Rev. FRANCIS JOSEPH GRADY, Columban Father, age 82, died peacefully on September 1, 2020 at St. Elizabeth’s Manor in Bristol, RI after an extended illness.
Born in Lynn, MA on January 12, 1938, Fr. Frank was the only child of the late Frank A. and Margaret E. (Ring) Grady. He attended St. John the Evangelist Grammar School and graduated from St. John’s Prep in Danvers, MA in 1955. He began his higher education at Boston College before entering the Seminary at St. Columban’s in Milton, MA. Fr. Frank was ordained a priest at the Columban’s Major Seminary Chapel by Archbishop Richard Cushing on December 21, 1963. He earned a BA in Philosophy and completed his Theological studies in 1964. He then began his journey of service as a witness to God’s love.
After assignments at the Columban Houses in Chicago and San Francisco, he was appointed to Korea in 1968. There he worked in two Mokpo parishes and spent time assisting in a nearby leprosarium; missionary work that he found to be most fulfilling. Along with parish duties and matriculating in language school, Fr. Frank served as an auxiliary Air Force Chaplain at the Kimpo International Airport in Seoul, Korea. One of his most memorable days was seeing the Pueblo crew who had been released from North Korea repatriated. He was present at their send-off at Kimpo Airport on Christmas Eve 1968. Fr. Frank always reminded us that: “Freedom is a great gift that we too frequently take for granted”.
Fr. Frank returned to the United States continuing his studies at St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame.In 1973, he was appointed the Director of the Korean Catholic Center in Chicago where he served for five years.He then began many years in health care ministry, first at Columbus-Cuneo-Cabrini Medical Center and later doing chaplaincy training at Alexian Brothers in Elk Grove Village, IL.Following this, he worked at Loyola Hospital and then at the Lutheran Alcohol Treatment Center, focusing on drug and alcohol rehabilitation until 1991.Fr. Frank then assisted his novitiate classmate, Fr. Fearon, at St. Bernadine’s Catholic Church in Forest Park, IL, where he happily resided for 22 cherished year’s.St. Bernadine’s became home to Fr. Frank.He was so very grateful to all the people he ministered to and who ministered to him.Fr. Frank retired in September of 2010 to the Columban Fathers Retirement Community in Bristol, RI but his heart always remained at St. B’s with his beloved parish family.
Fr. Frank was proud of his Irish heritage and enjoyed his visits to the Columban House in Navan, Ireland as well as cheering on any Notre Dame team.He was also a life-long Boston sports fan, particularly the Celtics, and wore his famous Celtic hat with great pride which greatly complimented his “Baaa-ston” accent.He so enjoyed his many visits home to Swampscott where he would spend time with his family celebrating many happy events and providing love and support in the difficult times.He often visited childhood friends when he returned home and never missed a chance to enjoy his favorite restaurant, Dube’s, where he was treated like royalty.Despite his no-nonsense demeanor, there was always a twinkle in his eye that made him a favorite among his flock, the nurses and staff who so lovingly cared for him. Fr. Frank dedicated his life to serving God and church, he touched countless lives along the way. He will be so missed by his many cousins and extended family, his Columban community family members and a lifetime of bountiful friends.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, September 16th at the Columban Fathers Chapel in Bristol, RI. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, September 26th at 11:30 AM at St. John the Evangelist Church, Swampscott, MA with internment in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Lynn, MA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:Missionary Society of St. Columban, 1902 N. Calhoun, St. Columbans, NE 68056 firstname.lastname@example.org or to St. Elizabeth Manor Patient Activities Fund, 1 Dawn Hill Rd., Bristol, RI 02809 “In Memory of Fr. Frank Grady” .
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