Gerald T. McCaffrey, OFM
1931 – 2011
Fr. Gerald McCaffrey, OFM, was born Aug. 7, 1931 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and baptized Bernard. After high school, he studied at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., from 1949 to 1951, where the friars inspired him to join the Order. He entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1951, receiving the religious name Gerald Thomas. He professed simple vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1955 and was ordained in 1958.
Following ordination, Fr. Gerald participated in the fifth year pastoral theology program at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. He then served as parochial vicar for one year at Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Little Falls, N.J., before dedicating himself to the ministry of education. He had taken graduate courses in philosophy at St. Bonaventure during the summers, receiving a master’s degree in 1961, but was asked to focus on mathematics. Fr. Gerald taught math and was moderator of athletics at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, N.Y., from 1960 to 1962. He then taught for a year at Bishop Timon High School, Buffalo, N.Y.
After that, Fr. Gerald went on for graduate studies in mathematics at St. Louis University, receiving a master’s degree. Leaving St. Louis in 1968, he served for seven months at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I. He returned that fall to St. Bonaventure University as a mathematics teacher. Over the next 25 years, Br. Gerald also filled the positions of vice president for student affairs, athletic department chaplain and moderator of athletics. His work as a friar in residence in the dorms inspired him to study counseling, and he received a M.Ed. from St. Bonaventure in 1978.
In 1994, Br. Gerald joined the pastoral staff of St. Anthony Shrine, where he ministered for eight years. In 2003, he was assigned as parochial vicar at Holy Cross Parish in Callicoon, N.Y. Ill health forced him to retire from active ministry in 2004.
He died Jan. 31, 2011 at St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J. Fr. Gerald was 79 years old, a professed friar for 58 years and a priest for 52 years.