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Theophane Leary, OFM

Theophane Leary

1897 – 1954

Fr. Theophane Leary, OFM, was born on Oct. 15, 1897 in Buffalo, N.Y., and was baptized in St. Patrick’s Church. He entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., at age 14 and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1916, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1920 and was ordained in 1923.

He served at ministries in Buffalo, New York City, Butler, N.J., Winsted, Conn., and Wikes-Barre, Pa. In 1932, Fr. Theophane became a professor of classical languages at St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y. During World War II, he served as a chaplain in Southern France, Ardennes, the Rhineland and Central Europe, and he was awarded four battle stars and the rank of captain. After the war, he was assigned to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. At the time of his death, Fr. Theophane was serving as pastor of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Little Falls, N.J., and was just completing the building of the new church.

He died on Jan. 17, 1954 at All Souls Hospital, Morristown, N.J. Fr. Theophane was 56 years old, a professed friar for 36 years and a priest for 30 years.