1885 – 1966 (July 1)
Christopher Columbus McGrath was born on December 14, 1885 in Spring Valley, Illinois to Thomas McGrath and Anne Christopher. He was baptized on December 18, 1885 at St. Mary’s Church, Peru, IL., and was educated at St. Elizabeth School, St. Gabriel School, and Association Institute, all in Chicago. He then worked in a foundry and as a manual training instructor at the Armour Institute. At the age of 27, he was received into the novitiate on June 19, 1913. He professed simple vows in the Order on June 19, 1914 and solemn vows on June 24, 1917. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1917, and then pursued theological studies at Villanova. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1920.
Father McGrath’s first assignment after ordination was in 1921 to San Agustin, Havana, Cuba. In 1923, he was transferred to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Jamaica, New York. He then ministered from 1925 to 1929 at St. Paul Parish, Mechanicville, New York, and at St. Laurence Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts, from 1929 to 1930. Father McGrath served on the Augustinian Mission Band from 1930 to 1939, in which latter year he was named Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Rockford, Illinois. He also was prior of the Augustinian community there.
From 1948 to 1956, Father McGrath was prior at St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan. He was then named prior at St. Monica Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1956. Because of declining health, he retired in 1962 to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, IL.
Father McGrath suffered a fatal heart attack during the night of July 1, 1966. He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cementery, Alsip, Illinois.