Msgr. Richard Quinn; was educator, pastor - Catholic Courier

Msgr. Richard Quinn; was educator, pastor

Msgr. Richard M. Quinn, professor and rector of the former St. Andrew’s Seminary and later pastor at Rochester’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, died Sept. 17, 2003, at the McAuley Residence in Brighton after a brief illness. He was 89 years old.

Msgr. Quinn was born in Rochester and attended Immaculate Conception School, Aquinas Institute, and St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries. He was ordained May 18, 1940, by Bishop James E. Kearney.

He then served in the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, before becoming assistant pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Charlotte from 1943-45. He began as professor at St. Andrew’s Seminary in 1945 and remained in that capacity for the next 11 years, teaching European history and French. A great lover of the arts, Msgr. Quinn was also chaplain for the Newman Club of the Eastman School of Music during this time.

“A true gentleman, a man of broad cultural interests and achievements, and a gifted teacher, he exercised a quiet but significant influence on those whom he trained for the priesthood,” diocesan historian Father Robert F. McNamara observed in a biographical essay on Msgr. Quinn written in 2000.
“He was a great influence on my vocation,” said Father Robert Bradler, pastor of Irondequoit’s St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. Father Bradler said Msgr. Quinn was frequently encouraging both before and during the time Father Bradler attended St. Andrew’s Seminary.

In 1949 Msgr. Quinn obtained a master of arts degree from Canisius College. He had begun working toward a doctorate when in 1956 he was named rector of St. Andrew’s Seminary. According to Father McNamara, the new position’s workload likely forced Msgr. Quinn to cease his studies.

In 1959 he was appointed a papal chamberlain, with the title of Very Reverend Monsignor, by Pope John XXIII. In 1966 he was named a domestic prelate, with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor, by Pope Paul VI.

In 1967, upon the discontinuation of St. Andrew’s Seminary, Msgr. Quinn began his only pastorate, at Rochester’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help. He continued there until his retirement in 1985, guiding a renovation of the church based on Vatican II initiatives and taking a strong interest in the now-defunct parish school.

His love for education continued into retirement: After moving to St. Thomas the Apostle in 1985, he founded a Bible class, which he taught for several years. He also continued his penchant for traveling, making numerous trips to Europe.

Msgr. Quinn moved to the McAuley Residence at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse following in a serious car accident in 1993. Mercy Sister Mary Fran Wegman, director of community care services at McAuley Residence, recalled that Msgr. Quinn was “very, very humble and very content” over the last 10 years.

Bishop Matthew H. Clark presided at Msgr. Quinn’s funeral Mass Sept. 22 at the Mercy motherhouse. Interment was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Msgr. Quinn is survived by his cousins, Christopher (Christine) Carey; William Carey; Mary Coleman; and Margaret Muchard.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY, 14610.

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