Redemptorist Father J. Francis (Frank) Jones has worked at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua for eight years and is celebrating his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination this year.
He said that if he were to receive a second chance at life, he still would become a priest.
“I’d do it all over again,” he said. “I’ve been a very happy man, very happy priest all my life.”
Born in Sanford, Maine, Father Jones grew up in Maine, New Hampshire and Florida. At age 14, he went to St. Mary’s Seminary, a Redemptorist seminary in North East, Pa. He served his novitiate year in Ilchester, Md., then went to college in Connecticut before going to major seminary at Mount St. Alphonsus in Kingston, N.Y. Father Jones was ordained to the Redemptorist priesthood June 17, 1973, by Cardinal Terence Cooke.
Following ordination, Father Jones was sent to Europe for three years of advanced studies at the University of Louvain in Belgium. He returned to Mount St. Alphonsus seminary, where he taught for eight and a half years. When the seminary closed in 1985, he went to Washington, D.C., and worked for five years as a superior at the Washington Theological Union. He then served as a retreat director at a retreat house outside of Long Branch, N.J., for six years.
Father Jones then took a year-long sabbatical to study human sexuality at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan before being elected as a general consulter to the Redemptorists’ General Government in Rome. After six years there, he returned to the United States working for a year at the Church of Most Holy Redeemer in Manhattan and then 16 months in Grand Prairie in Alberta, Canada.
He was rector of the Redemptorists provincial house in Brooklyn for a year and then worked in formation at the Redemptorist Formation House in Bronx for a year and a half. Father Jones returned to Brooklyn to serve as provincial vicar for four years. Following that, he came to Canandaigua, where he has served at the Redemptorists’ Notre Dame Retreat House for eight years.
“I like doing retreat work,” he said.
Father Jones said the province will have a celebration for all of the Redemptorist Fathers celebrating anniversaries at their full-time care facility in Timonium, N.Y.Tags: Holy Orders