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Fr. Charles Finnegan, OFM


Fr. Charles Finnegan, OFM, was born and raised in New York City’s Holy Name Parish (now served by the Province), attending its elementary school before entering St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1945.

In 1951, he was received into novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., professing temporary vows the following year. Fr. Charles made his profession of solemn vows in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1958 in Washington, D.C.

Following ordination, Fr. Charles’ first assignment was to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and then to the faculty of Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in Buffalo, N.Y.

In 1960, he embarked on a decade of service to the Province’s Brazilian mission. Returning to the United States in 1970, Fr. Charles served as assistant pastor at Holy Cross Church in the Bronx, N.Y., and was elected to the Provincial council in 1973.

Fr. Charles was elected Provincial Minister in 1976 and continued to live at the Holy Cross Friary during his four-year term. During his administration, the Province deepened its engagement in various social justice ministries, founding St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia. Due to continuing health concerns, he asked to step down from his office in 1980.

Fr. Charles has since been engaged in retreat ministry at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson and the Province’s House of Prayer in Warwick, N.Y. He was also associate pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Wanaque, N.J., St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md., and St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I. He spent six years at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia from 1993 to 1999, returning there in 2001 to serve as director of the San Damiano Spirituality Center as a member of the Province’s Ministry of the Word.

Neumann College, a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia in Aston, Pa., awarded Fr. Charles an honorary doctorate in 2006. In 2007, after a brief stay at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., he moved to St. Paul’s Friary in Wilmington, Del., to serve on the Province’s novitiate team.

He returned to the place of his first assignment, St. Anthony Shrine, in March 2009. There, Fr. Charles serves as pastoral associate and confessor.