May 3, 1956, was an incredibly important day in the history of the Paulist Fathers.
On that day, 17 men were ordained priests by Cardinal Francis Spellman, archbishop of New York, at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, our mother church in New York City. It was the largest ordination class thus far in our history:
According to one account, seven New York City daily newspapers reported on the ordination.
Some views from that day:
Our Class of 1956 at St. Paul’s College in Washington, D.C., in the spring of that year:
This photo shows the novice class of 1949 at Mount Paul in Oak Ridge, NJ. Our ordination Class of 1956 grew out of his wonderful cohort:
A view of our Class of 1956 on retreat at one of our islands at Lake George, NY:
Of the 17 men ordained on May 3, 1956, five are now celebrating the 60th anniversary of their ordination. They are:
Paulist Fr. William Joseph Cantwell
Fr. Bill, 89, has served in New York City; Layton, UT; Minneapolis; Morgantown, WV; Plateau, AL; Greeley, CO; Knoxville, TN; Memphis, TN; and Vero Beach, FL. He resides today in New York City.
Paulist Fr. Kevin Aloysius Devine
Fr. Kevin, 85, was a U.S. Army chaplain. From 1962 to 1993, his service as a chaplain took him to various points around Europe and the United States. He also has served at our parishes in Boston and New York City. He resides today at our Motherhouse in New York City.
Paulist Fr. Joseph Francis Mahon
Fr. Joseph, 87, a longtime mission preacher, has served in Chicago; Portland; New York City; and at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. He resides today in New York City.
Paulist Fr. James Francis McQuade
Fr. James, 86, has served in New York City; Grand Rapids, MI; Austin, TX; Morgantown, WV; Greeley, CO; Toronto, ON and Knoxville, TN. He spent many years as a hospital chaplain. He resides today at our Motherhouse in New York City. (We recently chatted
with Fr. McQuade about his memories of his ordination day.)
Paulist Fr. David William O’Brien
Fr. David, 88, a veteran campus minister, has served in Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; Storrs, CT; Santa Barbara, CA; Boston; Berkeley, CA; and Columbus, OH. He also served as the Paulist Fathers’ vice president and first consultor. He resides today in Columbus, Ohio.
Thanks be to God for the many blessings He has shown these priests and all the lives they have touched. Please continue to pray for them and the other 12 members of the class who are no longer with us.