Rev. Francis E. Grogan CSC
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Taking the Charitable View

He served as a sonar expert on a Navy destroyer during World War II. But the Rev. Francis E. Grogan spent the rest of his days sowing peace as a chaplain, a teacher and a parish priest.

He was not the kind of priest who lived to unravel theological contradictions or who sought power on a higher plane. He disliked confrontation and tried to take the charitable view, said the Rev. J. Robert Rioux, who met him when both were studying for the priesthood in North Easton, Mass., and remained his friend for the next 50 years. "His approach to life was, 'Don't sweat the small stuff,' " he said. "You could witness this tendency in his clothes." More than once, he showed up for chapel in his bedroom slippers.

Father Grogan, 76, was most recently the head of the Holy Cross Residence in North Dartmouth, Mass. On Sept. 11, he was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, planning to visit his sister in California, when the hijacked plane smashed into the World Trade Center.

Father Rioux envisioned his friend ministering to others until the last moment. In the cockpit of the jet, "evil was personified," Father Rioux said, "but personified goodness entered the scene, a person who loved people, a person of great faith."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 27, 2001.


Rev. F. Grogan, 76;

Priest, teacher

By Globe Staff, 9/16/2001

The Rev. Francis E. Grogan, superior of the Holy Cross residence in North Dartmouth, was killed Tuesday in the crash of United Flight 175 in New York. He was 76.

He was born and raised in Pittsfield, and earned degrees at the University of Notre Dame and Fordham University.

For six years after his ordination, he served as director of admissions and registrar at Stonehill College in Easton. He spent the next four years with the Family Theatre and Family Rosary Crusades in Madrid, where he helped produce Christian movies.

He also taught high school and served at churches in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Texas, and Massachusetts - as chaplain and teacher at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, Conn.; assistant pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Bennington, Vt.; assistant pastor of San Jose Parish in Austin, Texas, and assistant pastor of Holy Cross Church in Easton.

In the 1960 Stonehill College yearbook, which was dedicated to him, he was remembered for his smile, his friendliness, and his patience, and he was called a model and a guide.

Father Grogan was traveling to see his sister, Anne Browne, in Ramona, Calif., when he died.

Along with his sister, he leaves two nephews, and his brothers in the Holy Cross community.

