RINGWOOD, N.J. — Robert Lynch, OFM, 96, a professed Franciscan friar for 75 years and a priest for 70, died Aug. 13 at Holy Name Friary.
A wake and wake service were offered Aug. 16 at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial on Aug. 17 at the Shrine. Burial followed at St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, Mass.
Born June 15, 1917 to Francis and Kathryn Lynch, Robert was baptized Francis Joseph on June 21, 1917 at St. Carthage’s Church in Philadelphia. He attended St. Joseph Preparatory School there for one year before discerning a religious vocation and entering St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., where he completed high school and the first two years of college.
Robert was received into the Order on Aug. 12, 1937 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.Y., where he was given the religious name Robert Bellarmine. He professed first vows there one year later. Robert studied philosophy at St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., before moving to Holy Name College, Washington, where he pursued his theological studies. He professed solemn vows there in September 1941. Robert was ordained a priest on May 29, 1943 in the crypt of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington.
He ministered as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Winsted, Conn., and Holy Cross Parish in the Bronx, N.Y. Robert also served on the Franciscan mission team of the Province, giving missions and retreats in parishes throughout the Province, as well as for U.S. Air Force personnel and their families on air bases throughout the United States. From 1964 to 1967, he served as guardian and pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Winsted.
Robert spent the balance of his ministry in Boston. From 1967 to 1973, he served as guardian and rector of St. Anthony Shrine. He was also director and assistant director of the Prudential Center Chapel in Boston, ministering there until 1983. Robert then transferred to St. Anthony Residence, where he served as guardian from 1988 to 1996. He moved to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, in 2008. Robert was one of two friars commemorating jubilees who were honored June 8 by the Holy Name Community.
He is survived by nephews Michael O’Connor of Bedford, Texas, and Thomas O’Connor of Chadds Ford, Pa., and niece Mrs. Kathleen DiLullo, to whom condolences may be sent at 1004 Supplee Way, West Chester, PA 19382-7159.
Donations in memory of Robert may be made out to: Franciscan Friars-Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001.
— Compiled by Theresa Bartha