Biographies

Brother Henry Corcoran, MM

Born: May 2, 1873
Oath: February 20, 1931
Died: June 19, 1950

Henry Corcoran was born on May 2, 1873 in the section of New York City known as the Bowery. In 1893 he went to San Francisco and then to New Orleans where he became a salesman. Eventually he returned to New York City and became acquainted with Monsignor Freri, the National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He assisted the Monsignor in obtaining members for the Society and in the circulation of the mission magazine.

It was while working with Monsignor Freri that Henry started reading The Field Afar and also met Maryknoll’s pioneer Brother Thomas. Henry became interested in Maryknoll and on December 8, 1916 he entered our Society.

In the pioneer days of the new society Brother Henry assisted our founders in making a name for Maryknoll across the land. He was instrumental in getting many perpetual memberships for the Society. Travelling to many places by bus, subway or street car, he often went from door to door getting subscriptions for the magazine, he was always thinking up ways to save the Society money.

He also saw service at the Venard and spent his latter days at Mountain View. Brother Henry enjoyed his active years of service and was a man at peace with God and men. There are many indications that this was so. For example, one of his group remarked: “It seems to me as if brother Henry was sent to Maryknoll to remind us all of the value of a sense of humor, so essential to the mission vocation.” One of the Maryknoll Sisters, a former secretary to our Co-Founder Bishop walsh, once said: “Brother Henry gave Father Walsh many a chuckle.”

Brother suffered much during his life with a chronic illness, but he lived to a ripe old age. Father General once told him he’d live to be a hundred. Brother died on June 19, 1950. A Solemn Mass of Requiem was celebrated on June 22 and his remains were interred at the cemetery at Mountain View, California.