Deaths in Franciscan Communities

HNP Communications Franciscan World

Franciscan deaths
The Province is mourning the recent passing of four friars and five Franciscan sisters.

Sr. John Kevin McNulty, OSF, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y., died on Dec. 4 at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany. She was 98. A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., she served in a variety of ministries during her 80 years as a sister, including more than a decade as the administrator of St. Clare Hospital in New York City.

Sr. M. Julia Jacko, OSF, 98, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis, died on Dec. 11 at Mount Assisi Convent in Pittsburgh, Pa.  She spent most of her 80 years of profession as an educator in Catholic schools in Pennsylvania.

Two members of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have died: Sr. Ursula Tisdall, OSF, 85, on Dec. 13, and Sr. Manetto Ruocchio, OSF, 93, died on Dec. 18. Both were living at Assisi House in Aston, Pa., at the time of their death. Sr. Ursula, born in Dublin, Ireland, spent her 66 years of profession in education and pastoral care, mostly in Massachusetts, Delaware and Maryland. Sr. Manetto, a Philadelphia native, served as a teacher and principal in elementary education during her 72 years in the order.

Two members of Sacred Heart Province died in December: Fr. Leon Reuter, OFM, 83, on Dec. 20 in Indiana, and Fr. James Kelly, OFM, 67, who died on Dec. 21 in Quincy, Il. Fr. Leon, who had celebrated his 60th anniversary of profession in 2015, was honored in 2010 by the Indiana parish where he was beloved by parishioners when he was stationed there as a retired friar in residence. Fr. James had worked at Quincy University.

Fr. Fabian Nicholas Grifone, OFM of Immaculate Conception Province, died on Dec. 21 in New York City. He was 93. The viewing is scheduled for Jan. 7 at St. Anthony of Padua Church on Sullivan Street, also in New York City, where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Jan. 8. Even in retirement he remained active in ministry, serving as a visiting celebrant at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on Mott Street in Manhattan.

Fr. Elias Galvez, OFM, a member of St. Barbara Province, died on Dec 23, in Tuscon, Ariz. He was 89. Among his ministries as a friar, he was stationed in the Arizona desert serving the Native American community.

Sr. Sebastian Conlon, FSP, 95, died on Dec. 30 at Cabrini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

Editor’s note: Each month, HNP Today publishes news of the deaths of Franciscan brothers, priests and sisters. Information should be emailed to the HNP Communications Office. Announcements about deaths in the United States can also be found on

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas

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