Mourning the Deaths of Franciscans

HNP Communications Franciscan World

The Provincial Office staff has learned of the recent passing of members of three English-speaking Conference provinces, along with several Franciscan sisters.

Kenneth Capalbo, OFM, 72, a former provincial vicar of Sacred Heart Province, died on July 24 in Chicago, Illinois. A popular history professor at Quincy University in Illinois, he returned in 2005 to deliver the keynote address at the institution’s 142nd commencement. He was a resident of St. Peter’s in the Loop on Madison Street for a number of years, where he helped with Masses, confessions, and mezzanine duty. After his service as provincial vicar concluded, he received permission to pursue ministry in Vietnam, where he taught Franciscan students English and Church history.

Iain Duggan, OFM, a member of the Province of Ireland, died on July 26 in Cork. He was 85 years old. Born in Dungarven, County Waterford, he joined the Franciscans in 1962 and made his first profession one year later. After studying in Galway and Rome, he was ordained in the priesthood in 1969 and went on to serve in pastoral ministry in friaries throughout Ireland. He was known for his gentle presence and wisdom to those who came to him for spiritual guidance. A member of the Franciscan community in St. Francis in Cork, he was an accomplished poet with several published books of poetry to his credit.

Arūnas Brazauskas OFM, 54, a member of the Province of St. Casimir of Lithuania, died on Aug. 4. He professed his solemn vows in 2003 in Vilnius, Lithuania, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2004.  Arūnas  served in Lithuanian parishes in Hamilton and Toronto as well as in Kretinga, Lithuania. He was buried on Aug. 11.

Sr. Maureen Kelly, FSP, formerly known as Sr. John Agnes, died in Dobbs Ferry, New York, on July 10, at the age of 84. She was one of the 112 founding members of the Franciscan Sisters of Peace. Born in New York City, she spent most of her religious life as an educator and guidance counselor in elementary and secondary education. She professed her first vows in 1955 and went on to teach in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. She also served as the chair of a high school history department and received special recognition as “counselor of the county” for 36 years of service as director of guidance at two New Jersey high schools.

Sr. Maria Veronica Butler, OSC, 86, a member of the Poor Clare community, died on July 14. She was the last surviving member of the founders of Christ the King Monastery in Delray Beach, Florida. She served in leadership positions during her religious life, which included abbess of the community and two terms as president of the Holy Name Federation of Poor Clares. She was described by her peers as a generous person who was always concerned about the needs of others, and as someone who gave her all to every task she set out to accomplish.

Sr. Mary Catherine Gurley, OSF, 77, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, died on Aug. 6 in Aston, Pennsylvania. A professed member of the Order for 57 years, the Boston, Massachusetts, native entered the congregation in 1960. Her ministry was primarily in education and administration, serving in New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York – the latter where she was an associate professor of education and coordinator of educational services at St. Bonaventure University. The author of a number of articles that appeared in various publications, she also played a significant role in the writing and publication of the Order’s congregational history.

Sr. Dorothy Franz, OSF, died in Towson, Maryland, on Aug. 7. She was 80 years old. A professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 60 years, the Baltimore, Maryland, native entered the congregation in 1958 and professed her first vows two years later. Her work throughout her religious life was primarily in elementary education and parish ministry, serving as director of religious education and director of the RCIA program for 58 years in the Baltimore area. She also taught at high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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