Wake Service at 3:30 p.m., on July 28 at St. Anthony Friary, 357 Second St. N, St. Petersburg FL 33701.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, at 10 a.m. on July 29 at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Church, 515 Fourth St. S in St. Petersburg. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Clearwater, Fla.

Early Years
Edward was born Sept. 10, 1932, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Alphonse and Mary Metzger. From 1946 to 1952, he attended St. Joseph Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.

He entered the Order of Friars Minor in 1952 at St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J., receiving the name Alcuin, though he later reverted to his baptismal name. He professed his first vows in 1953 and solemn vows in 1956 at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y. In 1959, he was ordained a priest at Mount St. Sepulchre, the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C.

Ministry
Following his ordination, Edward was assigned to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston for a year program in pastoral theology. He then devoted himself largely to the ministry of education, first as a teacher of English at Walsh High School in Olean, N.Y., from 1960 to 1966. Over the next four years, he pursued graduate studies in German at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

He then served several one-year assignments in churches: St. Patrick’s in Buffalo, N.Y., St. Francis in Wanaque, N.J., and St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy, as well as a year of teaching English at Shaw High School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Edward returned to the Buffalo area in 1974, teaching at Bishop Fallon High School and then at Cardinal O’Hara High School, while working on a master’s degree in education at Canisius College and then doctoral studies in history at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He spent a year in London, England, continuing his studies and working on his dissertation.

Returning again to Buffalo in 1981, he assisted at several parishes while completing his doctorate, which he received in 1983. From 1986 to 2000, Edward served at Canisius in a variety of roles. He then volunteered as an English-speaking confessor for the Holy Land Custody in Nazareth, Israel.

When he returned to the United States in 2001, he accepted an appointment to serve as parochial vicar at Sts. Peter and Paul in Salt Lake City, Utah, until 2003. Edward then served as administrator of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Helper, Utah, where he remained until June 2010.

Following hip replacement surgery, he retired from active ministry earlier this year to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg.

Edward is survived by his brother Joseph and his wife, Joan, of Third Lake, Ill, nieces Mary Catherine Pfieffer and husband, Carl, of Redding, Calif., and Mary Catherine Sandoval and husband, Juan, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and nephew Joseph Patrick Metzger of St. Augustine, Fla. Condolences may be sent to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Metzger, 19044 Rollins Road, Third Lake IL 60046.

Memorial contributions can be made to: The Franciscans — St. Anthony’s Guild, 4 Jersey St., East Rutherford NJ 07073-1012.

— Compiled by Theresa Bartha and Rebecca Doel