Missionary; b. Holy Cross, County Tipperary, Ireland, June 26, 1835; d. Albany, New York, Jan. 12, 1898. He took his perpetual vows as an Oblate of Mary Immaculate at Sickling-Hall, England, in 1855. After completing his philosophy and theology courses at Oblate seminaries in Galveston, Texas and in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, he was ordained in 1859. For seven years he divided his time between teaching at the University of Ottawa and the parochial ministry at St. Edward's Church in Ottawa. In 1866, while resident at Holy Angels parish, Buffalo, New York, he began conducting parochial missions throughout the northeastern section of the United States and gained a reputation as a preacher. His missionary labors took him through the dioceses in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. When the growth of Oblate foundations warranted, he urged creation of a separate Oblate province in America free from Canadian domination, and he was named its first provincial in 1883. McGrath's administration embraced churches in Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Mexico. After ten years as provincial, he was appointed pastor of Holy Angels Church, Buffalo. As a pastor McGrath was active as a church builder and an early advocate of parochial schools.
[j. h. kennedy]