Franciscan Father Frias Served 46 Years As a Priest

Father Frias

Father Ramon C. Frias, O.F.M. Cap., a Capuchin Franciscan Friar of the Province of St. Mary, White Plains, died Aug. 30 in White Plains. He was 79.

Born in Brooklyn, he attended P.S. 95 and SS. Simon and Jude School, both Gravesend, and Lafayette H.S., Bath Beach, before earning his bachelor’s degree in sociology at St. John’s University, Jamaica. He then attended the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Albany, 1968-72, where he earned a master in divinity degree.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Brooklyn by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero on May 25, 1972.

He went on to earn his master of social work degree at Hunter College’s School of Social Work, specializing in psychiatric social work, and then ministered as a therapist at Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, 1974-78.

After eight years of discernment, he entered the Capuchin Franciscan friars and was invested on Aug. 31, 1980 at St. Francis Friary, Garrison, N.Y. He made his perpetual profession on Aug. 4, 1984.

Following his novitiate year, he taught religion at Sacred Heart H.S., Yonkers, 1981-82, and then became Catholic Chaplain at SUNY New Paltz with residence at St. Joseph, New Paltz, 1982-87.

He served the province as a vocation director with residence at the Mary Immaculate Friary, 1987-88, and then St. Michael Friary, 1988-90. In 1990, he earned a master’s degree in Franciscan Spirituality from St. Bonaventure University. He later served as a lecturer at the Franciscan International Study Center in Great Britain, 2002-04.

He was a pastoral associate at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Lower East Side, 1991-93, and taught religion and psychology at St. Francis H.S., Athol Springs, N.Y., 1993-95. He also ministered and resided at St. John the Baptist Friary, Manhattan, 1995-2007, as a teacher at St. Agnes High School, parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist Church and later chaplain at St. Mary children’s rehabilitation center in Ossining, N.Y.

He served a year with the Capuchin Franciscan Generalate in Rome, before returning to St. John the Baptist, 2008-14.

In 2014, Father Ramon was named Guardian at St. Conrad Friary, White Plains, while assisting on weekends at St. Francis of Assisi parish, Astoria.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 5 at the Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart in Yonkers. Msgr. Ralph J. Maresca, pastor of St. Francis Assisi parish, Astoria, was among the concelebrants.

“He was loved by the people here at St. Francis of Assisi and he had a great sense of humor,” said Msgr. Maresca.

“He was just such a good and faithful priest who reached out and touched the lives of many people. He will be greatly missed and we pray for him and thank God for his presence amongst us.”

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