Former Air Force Chaplain Guy Morgan Dies

Maria Hayes Friar News

BAY PINES, Fla. – Guy Morgan, OFM, 90, a professed Franciscan friar for 67 years and a priest for 62 years, died March 10 at Bay Pines Veterans Hospital.

A viewing will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. on March 14 at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Church, 515 4th St. South, St. Petersburg, Fla., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m., celebrated by David Convertino, OFM. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Clearwater, Fla.

Early Years
Guy was born on May 31, 1926 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to John and Mary Morgan (née Stanton) and baptized John Joseph at St. Teresa Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended the parochial grammar school and graduated from St. Francis Preparatory School in Brooklyn in 1944 before entering St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.

He was received into the Order on Aug. 12, 1948 in Paterson, N.J., where he professed first vows the following year. Guy then studied philosophy in Croghan, N.Y. and Butler, N.J., earning his degree from St. Bonaventure University in 1951. He briefly attended Fordham University from 1952 to 1953 before moving to Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., for his theological education. Guy professed solemn vows on Sept. 17, 1952 in Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood there on May 5, 1954.

After completing theology in 1955, Guy began his priestly ministry as a teacher at St. Bonaventure University, from 1955 to 1956, where he also ran the print shop. He then continued his work with young adults as assistant at the Newman Center in Columbia, S.C., under the supervision of the late Theophilus McNulty, OFM.

After brief assignments in Providence, R.I., and Paterson, N.J., in 1958, and two years at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, Guy began a 20-year stint as a chaplain for the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed at various bases around the world, including Charleston, S.C.; Brindisi, Italy; and Marysville, Calif., and also in Vietnam, where he was injured during a rocket attack. He retired from the Air Force in 1980 with the rank of colonel.

From 1980 to 1981, he attended the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., earning his masters in theological studies. For the next two years, he worked as an assistant at St. Joseph Parish in East Rutherford, N.J., before moving in 1983 to Colorado, where he served at several parishes in Fort Collins and Denver and worked with Vietnam veterans who suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder. He also served as chaplain of the Fort Collins Police Department and for the Region XIII “Single, Separated, Widowed, Divorced Catholics” group, led Catholic engaged encounter weekends, and counseled people attending Alcoholics Anonymous. He entered semi-retirement in 1996, continuing to live in Fort Collins with his sister, assisting at local parishes and traveling to Sacramento, Calif., during the winter months. In 1997, he retired from full-time ministry at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., but remained active, assisting where needed in various locations, including St. Anthony Parish in Greenville, S.C., during the summer of 2010.

In 2011, Guy moved to St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., where he lived for two years before returning to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg.

He is survived by his sister, Joan O’Connor, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10001-3202.

Compiled by Maria Hayes

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