RINGWOOD, N.J. — Eric Kyle, OFM, 91, a professed Franciscan friar for 69 years and a priest for 64, died on Dec. 1 at Holy Name Friary.
A wake service will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Holy Name Friary, 2 Morris Rd., Ringwood, N.J. A viewing will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 6 at St. Anthony Church, 71 Bartholdi Ave., Butler, N.J., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will be the principal celebrant. Burial will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, N.J.
Eric was born Edward William in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 18, 1925 to Charles and Catherine (nee Peacock) Kyle. He graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School, Brooklyn, in 1941 and worked for two years for Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co before enrolling at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
Four years later, he was received into the Order of Friars Minor in 1946 in Paterson, N.J., receiving the name of Eric Francis. He professed his first vows there one year later in 1947. After studying philosophy at St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., he received his bachelor’s in 1949 from St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y. He studied theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., from 1949 to 1953, making his final profession of vows in 1950. Two years later, he was ordained to the priesthood.
Following ordination, Eric was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, where he was a member of the pastoral staff from 1953 to 1955. He then served as spiritual director and instructor of English and theology at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary from 1955 to 1968, earning a master’s degree in English from St. Bonaventure University in 1960. Returning to New York City in 1968, he worked in the Provincial Development Office for three years. He was elected to the Provincial Council in 1969.
In 1971, Fr. Kyle was assigned to Christ House, a retreat center in Lafayette, N.J., where he was director and guardian of the friar community for five years. He returned to parish work as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Rochelle Park, N.J., from 1976 to 1982, and then served at St. Catherine of Bologna Church in Ringwood from 1982 to 1988. For the next four years, he ministered at St. Joseph Church in East Rutherford, N.J. He was the resident chaplain at Carmel Richmond Nursing Home on Staten Island, N.Y., from 1993 to 2006.
Retiring from active pastoral ministry in 2006, Eric resided at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., for a year. In 2007, he transferred to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, where he was on staff for nine years.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Carolyn Croke and Maria Hayes