St. Brendan’s pastor Father Fratus dead at 58

Fr. James Fratus: The well-loved pastor at St. Brendan's parish passed away after a battle with cancer on April 8, 2009.Fr. James Fratus: The well-loved pastor at St. Brendan's parish passed away after a battle with cancer on April 8, 2009.After a battle with cancer, Father James Fratus of St. Brendan’s Catholic Church passed away on Wednesday morning, April 8.
Fr. Fratus, 58, came to St. Brendan’s from Chelsea’s St. Rose of Lima Church about seven years ago. He was very active in the prison ministry and notably, was a close friend of Mother Teresa. In late 2007, at the behest of his parishioners, he led St. Brendan’s out of a plan that would have incorporated the St. Brendan’s school into what is now the Pope John Paul II Academy, maintaining a traditional parochial school.
City Councillor Maureen Feeney said that the parish would be “devastated” by his passing.
“He shepherded us through some very challenging times,” said Feeney. “He was always the person to bring things into perspective and it was a true gift.
Feeney laughed as she remembered that Fr. Fratus loved to travel to Aruba, where he was known to play a few hands at the casinos.
“There was just such a humanness about him that made everyone so comfortable. He really ministered to people. That’s difficult when you’re the pastor and you have so many responsibilities.
“His passing is so sad for all of us, because he truly lived his life as Christ on earth. He was such a gentle spirit and was always there for everyone. He transformed everyone around him. He gave everyone he had to this parish.”
His wake will be held at St. Brendan’s on Monday, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and his funeral on Tuesday at 12:30. Burial will be at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden. He is survived by three sisters and his parents.