Fr. William McIntyre, O.F.M., a member of Holy Name Province, the largest community of Franciscan friars in the United States, is celebrating 25 years as a friar this summer.
A native of Hyde Park, N.Y., Fr. McIntyre has worked at some of Holy Name Province’s largest multicultural parishes in Delaware, Maryland, New York and North Carolina.
“When I was a student in college, I thought that I wanted to earn a doctorate or pursue something in social science,” he said. “But I saw the excitement and needs of the parishes, especially multicultural ones, and as the saying goes, ‘the rest is history.’”
Fr. McIntyre attended St. Bonaventure University, one of two schools sponsored by the province. While there, he met the Franciscan friars and began to consider religious life. After graduating in 1987 with a degree in social science and a minor in theology, he worked in the insurance industry before he was received into the Franciscan Order in 1989. He professed his first vows as a Franciscan in 1990.
As a student friar, he traveled to the province’s mission in Bolivia in 1992, where he studied and ministered for six months to learn Spanish. He professed final vows as a Franciscan in 1994 in New York City and, after earning his theology degree from the Washington Theological Union in 1995, was ordained a priest.
His first assignment was to the Franciscan Center in Wilmington, Del., an urban ministry center. Six years later, he transferred to Holy Name of Jesus Church in New York City, where he stayed for two years. He ministered on the Upper West Side during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Fr. McIntyre was then assigned to St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md., in 2003 because the diverse parish needed a bilingual priest. One year later, he returned to Wilmington to serve as pastor of St. Paul Parish. After three years, he took a sabbatical before moving to Durham to begin ministering at Immaculate Conception Church, where he serves today.
“My ministry has been one of welcoming the immigrant,” he said. “I’ve learned from immigrants and I enjoy celebrating with them. The parishes where I’ve worked are very celebratory, where most of the parishioners have large families, so there are lots of baptisms and weddings.”
He and other friars marking their golden and silver jubilees were honored in June at a Mass celebrating 750 years of witness and service.
About Holy Name Province
Holy Name Province is the largest of seven provinces in the United States that belong to the Order of Friars Minor. With ministries in 12 states along the East Coast, its more than 300 Catholic priests and brothers serve in colleges, parishes, urban ministry centers and a wide variety of social ministries, as well as in overseas missions.
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