RINGWOOD, N.J. — Christian Camadella, OFM, 91, a professed Franciscan friar for 66 years and a priest for 61, died Sept. 11 at Holy Name Friary.
A wake will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., with a service at 7 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 14 at St. Anthony Church, 65 Bartholdi Ave., Butler, N.J. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated there at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will serve as principal celebrant and Daniel Grigassy, OFM, will be the homilist. Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Butler.
Christian was born on Jan. 5, 1926 in Endicott, N.Y., to Vincent and Angelina (née DiNunzio) Camadella and baptized Myron Louis on Feb. 20, 1926. After graduating from Union Endicott High School in 1943, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as a radio repairman during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1946, after which he attended St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., earning a bachelor of science in biology in 1950.
He was received into the Franciscan Order on Aug. 12, 1950, in Paterson N.J., where he professed his first vows one year later. He went on to study philosophy and theology, professing solemn vows on Aug. 13, 1954, at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany. Two years later, he was ordained a priest at Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C.
The first part of Christian’s ministry in the Order was devoted to education. After completing a pastoral internship at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, he was assigned in 1958 to Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in Buffalo, N.Y., where he taught biology until 1964. He then taught biology at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., for a year before he began studying physical anthropology in 1965 at the University of Colorado in Denver. He earned his master’s degree in 1969 and, planning to pursue his doctorate, went to Anápolis, Brazil, for a year to complete research that was related to his dissertation.
After his return to the United States in 1971, he began teaching the introductory course in anthropology at his alma mater in Denver and accepted an assistant professorship in anthropology at Metropolitan State College later that year. Several years later, he decided to leave his doctorate program in favor of working in the campus ministry at the Auraria Educational Complex in 1975 while also continuing to teach at Metropolitan College.
In 1980, Christian returned to the East Coast and began serving as an assistant at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. From 1981 to 1982, he worked at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston as procurator before a brief stint as an associate at Our Lady of the Holy Angels Parish in Little Falls, N.J.
After a summer assignment in 1985 to St. Francis Parish in Beach Haven, N.J., Christian returned to St. Francis Parish in New York City, where as an associate, he became a familiar face to guests of the breadline, and those who came to the church for confession and Mass. In 1986, he was appointed spiritual assistant to the Secular Franciscan fraternity based at the parish.
Fifteen years later, Christian moved to St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, N.J., where he served as senior associate friar and continued to work with the two Secular Franciscan fraternities based there. He retired at age 85 to St. Anthony Friary in Butler in 2011.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Maria Hayes
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- “Little Falls Parish History Featured in Diocese Publication” – May 21, 2008, HNP Today