Father Robert B. Lynch, O.F.M., 96, a professed Franciscan friar for 75 years and a priest for 70 years, died Aug. 13 at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
Father Lynch was born in Philadelphia to Francis and Kathryn (nee Duffy) Lynch and baptized at St. Carthage Church in Philadelphia. He attended St. Joseph Preparatory School in Philadelphia for one year before entering St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., where he completed high school and the first two years of college.
He was received into the Franciscan order Aug. 12, 1937, at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and given the religious name Robert Bellarmine. A year later he professed first vows there.
He began his philosophical studies at St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. He then went to Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., where he pursued his theological studies and where he professed solemn vows on Sept. 17, 1941. He was ordained a priest May 29, 1943, in the crypt of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by the Bishop Michael Keyes, S.M.
In addition to parish assignments in New England in New York, Father Lynch served on the Franciscan mission team giving missions and retreats in parishes throughout the province and for U.S. Air Force personnel and their families on air bases throughout the United States. He also was director and assistant director of the Prudential Center Chapel in Boston. He moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood in 2008.
Father Lynch’s funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 17 at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. Interment was in the friars’ plot of St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, Mass.
He is survived by nephews Michael O’Connor of Bedford, Texas, and Thomas O’Connor of Chadds Ford, and niece Kathleen DiLullo, to whom condolences may be sent at 1004 Supplee Way, West Chester PA 19382-7159.
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