Father John M. Quinn died Oct. 14, 2021, at the age of 91.
Father Quinn was a graduate of St. Anthony of Padua School in Syracuse. He completed seminary studies at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s in Rochester and was ordained on Feb. 2, 1957.
On the occasion of his 60th jubilee in 2017, Father Quinn told the Sun the priesthood is a wonderful life.
He served at St. Paul’s in Whitesboro for eight years before joining the faculty at Utica Catholic Academy, later Notre Dame. He taught for more than 20 years, mostly the Old Testament.
After his time in the classroom, Father Quinn began ministering in parishes throughout the diocese. He served wherever needed—in total, some 74 different parishes, he said. “I was able to visit lots of places. … I loved it,” Father Quinn said, also noting that his travels allowed him to see some of the schools his father, an architect, built in the ’30s and ’40s.
Father Quinn was the only diocesan priest in the Diocese of Syracuse who was a member of the Discalced Carmelites, he said. The late Bishop Thomas J. Costello accepted his simple vows into the order in May 1993.
On his resume, Father Quinn listed his career objective: “To serve Jesus of Nazareth in the Catholic priesthood and lead others to a close relationship with Jesus.”
Under special skills, he wrote: “Excellent written and oral communication skills, experience in organization and leadership, group learning, musician and photographer.”
Under interests, he listed “music, photography, painting, reading, hiking, model railroading, biking, travel and the Civil War.”
His various ministries included spiritual director of the Legion of Mary, choir leader, instructor of converts and chaplain to the Whitesboro Fire Department and Mohawk Valley Community College.
To a young man discerning the priesthood, Father Quinn advised not to be afraid, to pray and to stay close to God. “The happiest day of your life is ordination day,” he said.
Look for a report on Father Quinn’s Oct. 20 funeral Mass in the next issue of the Sun.