Rev. Francis Grogan, C.S.C.
September 06, 2011
Rev. Francis Grogan, C.S.C. was a man who never lost his child-like simplicity and enthusiasm for life, his vocation or his faith. Family, friends, former students and fellow priests recall him as a serenely humble man, warm and easy to embrace. "He attracted God's graces in countless ways. I'm sure this made it easier for him to... be happy, joyful and able to share his love with hundreds of people whom he ministered," says Rev. Joseph Tate, C.S.C.
Early September found Fr. Frank on Cape Cod, visiting close family friends. His last day there dawned gray and blustery. Rather than despair at the overcast skies hampering his final vacation day, he decided instead to buy kites and spend time flying them on the beach with the family's children.
This was typical of Fr. Grogan, whose life philosophy could be best summed up as "Don't sweat the small stuff." Longtime friend Rev. J. Robert Rioux, C.S.C. recalls that this tendency could be best witnessed in Fr. Frank's attire. "Colors meant little to him and sometimes, his combinations... [were] jarring and humorous - sandals when formal wear was more appropriate, and on occasion, he would dash into chapel in bedroom slippers."
But while he cared little for his appearance or life's details, Fr. Frank carefully nurtured his relationship with God. Ordained in 1955, he spent the next decade at Stonehill where he taught English and theology, and then served as director of admissions and registrar. Letters of remembrance reveal that he had a profound impression on students who entered the College on his watch. Robert Humphrey '62 wrote: "Fr. Grogan interviewed me to see if I was a suitable candidate for a Stonehill education. Off and on, I saw him around campus - perhaps checking to see if his ‘calculated risk' was paying off. He was invariably kind, encouraging and of good humor."
Fr. Frank had a special devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, and had said for years that he hoped to die on her feast day, Sept. 15. Only four days shy of his wish, Fr. Frank probably would have said, "Don't sweat the small stuff."
"This profile originally appeared in the Spring 2002 edition of Stonehill Alumni Magazine."
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.