Rev Fr Michael Sugrue

Rev Fr Michael Sugrue

Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Death 1 Jan 1978 (aged 85–86)
Graymoor, Putnam County, New York, USA
Burial Garrison, Putnam County, New York, USA
Plot Tier 1 Row 6 Grave 11
Memorial ID 161365839 · View Source
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John Joseph Sugrue was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1892. He received his early education in Cleveland public and parochial schools. Following military service, in the Merchant Marines in this country and Europe and a short lived career in insurance, John came to Graymoor.
John entered the novitiate in March 1925, receiving the religious name, Michael. He professed his vows a year later. Michael was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1931, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., by the Most Reverend Thomas J. Shahan, Bishop of Washington.
As a growing young community of 25 years, the Friars immediately placed on the tall shoulders of Michael, the responsibility of being the Vicar General of the Order. He was appointed by the Founder, Fr. Paul, in 1935 and served in this capacity until 1937, the time of the First General Chapter.
After the Chapter of 1937, Michael was assigned to work in the then-Negro parishes-in North Carolina. First in Kinston and later in Lumberton. Although these parishes had been established for several years, the tensions of the time were very prevalent and the problems which resulted had to be always addressed. Michael proved to be a real shepherd of the souls and after these two assignments, was able to leave both parishes in good shape and ready for what was to come later, namely, integration.
Michael also served the Friars of the Atonement, in their homeless shelter at Graymoor, St. Christopher Inn and later became the Mission Procurator and Director of the Mission Band, a preaching apostolate promoted by the Friars.
In his later years, Michael was assigned to the Motherhouse at Graymoor, where he acted as Guest Master and Spiritual Director for both friars and those who frequented the Friary seeking spiritual guidance and help.
Because of his special relationship with the two Founders, Fr. Paul and Mother Lurana, Michael help maintain and preserve their memory by his sermons, writings and collections of their archival materials. These are now preserved in the communities' archives.
For many years Michael worked as assignment coordinator of the Mission Band; often times, taking many of the assignments himself. He worked in the front office of Old St. John's Seminary at Graymoor. For a short time, he was assigned to be confessor for the novices in Rhode Island. In the 50's and in the early 60's he was assigned for a period of time to the Friars new endeavor, at the Retreat Center at Gardiner Mines, Nova Scotia, Canada. Michael conducted the retreats for the men who were mostly coal miners. The men appreciated his conferences, for they felt that he had been a hard worker like themselves and would always remark about his "big rough hands."
For many years, Michael served as Spiritual Director for the young Friars at Graymoor. After the seminary closed in 1967, Michael, because of advanced age and his desire to stay at Graymoor, served as Confessor and Counselor for the many people who, daily came to Graymoor seeking spiritual advice.
He died, January 1, 1978 and is buried in the Friars' Cemetery.

Credit: Graymoor Newsletter.

Follow up:

RE: Your memorial on find-a-grave for Father Michael Sugrue.

Today at 12:38 AM
I think Father Michael might be the relative my 90 year old mother remembers going to visit at Graymoor when she was a young girl.  My mother’s great-grandmother was named Mary Sugrue, and my mom remembers going with her mother to visit “Father Michael” and another relative who was a nun. 
I think I have tracked a little bit of Father Michael’s assignments through the internet:
30 November 1940 “Father Michael Sugrue, S.A. replaced by Father David Gannon, S.A. at Our Lady of Atonement Church, Kinston, NC”
29 June 1946 “Father Michael Sugrue, S.A. of St. Francis de Sales Church, Lumberton, NC.”
1956-1959 “Rev. Father Michael Sugrue, S.A. at St. Anthony’s Catholic School, Hereford, TX”
I also remember reading something about Father Michael Sugrue writing about, or being involved with, the history of the Atonement Friars and Father Paul Watson, but I can’t find the internet source again. Very frustrating!
When Mom’s grandmother was about 10, her mother Mary Sugrue died about 1872, having been widowed in 1865,  leaving two orphaned children.  That’s why we know very little about them.
I don’t know if there is anything else you can tell me about Father Michael: where he was born, if he would  have been in Graymoor about 1935-1940 when my mom would have visited, and if you have any records of who his parents were.  I think maybe all of this might be kept private by the Church, but I am asking just in case you are able to tell me anything at all.
Mary Sugrue was one of my two 19th century Catholic ancestors, both of whom came from Ireland and their faith was not passed on due to death or marriage.  I was very joyful at Easter 2010, at age 46, to be welcomed into St. James the Greater Catholic Church in Charles Town, West Virginia, along with my daughter, Amy.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email, and may God bless you today and every day.
Bonnie Lee Bryant, 304 West Fourth Avenue, Ranson, WV 25438

Note of Interest:
Novena was conducted in her honor. This date, as previously pointed out by -the Father General, marking the anniversary of the receiving of the Name of the Society. This year marked the forty-sixth anniversary. As the Feast this year occurred on a irn*y, large crowds were present with the Friars and Sisters to do honor to Our Blessed Mother under her title of Our Lady of the Atonement. A Solemn High Mass was celebrated at Our Lady's Shrine on the Convent grounds. The Celebrant was the Reverend Father Michael. S.A., the First Vicar General of the Society. The sermon was preached by the Very Reverend Father General, S.A.'

Credit: Lamp Magazine.

Gravesite Details Excellent condition.

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  • Created by: Timothy F MacDonald
  • Added: 19 Apr 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 161365839
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Fr Michael Sugrue (1892–1 Jan 1978), Find a Grave Memorial no. 161365839, citing Friars Cemetery at Graymoor, Garrison, Putnam County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Timothy F MacDonald (contributor 46808750) .