Father William A. Fletcher, MM

Born: May 18, 1897
Ordained: May 26, 1923
Died: January 25, 1977

Father William Fletcher passed away on Tuesday, January 25, at St. Teresa’s Residence after a long illness.

Father Fletcher was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on May 18, 1897. He was the oldest of seven children. He went to St. Patrick’s Parochial School run by the Sisters of Mercy and it was from there that he traces his mission vocation. Monsignor, later Bishop Cassidy of Fall River, introduced him to The Field Afar and Maryknoll.

Father Fletcher had a long and distinguished career in Maryknoll. He entered The Venard in 1914 and was ordained in 1923. He held assignments in Kongmoon, South China; Manila, the Philippines; Rome, Guatemala, Chicago Promotion House and was chaplain for a number of Sister groups in his declining years. He had a penchant for being at the right place at the right time. While in Rome as secretary to Cardinal Fumasondi-Biondi, he attended the conclave that elected Pius XII; in the Philippines he was secretary (1929-1938) to Archbishop Michael J. O’Doherty. He had a personal acquaintance with Douglas MacArthur. He loved people and people loved his simple, almost child-like, ways and his ever-ready sense of humor. He was always ready to laugh at himself and enjoyed the laughter of others. Good qualities for a missioner, certainly.

The Funeral Mass of the Resurrection was offered at Maryknoll, New York at 11:45 a.m. on Friday, January 28.