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Edward C. Metzger, OFM

Edward C. Metzger

1932 – 2011

Fr. Edward Metzger, OFM, was born Sept. 10, 1932 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended St. Ignatius Loyola Grammar School in Hicksville, N.Y. and then St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., from 1946 to 1952.

He entered the Order in 1952 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., receiving the name Alcuin, though he later reverted to his baptismal name. Fr. Ed professed first vows in 1953, made his solemn profession in 1956 and was ordained in 1959.

Following ordination, Fr. Ed was assigned to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston for a one-year program in pastoral theology. He then devoted himself largely to the ministry of education, first, as a teacher at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, N.Y., from 1960 to 1966. He received a master’s degree in history from nearby St. Bonaventure University in 1963. From 1966 to 1970, he pursued graduate studies in German at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, but unfortunately was unable to complete his degree.

He went through a series of one-year assignments: as assistant pastor at St. Patrick’s in Buffalo, N.Y., teaching at Shaw High School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, assistant at St. Francis Parish in Wanaque, N.J., and as confessor at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.

Fr. Ed settled down somewhat in the Buffalo area in 1974, teaching at Bishop Fallon High School and then at Cardinal O’Hara High School, while working on a master’s degree in education at Canisius College and then doctoral studies in history at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He spent one year in London working on his dissertation before he returned to Buffalo in 1981, assisting at several parishes while completing his doctorate, which he received in 1983.

He then went to work for Canisius College, serving as resident counselor in a student dormitory and adjunct professor of history. In his later years there, he resided at St. John the Baptist Parish in Kenmore, N.Y. Fr. Ed took a lot of ribbing from other friars during these years, as Canisius was the great rival of St. Bonaventure in athletics.

From 1998 to 1999, Fr. Ed spent a sabbatical at the Washington Theological Union, where he got to know the younger generation of friars. He suffered a serious heart attack during his stay, but recovered and returned briefly to Canisius, while residing at St. Patrick’s Friary in Buffalo. He then volunteered for a year as an English-speaking confessor for the Custody of the Holy Land in Nazareth, Israel.

After returning to the U.S. in 2001, he was given permission to accept a call to serve as parochial vicar at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Salt Lake City. He then served as administrator of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Helper, Utah, from 2003 to 2010. He retired from active ministry in February 2011 at St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla. A very intelligent friar with a subtle sense of humor, Fr. Ed brought many gifts to both teaching and parish ministry.

He died on July 25, 2011 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. Fr. Ed was 78 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 57 years and a priest for 52 years.