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Dominic Ternan, OFM

Dominic Ternan

1902 – 1944

Fr. Dominic Ternan, OFM, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Nov. 8, 1902. A graduate of Fordham University, he worked for the New York Telephone Company before joining the friars.

At the age of 31, he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 26, 1933. He professed temporary vows Aug. 27, 1934, and made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1937. Fr. Dominic was ordained a priest in the Paulist Chapel in Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 1937.

During his few years St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan, Dominic was known for his quiet and gentle ways, and he was popular as a kind confessor whose advice was as penetrating as it was firm.

In April 1942, he enlisted as a chaplain in the United States Army in and served for 27 months. During that time, he instructed more than 150 men.

Fr. Dominic was killed while ministering to a wounded soldier in Normandy on June 19, 1944. His body was brought back to the United States and he was buried in Paterson. He was 41 years old, a professed friar for nine years and a priest for six years. He is the only military chaplain of Holy Name Province to die in combat.