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Rev Fr Robert O'Farrell

Rev Fr Robert O'Farrell

Birth
Montreal, Montreal Region, Quebec, Canada
Death 8 Jun 1963 (aged 56)
Cumberland, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA
Burial Garrison, Putnam County, New York, USA
Plot Tier 1 Row 5 Grave 2
Memorial ID 161415886 · View Source
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FR. ROBERT O'FARRELL, SA.
(John O'Farrell)
(1907-1963)


John Patrick Edwin O'Farrell was born on February 28,
1907 to Patrick Francis O'Farrell and Margaret O'Neil in St.
Malachy, Quebec, Canada. He had one brother and one sister
who later became a nun. His Dad was a farmer and his Mom
was a housewife and dressmaker. He attended St. Patrick's
School, Montreal, Quebec and Holy Ghost School,
Graniteville, Vermont. At age sixteen, n 1923 he came to
Graymoor after learning of the Society through the Lamp
Magazine. He completed his secondary school education at St.
John's Seminary Graymoor. He entered the Novitiate and
received the religious name Robert on August 24,1926. A year
and a day later, he made his first profession of vows.

He attended Catholic University, Washington, DC for

undergraduate and theological studies. Fr. Robert professed final vows on September 8, 1931 at
Graymoor. He was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Immaculate
Conception in Washington, D.C on June 10, 1935 by Bishop John McNamara. Ordained with
him that day were Samuel Cummings, SA, Raphael Grande, SA, Bernard Foley, SA and Steven
Sullivan, SA. His first solemn mass was at his home parish St. Malachy's, in Quebec, Canada.

His uncle Fr. Myles O'Farrell was deacon and preacher. Fr. Gerald Cronin S.A. was Sub-
Deacon and Fr. Marreau, the Parish Priest was his Arch-Priest.

After ordination Fr. Robert was assigned to the Catholic Japanese Mission, St. Paul's
Church Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In 1938, he became Pastor of St. Joseph's
Church, Steveston, BC. While there the Canadian government decided to make an interment
camp in the interior of Canada for the Japanese people and it was thus that Fr. Robert, along with
Fr. Alphonsus Hoban and Fr. Peter Baptist Katsuno accompanied the Japanese to Greenwood,
BC. In 1942, he became Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Greenwood. Father had great
difficulty with the language but after awhile he managed to make himself understood. He spent
eleven years working with the Japanese Mission.

In 1946 he became Director of St. Christopher's Inn for three years. This was followed by
a six year stint as Chaplain at the US Public Health Service Hospital, Staten Island, NY. He then
became Pastor at Christ the King Parish, High Point, North Carolina and Regional Superior of
the Friars in the North Carolina Missions for six years. After that, he was assigned in 1961 as
Confessor for the Novices and Brothers at the Novitiate in Cumberland, R[ after recuperating
from a heart attack. He died there suddenly on June 8, t963. He was 56 years old.

The Solemn Requiem Mass was offered in the Friary Chapel at Graymoor by the Superior General, Fr. Bonaventure Koelzer. The Eulogy was given by his classmate, Fr. Stephen
Sullivan S.A. of St. John's Seminary in Montour Falls, New York. Burial took place in the Friars Cemetery.

One of the things which many Friars remember of Fr. Robert was the powerful grip with
which he shook hands with someone. When asked if he had anything special he liked to do, he
would say 'Just the usual seminary, parish or priestly duties that needed to be done. That was
how Fr. Robert lived his life. Very dedicated and simple.

MAY HE REST IN PEACE.

Credit: Fr. Paschal Breau, S.A., "In Memoriam", Feb 20, 2004, Archives and Records Center, Graymoor.