The Franciscan Federation annually hands out its Peacemaker Award, presented to Franciscans whose ministries reflect the work and values of St. Francis and St. Clare.
Father Francis “Frank” Eldridge, SA, received the honor 10 years ago, for his service to the poor and marginalized. Throughout his ministry, Father Frank carried out many pastoral ministries, served as Founding Guardian of the Friars’ new Friary and managed the transfer of property gifted to the Friars in Manati, Puerto Rico.
On Saturday, November 5, Father Frank entered into Eternal Life at the age of 72.
Father Frank was born on June 9, 1950, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He graduated from Seton Hall University in 1972, entering the Society of the Atonement and receiving his habit the same year. He earned his Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1976 from Catholic University.
In August of 1976, Father Frank made his final vows as an Atonement Friar. He was ordained into the priesthood at Graymoor less than a year later, in June of 1977.
Father Frank set out west for his first assignment, working in campus and parish ministry in Long Beach, California. He returned east in 1980, joining the staff at Our Savior Chapel in Brockton, Massachusetts.
In 1981, Father Frank made his way back to the west coast, working as a high school apostolate, or religious leader, in Los Angeles, California. He then served as an assistant pastor at St. Anthony’s Church in Hereford, Texas, and later, an associate pastor at St. Leonard’s Parish in Fremont, California.
From there, Father Frank served part-time in parochial activity at St. Paul’s Church in Vancouver, British Columbia before returning to Our Savior in Brockton, in 1991. Four years later, he served as Chaplain at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Los Angeles. In 1999, Father Frank began parochial ministry at St. Andrew’s Parish in Apex, California.
He then became pastor at St. Odilia’s Parish in Los Angeles, in 2002, a position he held until 2016. Before his assignment in Puerto Rico, Father Frank worked as a parochial administrator at Christ the Redeemer Parish in Sterling, Virginia.
In 2014 – two years after receiving the Franciscan Federation Peacemaker Award – Father Frank celebrated his Golden Jubilee, 50 years as an Atonement Friar, at Graymoor.
A wake service will be held Monday, November 14 at 7 p.m. at the St. Anthony Chapel in the St. Paul Friary at Graymoor. A Mass of Christian burial will take place on Tuesday, November 15 at 10 a.m. at the St. Anthony Chapel in the St. Paul Friary. Interment will immediately follow in the Friars Cemetery.