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Holy Cross Church in Easton.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The State Journal-Register on Sep. 13, 2001.
Memories & Condolences
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127 entries
September 12, 2020
R.I.P. Fr. Francis Gone But Not Forgotten
Kathleen Hart
Family
September 11, 2020
What a blessing you've been to us, Francis, and what a blessing you surely were to those with you on 9/11. Thinking of you today with so much love and so many happy memories.
May 13, 2020
Happy memories of good times. With love.
September 11, 2019
Missing those twinkling eyes and gentle spirit. May God bless Francis and everyone here.
September 8, 2019
You will always be missed Rest In Pease
Kathleen Hart
Family
September 6, 2019
After reading about his story. Francis was a inspiration how he loved and cared for everyone. He touched the hearts of everyone. God Bless
Jayden O.
Student
May 13, 2019
With loving thoughts, Francis, on your birthday, and always.
September 11, 2018
Remembering wonderful times with our dear friend, Francis. His was a model of a life well-lived. With love.
September 13, 2016
15 years since you passed Rev. Grogan
Hard to believe time has by so quickly.
Still remember your friendly smile when you would greet us at the Teens Dance at church, at San Jose.
So sorry your life was cut short .
I am sure you are with the angels now!
Jenette Coronado Terrazas
September 12, 2016
Sincerest condolences to all the family members and friends of Fr. Francis Grogan. My maiden name was kathleen Kilmer, and I remember him from growing up on Weller Ave., near North Street. I had to do some searching to find this web site. Again, love and condolences to all on this 15th anniversary of that terrible day. Kathleen M. (Kilmer) Stottle
September 12, 2016
God bless you Father ....miss your smile and beautiful voice....
September 11, 2016
Missing you, Francis, and grateful for happy memories. May God bless you with all the joys and promises of Heaven. Please, pray for us. <3
September 11, 2015
I never met Father Grogan, but I feel I know him a bit through the Brothers of Holy Cross I work with. We haven't forgotten you, Father, and you are in our prayers today. May God grant you rest where the saints repose.
September 11, 2015
Thinking of Francis on the anniversary of his passing into God's loving arms. He was a ray of light, strength, and kindness among us. May we continue his legacy. God bless you, Francis, and all you pray for!
September 11, 2015
You are never forgotten about. May you rest in peace in the loving arms of Mary and our Savior Jesus Christ. God bless you, Fr. Grogan.
September 23, 2014
Melissa Blue
September 23, 2014
I'm sure it is just as his friend envisioned it and he did minister to everyone until the very last moment. He's in Heaven in God's peace now. Always remember & never forget.
Melissa Blue
September 11, 2014
bella beltz
September 11, 2014
We know you are watching over us and we are thankful to have you entered our lives
Class of 1975 Holy Cross, Waterbury,CT
Francis Barton Jr
September 11, 2014
Thinking of you today Only knew you a short time but you were present at a very important time in my life when I married your cousin John
Kathleen Hart
May 13, 2014
Thinking of you on your birthday, Francis, and wishing you God's blessings for you and all your prayers. Such a blessing to have known you!
September 12, 2013
Rest in peace Rev. Francis E. Grogan.
We will never forget you and all of the others who died on 9/11..
Jenette Terrazas
September 11, 2013
We propose a toast to Fr. Francis, whose kindness and humor have been a guiding light in so many lives. May His light continue to shine in the ways we follow his quiet but forceful example. And may God bless him and all those who lost their lives or family members on 9/11.
September 12, 2012
We were thinking of you yesterday with love.
The Mahoney Family
September 12, 2012
Dear Fr. Grogan, it's been eleven years. How time goes by. And slowly some start to forget. Some of us grow older. Some of us will never forget the day we learned you were one of the ones lost to us on that day in September. Some of us will never forget the words of counsel, encouragement, kindness or forgiveness you spoke to us in the name of Jesus. Looking down at us from heaven, pray for us and know we remember.
Stella Trevino
September 12, 2012
Father Grogan,
You will be remember by the Class of 1975 on 9/14/12 at our reunion and get together. You are truly missed.
Francis Barton Jr.
September 11, 2012
You were God's gift to us, Francis, and now His gift to Heaven. Would that each of us could leave the world with such fine memories and such a loving example.
September 11, 2012
Still miss your gentle smile Fr Grogan ...
Connie Panselinas
May 12, 2012
May 13! Happy Birthday, Francis!
September 12, 2011
His former students at Holy Cross High in Waterbury miss him and honor his work. He founded the SCUBA Club at the school and inspired me to get certified. Our small group spent many fun days exploring the salt water and fresh water treasures of New England. He taught by example and lived a simple, quiet and very Catholic life. We were a blessed school to have him in residence.
Michael Gualtieri
September 12, 2011
we pray for father grogan and for all who died that day on 9/11.
moses and jenette terrazas
September 11, 2011
Always in our thoughts & prayers
C Senecal
September 11, 2011
To the Family of Father Grogan, We honor his work and service to the community of Holy Cross High School every time we meet for a reunion in September. He is truly missed. Class of 1975
Francis Barton Jr.
September 11, 2011
Love you, Francis. You will always be remembered for you kind ways, strength of character, and gentle wisdom. May the Lord bless you and your loved ones, and answer your prayers- today and always.
September 11, 2011
You shared in one of the best days of my life. You married my husband and I. I remember you as a good and caring man of great faith. Know as you rest in heaven that the love you believed in is still strong. Bless you Father Grogan.
Anne & Wayne Hilliard
September 10, 2011
One of the best days of my life is when you married your cousin John and I. John even shared your birthday. You are remembered always. You are a hero to your family. Kathy
September 9, 2011
It's hard to believe it has been 10 years. I knew Fr. Grogan while he served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Bennington, VT. I have worked at the church for 18 years, and I answered the call that fateful day notifying us that he was on one of the planes. I keep the funeral card with Fr. Grogan's picture alongside other special photos on my desk. I will always remember his kind manner and his love of music at Mass. He always liked the songs "Let There Be Peace on Earth," and "May God Bless You With His Love."
I'm sure he gave comfort to the others on the plane before its tragic ending.
September 7, 2011
God Bless you Father Grogan! I will always remember your great smile, kind words and upbeat personality when you were my high school Chaplain at Holy Cross High School. It was a sincere pleasure & honor to have known you!
Russ Considine
September 4, 2011
REST IN PEACE
Scott Chamberland
May 11, 2011
Fond and happy remembrances of Francis, as his May 13 birthday approaches. May God bless him and all of you here.
September 20, 2010
Francis was on this plane because overcrowding caused him to be moved off his original flight. We miss him so much, and yet we are confident that God- knowing him for his kindness and determined heart- had His devoted servant ready to serve others, as always, on Flight 175.
September 12, 2010
To my cousin Ann Marie and her family my deepth sympathy on the ninth anniverisary of Father Francis' death. My thoughts return often to Father Francis and that day that for our generation will forever in infamy.
Raymond Hart
September 11, 2010
To the family of Rev. Francis E. Grogan:
Rev. Grogan gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our heroes of September 11 be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you.
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org
Peggy Childers
September 11, 2010
Here, on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 and the horrible events of that day that ended your life here on earth, we think of you and the shining example of your life that shone and showed real and eternal truth to all who knew you. You are in our prayers always.
Bill Dalton
September 11, 2010
Thinking of you today, Fr. Grogan. We miss you..
The Mahoney Family & Marie Madden
Annmarie Mahoney
September 11, 2010
In forty years of teaching I have continually cited your many words of wisdom imparted to us at Stonehill. Requiescas in pace!
Bill Falls
September 11, 2010
Rest peace Rev. Francis E. Grogan...
The Terrazas Family
Jenette Terrazas
September 10, 2010
Fr.Frank,how I loved your Masses at Holy Cross High School every weekend. Haven't seen you since graduating from WCHS in 1975....but the lessons you taught me have stayed with me. I have told my children all about your kindness and generous spirit,and try to live my life by your example. Thank you for your lessons,rest in peace my friend. I celebrate your life every day,and know you helped many souls see the face of God Sept.11,2001.
Beth (DiGiovanni)Niedmann
September 10, 2010
You were a dear friend Father Grogan. Every day I think about the times we had at St. Stanislaus Parish. Not a day goes by that I don't remember you or the day that claimed your vibrent life. I'll never forget where I was on that awful day or when the pulled me from class to tell me of your death. God Bless you Fr. Grogan. Pray for me as I pray for you every waking moment.
Jordan Feijo
September 9, 2010
We're grateful for the times we shared with Francis, and for the prayerfulness that was so much a part of his life- prayers we know he continues, on behalf of peace, forgiveness and brotherhood.

