Mourning the Deaths of Franciscans

HNP Communications Franciscan World

The Provincial Office staff has recently learned of the passing of five members of English-speaking Conference provinces, as well as three Franciscan sisters.

Three of the deceased friars are members of St. John the Baptist Province.

William Ollendick, OFM, died in Ohio on Dec. 20, 2019, at the age of 70. The Cincinnati native served in pastoral ministry throughout his religious life at parishes in Illinois, Louisiana, and Michigan. Despite being diagnosed with a spinal tumor not long after ordination into the priesthood – a condition from which he would never fully recover – he joyfully ministered at all of his assignments, which included eight years at missions in Arizona and New Mexico.

Valentine Young, OFM, died on Jan. 17 in Ohio. He was 88 years old.  A professed friar for 71 years, he was a high school teacher for four years and taught at a seminary for nine years. The Kentucky native also served 56 years as either an associate or pastor in parishes serving Navajo and Hispanic communities in Arizona and Mexico.

Bruno Manfred Kremp, OFM, 82, died on Jan. 25. Arriving in Ohio with his family at the age of 12 from Stuttgart, Germany, by 1957 he professed his first vows as a friar. Serving as a chaplain to several law enforcement agencies during the course of his religious life, he founded a multi-denominational police-clergy team that ministered to police officers and assisted crime and accident victims. He also served in pastoral and retreat ministries.

Two members of St. Barbara Province also died recently.

William Haney, OFM, died on Jan. 8 in Oakland, California. He was 71 years old. Ordained into the priesthood in 1984, he was assigned 10 years later to Mission San Luis Rey Retreat Center, where his sincere devotion to Franciscan spirituality and eclectic life experiences – which ranged from chef, lifeguard, and encyclopedia salesman, to casino worker, high school teacher, and gardener – made him a valuable resource to staff and retreat participants. He also worked in parish ministry and ministered to the sick and homebound during his religious life.

On Feb. 2, Joachim Grant, OFM, died in Los Banos, California, at the age of 84. A professed friar for 62 years, he was stationed at Mission San Antonio de Padua near Jolon, California, during a large part of his religious life. He is remembered by those whose lives he touched as the “quintessential Franciscan,” helping members of the Secular Franciscans plan pilgrimages to Assisi.

Sr. Helen Marie Cahill, FMSC, of Peekskill, N.Y., died on Jan. 14 at the age of 92. After entering the Franciscan Missionary Sisters in 1947, her ministries included teaching in many schools in the Archdiocese of New York, serving as an English professor at Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, and service positions at St. Francis College and the chancery of the Brooklyn Diocese.

Sr. William Margaret Romen, OSF, died on Jan. 20 at Assisi House Queen of Peace Convent, the congregation’s retirement house in Aston, Pennsylvania. She was 78 years old. A professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 57 years, she taught in several Catholic schools in the dioceses of Trenton, New Jersey, and Harrisburg, Penn. She also served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Sr. Francis Assisi Kennedy, OFS, 82, died on Feb. 4. She was a member of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, Indiana, for 64 years. The Indianapolis native taught English, Latin, religion and journalism to elementary through college-age students in schools and universities throughout Indiana and Ohio. The Indianapolis Archdiocese acknowledged her work in academics with its excellence in education award. She also wrote for religious and educational journals.

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.

 – Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas


Mourning the Deaths of Franciscans” – Jan. 15, 2020, HNP Today

This Friar Has Seen his Share of Crime Scenes” — March 12, 2013, St. Anthony Shrine (Cincinnati) Website