Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By James Penrice

5/5/2010 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fr. Owen McGrath, CSP drew crowds to a higher arena

While athletes accepting religious vocations continue to make headlines, it really is nothing new. Consider the life of this Paulist priest who was ordained in 1908.The article reports on the ordination two days earlier of Fr. Owen A. McGrath, CSP, at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral. It reports that Fr. McGrath was a "former quarterback on the Dartmouth football team, and also pitcher of the base-ball nine of the same institution."

We remember Fr. Owen McGrath, CSP in our prayers, along with all priests who have given their lives in service to Christ and his Church. We pray that many more men from all walks of life will follow in their footsteps.

We remember Fr. Owen McGrath, CSP in our prayers, along with all priests who have given their lives in service to Christ and his Church. We pray that many more men from all walks of life will follow in their footsteps.

Highlights

By James Penrice

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/5/2010 (6 years ago)

Published in Vocations


GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Catholic Online) - Sports are fertile ground for cultivating religious vocations. In the last few months alone, Catholic Athletes for Christ has reported through Catholic Online on a bishop who played college basketball, a Franciscan sister who was an Olympic speed skater, a Franciscan friar who is a life-long skateboarder, and a professional baseball player who left a promising career to enter the seminary. We have more stories to share in the months to come. Yet this is not at all a new development. While athletes accepting religious vocations continue to make headlines, it is really old news. Consider this headline from the Pittsburgh Press sports section of June 15, 1908: "Former Athlete a Catholic Priest." The article reports on the ordination two days earlier of Fr. Owen A. McGrath, CSP, at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral. It reports that Fr. McGrath was a "former quarterback on the Dartmouth football team, and also pitcher of the base-ball nine of the same institution." In the ornamented journalistic style of the day, the reporter writes that "during his four years in Dartmouth he was the means of carrying the colors of his college to victory many times in the contests of the gridiron and diamond." With the help of Fr. Gilbert Martinez, CSP, Catholic Online was able to learn some details of Fr. McGrath's life and priestly service with the Paulist Fathers. It is fitting that as we  profile priests and religious with athletic backgrounds, we remember and honor those who have completed their earthly mission and have gone before us to the heavenly banquet. Owen Augustine McGrath was born on December 27, 1881, in South Boston. He attended the Boston Latin School, where he garnered a number of athletic awards. At Dartmouth he excelled at football and baseball, and was a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. After beginning theological studies he continued to play baseball at St. Thomas College, the Paulists' home for studies in Washington, DC. He professed first vows on December 8, 1907, and was ordained a priest on June 13, 1908. Fr. McGrath spent most of his priestly life preaching missions, during which he encouraged devotion to the Cure of Ars and St. Therese of Lisieux. He served as a military chaplain during World War I. Afterwards he was sent to New York City, where he served as Prefect of the Paulist Choir School and also served at St. Paul the Apostle Church. During Lent of 1935 Fr. McGrath traveled to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to preach a mission at the Cathedral. During the mission he was stricken with appendicitis, and died soon after surgery on March 30 at the age of 53. He is buried at St. Paul the Apostle, the Paulists' Mother Church, in New York City. In the Paulist archives Fr. McGrath is remembered as being "well known for his joyful disposition, combined with a devotional spirit. His manner of preaching was strenuous and rapid-fire." He fulfilled the prediction made about his ministry in the Pittsburgh Press article: "Although he has not yet received any appointment from the Superior of the order, he will probably engage in aggressive mission work. He is an eloquent and forceful preacher, and has the gift of winning the interest and support of boys and young men." We remember Fr. Owen McGrath, CSP in our prayers, along with all priests who have given their lives in service to Christ and his Church. We pray that many more men from all walks of life will follow in their footsteps.

-----
James Penrice is the author of eight books, a correspondent for Catholic Athletes for Christ, and a contributor to Catholic Online.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Vocations

Friars inspired to take pilgrimage after viewing Hollywood drama 'The Way' Watch

Image of Friars begin 478-mile pilgrimage on foot across United States (@friarsonfoot/Twitter).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Dominican Fathers Francis Orozco and Thomas Schaefgen were inspired to make a 478-mile pilgrimage from New Orleans to Memphis, Tenn. entirely on foot and without a single dollar between them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fathers Francis Orozco, of the Catholic ... continue reading


'A sign of the love of God': Why nuns wear religious habits Watch

Image of

By Ann Schneible (CNA/EWTN News)

As Pope Francis' year dedicated to consecrated life comes to a close, one nun shared her thoughts on the how her religious garb serves as a "visible sign" that God exists and loves every person. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Though the official Year for Consecrated ... continue reading


LISTEN NOW: Benedictine nuns release new album Watch

Image of Nuns record new album to promote faith (Churchpop).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Benedictine nuns in Missouri recently released their latest album <i>Adoration at Ephesus</i> - and it is amazing! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mother Cecilia, the prioress of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, told <a ... continue reading


A powerful MUST-READ call for prayers of priestly vocations Watch

Image of Bishop Mark O'Toole asks to pray for priestly vocations (Mazur).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Bishop Mark O'Toole, the Bishop of Plymouth, has called for a prayer of priestly vocations in a pastoral letter, which was read in all parishes across the diocese earlier this month. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The letter was simple and read: "To encourage an ... continue reading


'Chosen, don't forget this. Chosen!:' Pope Francis sends amazing message to priests Watch

Image of Pope Francis calls for prayer to bring more young men to priesthood vocations (@franciscus/Instagram).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis ordained eleven men into the priesthood at St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday - then had plenty to say on the subject. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis spoke to the newly ... continue reading


'He will be sorely missed:' Missing Florida priest's body found in Georgia Watch

Image of Florida priest Rev. Rene Robert's body was discovered in Georgia (actionnewsjax).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Church officials reported a Florida priest went missing last week. After following a trail of clues, investigators believe they found Rev. Rene Robert's body in Georgia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When church officials noticed Rev. Robert missed a funeral in ... continue reading


Who are the Red Nuns and what are they doing in Thailand? Watch

Image of Thailand's Red Nuns open up to share their spiritual ventures (Alex Proimos/Flickr).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new monastery has been opened by an American group of cloistered nuns in Thailand in pursuit of planting an aura of "contemplative monastic spirituality." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sister Joan Claver O.Ss.R. has been a nun for 63 years and has moved to the ... continue reading


The 'reality of the Eucharist': Don't let it become a meaningless gesture Watch

Image of The Bishop of Shrewsbury believes the Eucharist is the key to priestly vocations (Al Riccio/Corbis).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

During the Chrism Mass homily at Our Lady and the Apostles Church, Stockport, Bishop Mark Davies related the Eucharist to the Catholic Priesthood. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Chrism Mass usually takes place Holy Thursday morning, though it can also occur any ... continue reading


What Catholic Girl Scouts and Vocations have in common Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis on Friday praised Catholic girl scout leaders' "absolutely crucial" role in educating women for their vocation and responsibilities in a world of ideologies that work against God and treat women as inferior. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "Today it is very ... continue reading


St. Elizabeth of the Trinity followed her vocation -will you? Watch

Image of Who was Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity (ocarm)?

By Carl Bunderson (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis acknowledged a miracle worked through the intercession of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a Carmelite nun of the 20th century, paving the way for her canonization likely later this year. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "The Lord has chosen to answer her ... continue reading


All Vocations News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • St. Maximinus of Trier: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jude 1:17, 20-25
17 But remember, my dear friends, what the apostles of our Lord Jesus ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing your power and your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2016 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret ... Read More