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.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103