Sennen San Fratello Dies

HNP Communications In the Headlines

RINGWOOD, N.J. — Sennen San Fratello, OFM, 82, a professed Franciscan friar for 55 years and a priest for 50 years, died Oct. 12, at Holy Name Friary here.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 14 in New Jersey and a memorial Mass was celebrated Oct. 18, 2008, at Ascension Parish-St. Anthony’s Church, Batavia, N.Y. He was buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Batavia.

Biographical Background
Sennen was born on Sept. 20, 1926, in Elgin, Ill., to Charles and Laura (Blandino) San Fratello. On July 3, 1927, he was baptized Charles at Saint Joseph’s Church in Elgin.  He attended Abbey C. Wing Elementary School in Elgin and Pringle Elementary School in Batavia, N.Y., Jackson Junior High and Batavia, N.Y., High School.  After serving in the United States Air Force from 1946 until 1948, he  attended Saint Bonaventure University in Allegany,  N.Y.,  where he earned a B.A. in English in 1952.

On Aug 12, 1952, he was received into the Order of Friars Minor, Holy Name Province, at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., by Cassian Kirk, OFM. He professed temporary vows on August 13, 1953, in Paterson before  Celsus Wheeler, OFM. On Aug. 19, 1956, he professed solemn vows at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure, also before Celsus. He studied philosophy at Saint Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H., and theology at St. Anthony’s in Butler, N.J., and at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C.

During his years of formation, he completed work on his M.A. in English from St. Bonaventure University. On April 25, 1958, Sennen was ordained to the priesthood in the Franciscan Monastery Church of Mount Saint Sepulchre in Washington, DC by Archbishop Amleto G. Cicognani, the Apostolic Delegate.

After ordination, Sennen taught English at St. Bonaventure University for three years, and, from 1961 until 1963, atTimon High School in Buffalo. In 1963, he joined the faculty of the English Department of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., where he served until his retirement in May 2005, except for the years 1966 to 1970, when he was on leave pursuing higher studies at New York University. After his retirement from full-time teaching, he served as the first officially appointed archivist of the college and was also the curator of Siena’s art collection.

He was also an “on call” chaplain with the Samuel Stratton Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Albany, New York. In April 2007, he moved temporarily to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, for recuperation from surgery, but that June, it was determined that he reside there permanently.

Wake Service was held Oct 13 at Cortona Chapel of Holy Name Friary in Ringwood. Brian Linehan, OFM, presided and Gerald McCaffrey, OFM, preached the eulogy.  A  Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 14 by Provincial Minister John  O’Connor, OFM; Evan Greco, OFM, was the homilist.

Surviving Sennen are his siblings, Kathryn Gringer, Victor (Carol) San Fratello and Laura Bohm, to whom condolences may be addressed at 57 Ellicott Avenue, Batavia NY 14020, and many nieces, nephews, grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews. He is the brother of the late Michael San Fratello, Mary Colombo, Josephine Seamans, Jasper San Fratello, Joseph San Fratello, Grace Curd, Lawrence and John San Fratello.

His memorial Mass was celebrated at St. Anthony’s Church on Saturday, Oct. 18 in Batavia. Burial was in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Batavia.