Father Frederick J. Killoran, MM
Born: September 15, 1893
Ordained: May 31, 1925
Died: September 24, 1987
Father Frederick John Killoran died of natural causes on September 24, 1987 at St. Teresa Residence. He was 94 years of age and, at the time, the oldest living Maryknoller.
Father Fred, son of Mark and Margaret Killoran, was born at his uncle’s farm near Conroy, Ontario, Canada, on September 15, 1893. He was the fourth of five sons. His early schooling took place in St. Joseph Parochial School and Stratford Public High, near Conroy. He attended the Jesuit University in Detroit and then took up commercial work before entering Maryknoll in 1918. During his last year of seminary training he received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree at Catholic University, Washington, D.C. in April, 1925. Later he earned a Master of Arts degree at Fordham. He took his Perpetual Oath on July 14, 1930.
Father Killoran was one of the six priests of those early years who never went to an overseas mission. His whole years of missionary service to the Society were spent in Seminary and Development work. He was physically a frail man, with a life-long concern for health. He had a habit of writing long letters to the Superior General on ways of improving the health of Maryknollers. One of his classmates remarked: “In the seminary every morning Fred would be out on the balcony doing his push-up exercises. Perhaps this explains in part his long life in spite of a very meager diet.”
He was well-liked and respected by practically everyone and their affection was sometimes expressed in nicknames they conferred on him. To some he was ‘Smiley Killoran’ – always with a smile; to others he was known as ‘Killer Killoran’, due to his zeal; or ‘Grangy’, after the famous Red Grance, Chicago Bear football player.
After ordination he had a variety of assignments; first as a teacher and Spiritual Director at the Venard for 8 years. In 1933 he was assigned to Promotion in the New York and Cincinnati areas as Promotion Director until 1938. Next he was brought to the Center to assist in the Procurator’s work and as Spiritual Director of the Brothers Novitiate. He spent 1942 to 1944 in parochial work in Cheyenne, Wyoming, then returned to be assistant librarian and student confessor at Maryknoll until 1957. His last Development assignment was in the Cleveland area for almost 20 years, until 1977. In all the jobs Fr. Killoran had, various superiors reported favorable comments about him. They all told the same story, that “he was happy and satisfied as he goes merrily about his job, day in and day out. He always had a very healthy attitude towards promotion work.. .We consider him a valuable asset and our main church date promoter… Outstanding in covering teacher and student exhibits…Very conscientious about his work and always quite content. Father K. is truly a great Maryknoller, completely dedicated to the Society and the work committed to him…Truly a source of inspiration to see how much he accomplished and without any fanfare.. .Always ready and willing to render service to the Society, yet, in his quiet way,he tended to keep to himself around the house”. Lastly, one superior wrote of him: “He is a holy priest, with a fine sense of humor. It has taken me 3 years to realize that I have had the privilege of living with a saintly priest. His zeal knows no bounds and he is generous to the highest degree.”
Such was Father Killoran – a quiet dedicated priest and Maryknoller, with his own personality and peculiarities, but nevertheless as great a missioner as many of the great ones who have served overseas. Due to failing health he entered St. Teresa Residence in 1977 and was formally assigned to the Special Society Unit in 1978.
The Wake Service was conducted at the Center chapel on September 27 by Fr. Charles Buraus, with the Biography being read by Fr. John Geitner. On Monday, the 28th the Funeral Mass was offered with Fr. Raphael Davila as principal Celebrant, Fr. Joseph Veneroso giving the Homily and the graveside service conducted by Fr. F. Wynne.