Saugerties Post Star
  • Rev. Francis X. Gunn, OFM

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  • The Rev. Francis X. Gunn, OFM, 58, a professed Franciscan friar for
    32 years and a priest for 29, died Aug. 24 2011 at the rectory of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Northville, N.Y.
    Fr. Gunn was born on April 15, 1953, in Brooklyn, N.Y., son of the late Edward and Rose Gunn. The family moved upstate to Saugerties, where he received his elementary school education. Discerning a religious vocation, he graduated in 1971 from St. Francis Seminary High School, Lafayette, N.J., That fall, he entered the Order's pre-novitiate program at Don Bosco College in Newton, N.J., receiving in 1975 his bachelor's degree in philosophy.
    In August 1975, he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars (OFM Cap.) at St. Lawrence Friary, Beacon, N.Y., and professed his first vows there on Aug. 15, 1976. He then began his theology studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, N.J. In 1978, Fr. Gunn transferred to the Order of Friars Minor, entering the novitiate of Holy Name Province in Brookline, Mass. He professed his first vows Aug. 5, 1979, at St. Mary's Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., before the Rev. Michael Carnevale, OFM, and lived there while completing his theology program at the seminary in Darlington, receiving his M.Div. degree in 1981. He professed his solemn vows Sept. 13, 1981, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York, where he was ordained to the priesthood Nov. 15, 1981, by Bishop Lawrence Graziano, OFM. Following his ordination, Fr. Gunn was assigned to campus ministry at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., for a year (1981-1982), but returned to St. Mary's, Pompton Lakes, where we was a member of the team ministry from 1982 to 1987. During these years, he studied counseling at Seton Hall University, receiving an M.A. in 1985. He then pursued graduate studies at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University, receiving a M.S.W. in 1988. After this, he worked at a number of social agencies in northern New Jersey including the South Bergen Mental Health Center, Lyndhurst, N.J. (1987-1989); Northwest Bergen Hospice, Ridgewood, N.J. (1989-1993); and the Mid-Bergen Health Center, Paramus, N.J. (1993- 1995). Fr. Gunn also engaged in private practice as a psychotherapist and lecturer and supplied weekend assistance at parishes in northern New Jersey throughout this time.
    In 1996, Fr. Gunn returned to Siena College as director of campus ministry. He then served briefly as parochial vicar at St. Denis Church, Hopewell Junction, N.Y. (1999-2000) and from 2000 to 2002  Holy Name of Jesus Church, West 96th St., New York. After the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, he was an active member of the crisis intervention team that ministered to New York firefighters.  He served as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, East Rutherford, N.J., from 2002 to 2005, and of Holy Name
    Parish, New York City, from 2005 to 2008. Fr. Gunn then returned to St. Mary's Parish in Pompton Lakes as parochial vicar, while he worked on various projects for the Holy Name Provincial Office in New York. Earlier this year, he moved to his assignment as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Northville, NY and St. Joseph’s Church in Broadalbin, NY. 
    Page 2 of 2 -  Fr. Gunn is survived by four sisters, Eileen Gunn and Lorraine Comito of Saugerties, Patricia Shirley of Lincoln Park, N.J., and Joan Carr of Port Orchard, Wash. and many nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his sister Rosemary Lorenz and his brother Edward
    His Funeral Procession formed Tuesday, August 30 at Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home then to St. Pius RC Church, Loudonville, NY where the Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial  was presided over by the Most Reverend  Howard Hubbard, DD, Bishop of Albany, and concelebrated with The Most Reverend Dominick J. Lagonegro, DD, Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of New York and  attended by many other Franciscan Friars and priests including Monsignor William Williams and Father Bill Woodruff of St. John’s the Evangelist Church. Interment was in the Blue Mt. Cemetery, Saugerties.   Memorial contributions can be made to: The Franciscans - St. Anthony's Guild, 4 Jersey Street, East  Rutherford NJ 07073-1012.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Seamon-Wilsey To light a candle or send the family a condolence visit www.seamonwilseyfuneralhome.com