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Justin J. Bailey, OFM

Justin J. Bailey

1933 – 2009

Fr. Justin J. Bailey, OFM, was born on Nov. 24, 1933, in Lowell, Mass. Deciding on a Franciscan religious vocation, he attended St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., for three years before joining the Order.

He entered Holy Name Province at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1953, and professed his first vows there Aug. 13, 1954. He pursued philosophical studies at St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H., and theological studies at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., and Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. He professed final vows Aug. 20, 1957, at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., and was ordained a priest March 12, 1960, in the Church of Mount Saint Sepulchre in Washington, D.C.

As a Franciscan, Fr. Justin enjoyed a wide-ranging career as a foreign missionary, hospital chaplain, preacher and spiritual director. Following a year of pastoral studies at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, he volunteered for the Province’s mission in Goiás, Brazil, where he served nine years.

Returning to the United States in 1970, Fr. Justin ministered at Christ House in Lafayette, N.J., as retreat master and counselor. In 1973, he became guardian and director of formation at Holy Name College. In 1976, he was appointed provincial spiritual assistant for the Third Order of St. Francis, residing at St. Francis Retreat House in Rye Beach.

In 1978, he began working as hospital chaplain at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., while taking courses in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of South Florida. Fr. Justin then pursued graduate studies, earning master’s degrees in psychology from Boston College and theology from the Weston School of Theology in 1982. That year he returned to his hospital chaplaincy at St. Anthony’s, also serving as spiritual assistant at Our Lady’s House of Prayer in Clearwater, Fla.

In 1985, Fr. Justin was appointed guardian and director of the Province’s House of Prayer at St. Joseph Friary in Warwick, N.Y. In 1987, he again returned to St. Anthony’s Hospital as chaplain, also taking up retreat ministry at Our Lady of Divine Providence in Clearwater, Fla.

In 1989, Fr. Bailey began a full-time ministry as a preacher of retreats in the Province’s Ministry of the Word, based first at St. James Friary in Belleair Bluffs, Fla. He went to Canada in 1992 to continue that ministry, first at Mount Carmel Centre in Niagara Falls, and then at St. Bonaventure Friary, Toronto, in 1996. In 1998, he transferred to the Franciscan Center in Andover, Mass., and in 2000, to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Mass.

In 2003, Fr. Justin became a full-time pastoral associate at St. Anthony Shrine, also assisting at Espiritu Santo Parish in Safety Harbor, Mass. He retired to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., in March 2009, and transferred to Maria Manor, St. Petersburg, in late June due to declining health.

Fr. Justin died July 4, 2009, at Maria Manor. He was 75 years old, a professed friar for 54 years and a priest for 49 years.