Obituary of Fr. Canice Connors, OFM Conv.
Fr. Canice Connors, OFM Conv.
Fr. Canice (Donald) Connors, OFM Conv. was born in Hazelton, PA, December 3, 1934, and passed away on March 17, 2019. He was the son of the late James and Elizabeth (née Roarty) Connors. In addition to his Franciscan family he leaves his brother James and his wife Christine Connors of Fayetteville, NY, a sister, Dolores Cea, sister-in-law Mary Ann Anderson and 10 nephews and nieces, as well as several great nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his brother Robert Connors.
Fr. Canice entered the Franciscan Friars Conventual Novitiate in Middleburg, NY, on August 15, 1954. He professed his Temporary Vows on August 16, 1955 and his Solemn Vows on September 27, 1958. Fr. Canice was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1961.
After his ordination, Fr. Canice attended The Catholic University of America and received an M.A in Philosophy, in 1962. He attended the University of Ottawa, from 1962-1963, receiving a M.A. in Psychology. Fr. Canice served as teacher and Headmaster at Canevin High School in Pittsburgh, PA from 1964 to 1975. During that time, from 1969 to 1971, he also studied at the University of Pittsburgh and he was awarded a Ph.D. in Psychology, in 1971.
A man of dauntless energy, Fr. Canice served in the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, from 1975 - 1979. Using his skills in Psychology, Fr. Canice was asked to be the Director of Southdown Institute, in Holland Landing, Ontario, Canada, where he served from 1979 to 1986. After serving a year (1986-1987) as Rector of St. Anthony-on-Hudson, in Rensselaer, NY, Fr. Canice was asked to be the Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Winston-Salem, NC, where he served from 1987 to 1992.
Returning to the use of his skills in Psychology in 1992, Fr. Canice became the Director of St. Luke’s Institute in Silver Spring, MD, where he worked until, in 1997, when Fr. Canice was elected as Minister Provincial of the Immaculate Conception Province. This was ministry that he offered until 2005.
Fr. Canice was a well-respected Guest Speaker in both the U.S and Canada. He received the Annual Touchstone Award in 1997, which is the President’s Award of the National Federation of Priests Council, given to one whose service in the Gospel of Jesus Christ exemplifies the goals and purposes of the NFPC. Fr. Canice was the Vice-President and President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) and a member of the Board of Directors from 2001 - 2004.
From 2005 to 2008, Fr. Canice served as the Rector of the Franciscan Church of Assumption, in Syracuse, NY. For health reasons, in 2008 Fr. Canice resigned from this position and was assigned to St. Bonaventure Friary, Toronto, Canada. Despite his illness, he became the effective leader of “Tea and Theology” discussion groups in Toronto. As his health declined, Fr. Canice was transferred in 2015 to Mercy Nursing Facility at Our Lady Victory, Lackawanna, NY. For most of his time there, he was still able to minster the sacraments to his fellow residents. Sister Death called him home on March 17, 2019.
Fr. Canice will lie in state at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Hamburg, NY 14010 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM on Thursday, March 21, 2019, with a Franciscan Wake Service at 7 PM. On Friday, March 22, 2019, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. Interment will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Buffalo, NY after a repast in St. Francis of Assisi Parish Hall. A Memorial Mass will take place at Immaculate Conception Church, Fayetteville, NY in the spring. Memorial Donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Burse, 12300 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042, or to Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208.
Funeral arrangements are by Lakeside Funeral Home, Hamburg, NY.