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William J. McGavin, OFM

William J. McGavin

1925 – 1996

Fr. William (Patrick) McGavin, OFM, was born on June 8, 1925 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He served in the Army for two years before entering The Catholic University of America, Washington, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He worked in the field for several years before entering the Order.

Fr. William was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., in 1951, taking the religious name Patrick. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1955 and was ordained in 1956.

His first assignment was as an assistant at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, where he took courses at Columbia University. Fr. Bill then went to Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., where he taught science and math for 13 years. Despite the busy teaching schedule that the friars had there, Fr. Bill served as senior moderator and earned a master’s degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., during summer sessions.

In 1973, Fr. Bill joined the Province’s Mission Band, ministering in the Bronx, N.Y., and Paterson, and at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. While he was in residence at St. Joseph’s Friary in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., he became ill and transferred to the Provincial infirmary at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., a friary in Warwick, N.Y., and Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.

He died there on Jan. 14, 1996. Fr. Bill was 70 years old, a professed friar for 43 years and a priest for 39 years.