ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Raymond Mann, OFM, 89, a professed friar for 68 years and a priest for 62, died on Sept. 23 at St. Anthony Friary, where he had lived for seven years. He had spent his religious life mainly in Massachusetts and Bolivia.
Funeral services are planned for Sept. 29 in the chapel of St. Anthony Friary on 2nd Street North, St. Petersburg. A wake will be offered at 9:30 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at which Vincent Laviano, OFM, will preside. Thomas Jones, OFM, will give the homily. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Clearwater, Florida.
Raymond was born on Aug. 26, 1932 in Buffalo, New York, to Raymond and Kathryn (née Wierling) Mann. He graduated from Holy Angels Collegiate High School, Buffalo, in 1950 and attended Little Flower Seminary, also in Buffalo, for two years.
He was received into the Order of Friars Minor at the Province’s novitiate in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1952 and on Aug. 12, 1953, he professed his first vows as a Franciscan. Raymond studied philosophy and theology in Butler and in Washington, D.C., respectively.
Ray professed his final vows as a Franciscan on Aug. 19, 1958 at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, New York, before Celsus Wheeler, OFM. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Phillip Hannan on April 25, 1959 at Mt. St. Sepulchre at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in 1959 and, in 1974, a master’s in education from Boston State College.
After ordination, Ray was assigned to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he studied and served as a confessor. In 1960, he was assigned to Bolivia, where he served at the Franciscan mission until 1967. He was then assigned to St. Anthony Shrine for the second of his three assignments there. From 1985 to 1986, Ray served as guardian of the friary at Holy Cross Parish in the Bronx, New York, and the Province’s director of formation. He then moved to New Mexico, where he worked as a spiritual director at Formation House in Jemez Springs from 1986 to 1991. Ray was then assigned to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he stayed for 23 years. He was a popular confessor and spiritual director at the Arch Street church.
Ray, who was known for his reflections and retreats, authored several articles, including one for Commonweal magazine in 2008 titled “The Empty Box: Why Catholics Skip Confession.” In 2014, Ray retired to St. Petersburg.
Raymond is survived by his brother William Mann, OFM, who lives in St. Petersburg, and a cousin and her son — Joan Kramer and Stephen Kramer — of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas
- “Shrine’s Spiritual Companioning Offers ‘Mutual Quest’” – April 3, 2018, HNP Today
- “Celebrating 60 Years of Priestly Ministry” — April 8, 2019, Diocese of St. Petersburg