Brother Christopher J. McCartney, O.S.A. (1937 - 2002)
Christopher J. McCartney, O.S.A., 65, entered eternal life on July 21, 2002.
Born on July 9, 1937 to Felix and Ruth McCartney in Detroit, Michigan, he was baptized Patrick Joseph McCartney on August 15, 1937 at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, Detroit.
He attended Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, for three years before transferring to St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan, for his senior year. Following his graduation from St. Augustine in 1957, he was accepted into the formation program for Augustinian Brothers. There he chose the name Brother Christopher.
In 1959, Chris served as Assistant Disciplinarian at Austin Catholic High School, Detroit. He then served as Business Manager of St. Joseph Mission House, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1960. He studied at the University of Detroit in 1959 and 1960.
Chris entered the Augustinian Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1960 and professed simple vows in the Order of St. Augustine on October 10, 1961. He then ministered at Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, as Assistant Disciplinarian, Secretary to the Principal and Vocations Director until 1965. He professed solemn vows on October 10, 1964.
In 1965, Chris was appointed Adjunct to the Papal Sacristan, Bishop Peter Van Lierde, O.S.A., in Rome, Italy. After serving in that capacity for two years, he returned to the United States because of ill health.
When he regained his health, Chris returned to Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, where he served from 1967 to 1973 as Assistant Disciplinarian and Secretary to the Principal. In 1973, he was sent to St. Rita High School, Chicago, where he was Dean of Men, Vocations Director and Mission Director until 1978.
Chris worked in 1978-79 as a dorm parent for wards of the court at Maryville Academy, Des Plaines, Illinois. He then studied at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University, Chicago, earning a Master's in Pastoral Studies in 1980. He was assigned to St. Joseph Parish, Pekin, Illinois, where he ministered from 1980 to 1988 as Director of Religious Education and Youth Director. He suffered a serious heart attack in 1986, which was followed by a long recovery.
In 1988, Chris was assigned to St. Matthew Parish, Flint, Michigan. After four years there, he was given permission to care for his aged mother in the last two years of her battle with cancer. Following the death of his mother in 1994, he became Director of Religious Education and Sacramental Programs at St. Gregory Parish, Cambridge, Ontario.
Unfortunately, Chris suffered another heart attack in January of 2002. At the time of the Augustinians' withdrawal from St. Gregory in July of 2002, he moved to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, where he was living at the time of his death on July 21, 2002.
Chris is remembered for his dedication to God as an Augustinian, for his willingness to serve wherever he was sent, his friendly smile and compassionate heart, and for his life-long devotion to St. Joseph. He had a gift for working with the young and the old. He loved his Augustinian vocation and gave himself to be "brother" to all those with whom God called him to live.
Chris is buried in the Augustinian plot at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Detroit.