May we join our prayers with yours, Fr. Frank, and try to live up to your legacy. And may God bless you always!
May 13, 2010
Feliz cumpleaños, Francis! May God bless you always!
September 12, 2009
I also have not seen Fr. Frank since my graduation from HC High School in 1975. I always remembered his fond memories of his service in the United States Navy. His quiet influence factored into my decision to seek a commision in the Navy. I still feel connected to Fr. Frank through my own years of Naval Service. I am confident that he, like so many before him, gave that last full measure of service comforting those around him on September 11th, 2001.
George Leidig
September 11, 2009
Father Grogan lovingly baptized our youngest child, Alexander (now 22) in 1987. Thank you, Father Grogan. I'll always remember your kindness.
Jeannine Bakriges
September 11, 2009
May God bless Fr. Frank, whose life was a gift to us all
September 11, 2009
It's been 35 years since I last saw Father Grogan, but he was one of the highlights of my high school years at Holy Cross in Waterbury. A great person, and a true mentor.
Kevin FitzMaurice
September 10, 2009
I remember a Sunday afternoon in April 1996 when my father picked you up at the rectory in easton and brought you to our home where you administered last rights and prayed with us over my grandfather as he took his final turn for the worse. I remember your gentle voice and the calm as we gathered around my beloved grandfather, laying on hands. I remember the comfort your presence brought to our family and my grandmother in particular. I will never forget
John T
June 7, 2009
I thank Fr Grogan-along with Br Robert Short- for getting me involved with helping Jimmy Blacker in Waterbury Ct when I was a student at Holy Cross High School (1968=1970). That experience shaped my life and my profession for years to come. I did a google search on Jimmy Blacker and Fr, Grogan's name came up. How sad he passed on 9-11 (I assume in NY), but if I remember he was a brave man who was "in synch" with higher callings. He walked the talk... many blessings to his friends and family. Jay Marciano, Silver Spring MD
Jay Marciano
May 13, 2009
Happy Birthday!!!
Doug Abraham
May 13, 2009
A gentle soul, indeed! May God shower His blessings on you, Fr. Frank- on your birthday and always. We thank you for your prayers, with which you've always been so generous, as we continue to pray for you.
May 12, 2009
Feliz cumpleaños, Francis! It's always a pleasure to think of you. We're already celebrating your birthday over here, and we're wishing you and yours all that's good and joyful. The Lord be with you!
September 11, 2008
Fr. Francis. Lighthearted, fun-loving, kind, compassionate, a peacemaker. A true friend. Much love to you, now and always. God bless you and your loved ones.
September 11, 2008
peace be with you francis
brian grogan
May 13, 2008
Happy Birthday!!!
Doug Abraham
November 3, 2007
I remember Father each Mass I attend. He taught me about true Christian Charity and helped bring my Catholic Faith to life. He was the most gentle soul I have met. Holy Cross High School, Class of 1976.
Paul Healey
September 11, 2007
You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I have a beautiful picture of you baptising my daughter. I will always cherish that picure and your memory
michelle reimer
September 10, 2007
Well with blessing me in Baptism in the Holy Spirt at Sacred Heart 26 years ago Please feel that you are still guiding me to GOD.
ashley hoot
September 10, 2007
Surely it would make Francis happy for us to share today in this prayer of the saint who shares his name:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

