Basil F. Lobby, OFM
1915 – 1998
Fr. Basil Lobby, OFM, was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on November 7, 1915. He was baptized in the Byzantine Ruthenian Rite but switched to the Roman Rite before entering the Order, and his entire family eventually followed suit. He took a job with American Cyanamid, where he got his start in chemistry.
In 1936, he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. He was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1940, and professed temporary vows Aug. 13, 1941. Throughout his clericate years, Fr. Basil continued to study chemistry. He made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1944, and was ordained a priest June 9, 1946.
After the simplex year at Holy Name College, Fr. Basil fulfilled short-term assignments in Buffalo, N.Y., and Boston before finding his niche at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., in 1948. Within three years he had completed work on two graduate degrees: a master’s in chemistry in 1950 and master’s in philosophy in 1951.
Fr. Basil doubled for years as the university’s very able purchasing agent and as weekend assistant to Fr. Harlan Davis (later Fr. Robert, OFM.) at Eldred, Pa.
The university phase ended when Fr. Basil became parochial vicar at St. Anne’s Parish in Fair Lawn, N.J. There he learned to love being occasional chaplain for Catholic groups, visiting points of interest around the world. He served 10 years at St. Anne’s before volunteering for service in the Diocese of Metuchen, where he worked in three parishes over a 12-year span. In 1995, still active, alert and looking good, he retired to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., where he truly enjoyed his twilight years.
Fr. Basil died in Butler on July l8, 1998. He was 82 years old, a professed Franciscan for almost 57 years and a priest for 52 years.