Father Frederick C. Goddard, MM

Born: January 12, 1919
Ordained: June 10, 1945
Died: August 2, 1990

Father Frederick Chambers Goddard died on August 2, 1990 at Phelps Memorial Hospital. He was 71 years of age and a Maryknoll Missioner for 45 years.

Frederick was born on January 12, 1919 in Boston, son of Frederick Goddard and Helen Frances Feeley. He had one brother, Vincent and one sister, Harriet. His early education was in Uxbridge and Milford, Massachusetts and he was graduated from Holy Cross College, Worcester with a B.A. in 1940. Immediately after graduation he applied for acceptance into Maryknoll. Asked why he wanted to be a Maryknoller he responded: “I always wanted to be a priest…but it was the Field Afar magazine that was the main source of inspiration and attraction…” He spent a month at Clarks Summit brushing up on Philosophy and Latin and then entered the Novitiate at Bedford in 1940. He was ordained on June 10th, 1945. He was outstanding for his scholastic ability and for his large 6″4′ size, which won for him the nickname ‘Tiny’

After ordination Father Goddard was assigned to Notre Dame University to secure a Master Degree in Chemistry. Having obtained this, he was appointed in 1949 to the Faculty at Glen Ellyn, where he taught Chemistry, Ethics, and Religion for five years. He was recognized as a “born teacher”, strict but very much interested, in his students.

Father Fred was assigned to Japan in 1954, where he served for 25 years. After language study in Tokyo he began his pastoral ministry as Assistant pastor at Matzuzaka for a year and then at Kinirnasa in Kyoto City for 3 years. He attained to a good command of Japanese, according to his Superior, and was a good example to younger Maryknollers, being content in his present assignment. After furlough in 1960 he was appointed Pastor of Ueno Parish in the Mieken Prefecture. In each parish he served in people were at first hesitant to approach him because of his size but once they got to know him they liked him very much for his kind thoughtfulness and understanding. He never constructed any buildings but he was a good missioner who liked to preach the Faith to the people. As one superior wrote: “He had a good outlook on life, was careful in the use of money, thoughtful of others and always cooperative.”

In August, 1965 Fred was appointed Local Superior of the Society House in Tokyo. During that year he as elected by 1966 General Chapter in New York.

In 1967 Goddard became Administrator of the Higashi Muroran Parish in Hokkaido and 6 months later became Pastor. In September, 1975, for health reasons, he was assigned to Hawaii where he served in several parishes. During a year of recuperation he wrote to the Superior General about his strong desire to return to Japan. He wrote: “Since balance has come back to me in my life and I see things clearly once more my whole being and personality cries out to return and preach the Faith to the Japanese. Even the Catholics here (in Hawaii) are aware of it without my telling them and they say that my heart is truly in Japan.” He was reassigned in 1977 and appointed Assistant Pastor in the Kyoto Cathedral Parish for a term of 3 years. However, during his first year there he was transferred to be Pastor of the Karasaki Parish in the Kyoto Diocese.

On August 11, 1978 Father Fred became ill. After limited recovery he returned home to St. Teresa’s for further treatment. He recovered sufficiently enough to return to the Center House in Tokyo in March, 1981. He was assigned to limited pastoral work in the Kinugasa Parish. While serving there he was enrolled in the Special Society Unit with residence in Japan. However, he returned to St. Teresa’s in August, 1983, where he lived out his remaining years.

Wake services were conducted on August 6th at St. Teresa’s and the Center chapel. Mass of Christian Burial was offered in the Center chapel with Fr, William Grimm as principal celebrant and Fr. Robert Reiley as Homilist.