God bless Francis, who inspires us still. And may He bless those who love him and those who join here in remembrance of this wonderful life.
Teri
September 10, 2007
Well, Father, here we are in 2007. So much has happened to me since I last wrote in this guest book. My life has had some wonderful surprises. I was blessed to enter a hermitage as a lay person discerning life as a hermit. I absolutely loved it. This has been a life-long dream that God in his goodness finally showed me was his desire for me too. I was there nearly 2 1/2 years but I had to return to take care of my mother who has Alzheimer's. In going to the hermitage and returning home I know in my heart that it is God's will and am at peace about it. I do not think about the future because I know that my life is in God's hands and He leads me. I hope you are praying for me as I remember you, especially at this time. With God's help and a little of my effort we will see each other in heaven some day.
Stella Trevino
September 9, 2007
In memory..
Sharon
June 15, 2007
In memory....
P Tabbernor
May 13, 2007
We thank God for such a dear friend and inspiring life. We know that Frank is busier than ever, praying for everyone. We join our prayers to his. God bless you always!
MAI
May 13, 2007
Happy Birthday!!!
Doug Abraham
April 26, 2007
We will never forget...
Adrienne
January 8, 2007
I knew Fr. Grogan during my years at Sacred Heart School. As so many other people relate, he was a truly kind and gentle man. He brought laughter and warmth to his homilies. I remember him joining in to sing with us under the direction of Sr. Ancilla. I also remember how he enjoyed the lasagna my mother sometimes made for him, and how much it pleased her. He was a great role model and his influence will certainly live on in those of us privileged to know him.
Tony
November 1, 2006
As I cross-stitched your name on the memorial that I am doing for all of the victims, I prayed for you and your family. Please know that your death was not in vain. We will always remember. God Bless.
Kristine
October 2, 2006
God bless Rev. Francis Grogan, he meant a lot to many people, but we should be comforted to know that he is up in heaven with God.

God bless you
Mark Geuy
September 22, 2006
Bless Rev.FRancis Grogan.God uses special people to teach and guide others.I truly believe Rev Frank brought much comfort and strength to the other victims that had to experience those tradgic event of september 11.God Bless all of you.I know God has a special place for all his beautful angles.
Dawn Sproules
September 18, 2006
Joe,
Believe me I do every single day :)
Mary B
September 16, 2006
Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.
Joe Rotter
September 13, 2006
It has been 5 years sense 9/11 and still the pain of losing a wonderful soul like Father Frank is very strong. I know he taught that we should forgive and I`ve tried so hard over the passed 5 years but it is hard to do. Father Frank is a wonderful soul and I know that he is still looking out over all of his people. May God always bless him and hold him in his loving arms.
Mary B.
September 11, 2006
On the five-year anniversary of that terrible day, I am thinking of Fr. Grogan and when we knew him in Bennington, VT. A very kind man, always welcoming. The world misses him.
Ivan Grabowski
September 11, 2006
Dear Father Frank, Once again, five years later I just wanted to remember you and how you touched my life during your associate pastorship at San Jose Catholic Church in Austin, Texas. I was at a crossroads in my life - I wanted to go work among the poor in El Salvador - but you told me to "take root where the Lord had planted me" - in Austin at the time. I took your advice and my life has always been guided by that piece of wisdom. I am happy and at peace with each new phase of my life now. I don't take off and go do "my thing" any more. Thank you for those words and for your prayers now that you are in heaven. I pray for you always too.
Stella W. Trevino
September 11, 2006
May God bless Fr. Frank and all those he cared for. God surely blessed those with him on 9/11/2001 as surely as He blessed those priviileged to be with him in the years before. We knew him as a peacemaker, with a kind and merry heart, a strong spirit, and a quiet devotion that still speaks to us today. Our prayers for all those who died on that sad day five years ago, for their loved ones, and for all those share their thoughts here at Legacy.
September 11, 2006
I WILL NEVER FORGET THE COMFORT I NEEDED FROM FATHER GROGAN IN A TIME OF NEED.JUST BEING IN HIS PRESENCE GAVE ME COMFORT. GOD BLESS YOU FATHER.
ROGER PARADISE
NEW BEDFORD MA.
ROGER PARADISE
September 10, 2006
Scott Chamberland
August 29, 2006
This is for all those people who lost thier lives. I am doing a project dedicated to Rev. Francis E. Gorgan CSC but it is in loving memory of all those who lost thier lives. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE FAMILIES OF THOSE LOST ON SEPT 11.
Sana Momin
August 2, 2006
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Courtney Morgan
May 13, 2006
God bless Fr. Francis! Many prayers for him and for his sister's family, whom he loved so very much.
Perham Family
May 13, 2006
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FR. FRANK!

