Rev. Christopher C. McGrath, O.S.A. (1885-1966)
Rev. Christopher C. McGrath, O.S.A. entered eternal life on July 1, 1966.
Christopher Columbus McGrath was born on December 14, 1885 in Spring Valley, Illinois to Thomas and Anne (Christopher) McGrath. He was baptized on December 18, 1885 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Peru, Illinois. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 17, 1898 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Chicago, Illinois.
After receiving his education at St. Elizabeth School, St. Gabriel School, and Association Institute, all in Chicago, Christopher then worked in a foundry and as a manual training instructor at the Armour Institute. At the age of 27, he entered the Augustinian formation program.
Christopher was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on June 19, 1913. He then professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on June 19, 1914 and solemn (permanent) vows on June 24, 1917. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1917. After this, he pursued theological studies at Villanova. He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1920.
The first assignment that Father McGrath received after ordination was in 1921 to St. Augustine, Havana, Cuba. In 1923, he was assigned to St. Nicholas Parish, Jamaica, New York. He then ministered from 1925 to 1929 at St. Paul Parish, Mechanicville, New York. After this, he was at St. Lawrence Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts, from 1929 to 1930.
Father McGrath served on the Augustinian Mission Band from 1930 to 1939. Members of the Mission Band preached at parish missions and directed spiritual retreats throughout the United States. In 1939, he was named Pastor of St. Mary Catholic Parish, Rockford, Illinois. He also was Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian community there.
From 1948 to 1956, Father McGrath was Prior at St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan. He was then named Prior at St. Monica Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1956. Because of declining health, he retired in 1962 to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois. He suffered a fatal heart attack while sleeping during the night of July 1, 1966.
Father McGrath is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cementery, Alsip, Illinois.