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 SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Vocations

'Listen to him': Young postulant urges others to heed God's calling Watch

Image of Will YOU answer the call?

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Many things happen during World Youth Day. Young people from all over the world travel to meet the Pope, they meet peers with whom they can share their faith, many have personal conversions and many even discover their vocations. Krakow, Poland (CNA/EWTN News) - In ... continue reading


A Look Inside: 'The World's Happiest Nuns' Watch

Image of

By Diego Lopez Marina (CNA/EWTN News)

Watch them sing, and you might be convinced of it. Cali, Colombia (CNA/EWTN News) - The Eucharistic Communicators of the Heavenly Father are a community of nuns from Colombia who have a great passion for music and an intense desire to announce God through the gifts he ... continue reading


Nun numbers on the rise - Young women flock to the church Watch

Image of More young women have joined the religious life (fiathouse).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

There is a young and vital presence of religious sisters, novices and postulants in U.S. Catholic life, a new survey has found. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious has released its latest survey of its 120 member ... continue reading


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


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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 6:1, 4-7
1 Disaster for those so comfortable in Zion and for those so confident on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
7 gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; Yahweh sets ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and ... Read More

Reading 2, First Timothy 6:11-16
11 But, as someone dedicated to God, avoid all that. You must aim to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 25th, 2016 Image

St. Finbar
September 25: He was the son of an artisan and a lady of the ... Read More