We pray for your joy in Heaven, knowing you surely have it, since you taught so well how to find it on earth- in small things: a song, a friend, a prayer, an act of kindness .

There will be candles on the cake for you today, and we'll celebrate by watching your favorite movie, King Kong. As always, you're in our thoughts.

May God bless you and your prayers.
And may He shower happiness on your sister and her family.
TJ, AL & family
September 26, 2005
As I sat in front of my computer, I read the pages of love and memories of Fr. Grogan. It is so wonderful to have known this kind and gentle man whom is mourned the world over. I often ask why, and I know I will never understand while my feet still touch this earth, but maybe he will be able to explain it to me, once we meet again in a better place. We will continue to pray for you and hope that you will watch over us.
Michele Goodhue
September 16, 2005
Til we meet again Fr. Grogan-May God continue to bless you and also those you left behind!
K. Melaragni
September 14, 2005
I'll always remember how peaceful one felt whenever in his presence, please pray for our souls . . .Peace be with you.
Christine Croff
September 13, 2005
May the Lord, angels and saints accompany you in heaven. Prayers sent to loved ones who lost their lives in this tragedy. Amen. God bless.
L.O.M.@St. Peter's Catholic Ministry
September 12, 2005
Our Bennington, VT Parish, Sacred Heart St. Francis deSales, celebrated the 4th anniversary of the death of our dear Fr. Frank this past Sunday with a Mass at 10:30am. It is still difficult to believe that he and so many other good people became the victims of hatred! In his homily, Fr. Vincent Copolla CSC, spoke about forgiveness. The question posed to those of us there was "Can we really forgive?" I keep praying that we can...but for something like 9/11, it takes a long time to really get there!

Peace and prayers for us all.

Christine St.John, Bennington, VT
Christine St.John
September 11, 2005
In so many small kindnesses, Fr. Francis made such a big difference to any who knew him . His gentle humor, generous spirit, and strong moral courage are an example to all. He remains an important part of our lives. God bless you, Fr. Francis!
Ann Tim
March 10, 2005
Enjoy your Heavenly Reward Father Francis! May God continue to bless you and your family.
K. Melaragni
January 3, 2005
Father Frank Grogan was my theology teacher at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury. We had corresponded by letter for many years especially during his time spent in Vermont.He was my mentor and friend. Fr.Grogan truly had a very deep spirituality and conveyed the love of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to others. His dedication to Jimmy Blacker, a young boy who was stricken with paralysis due to a bike accident,was noble and special.
Laurence Aucella
September 13, 2004
The "Healing Field" just visited our city, which is a display of almost 3,000 flags each with a name of someone who died on 9/11. We have the flag with Father Grogan's name on it and will fly the flag in his honor and memory.
Susan Killeen
September 10, 2004
Father Grogan was my Theology teacher in High School. I enjoyed his classes very much. I attended all of his masses in our Chapel. He was a very compassionate and gentle person. He'd always relate stories of his own teenage years to help us to better understand our lives. My family and I will keep Father Grogan in our prayers.

Sincerely,

Steve Fenton
Holy Cross High School - Waterbury, Ct. Class of 1975
Steven Fenton
August 17, 2004
Missing you, Fr. Francis, and saying a prayer that all of us who've known and loved you will continue to be guided by your gentle wisdom and your enjoyment of little pleasures. God bless you!
The Lodens
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