Christopher Neyland, OFM
1913 – 1979
Fr. Christopher Neyland, OFM, was born March 31, 1913 in Brooklyn, N.Y. After seeing a copy of The Anthonian at his grandmother’s house, he was inspired to become a Franciscan priest. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., and entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1933. Fr. Christopher professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1937 and was ordained in 1941. His younger brother, Fr. Quintin Neyland, OFM, would follow in his footsteps.
In 1943, Fr. Chistopher joined a dozen other friars in establishing the mission of Holy Name Province in Goias, Brazil. Health problems caused him to return periodically from Brazil, but he served as a hardworking missionary in Goias from 1958 to 1964, 1966 to 1970, and 1977 to 1978. He founded the parish in Ceres, Goias. The people would say: “His Portuguese isn’t classical, but his sincerity is!”
While in the United States, Fr. Christopher assisted at the Franciscan Missionary Union office and the service churches in Boston, Providence, R.I., and New Bedford, Mass. He also served in Asheville, N.C., Clarksville, Va., Beach Haven, N.J., and Buffalo, N.Y.
He died on April 21, 1979 in New York City. Fr. Christopher was 66 years old, a professed friar for 44 years and a priest for 37 years.