After a battle with cancer, Father James Fratus of St. Brendanâ€™s Catholic Church passed away on Wednesday morning, April 8.
Fr. Fratus, 58, came to St. Brendanâ€™s from Chelseaâ€™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. Brendanâ€™s out of a plan that would have incorporated the St. Brendanâ€™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 â€œdevastatedâ€ by his passing.
â€œHe shepherded us through some very challenging times,â€ said Feeney. â€œHe 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.
â€œThere was just such a humanness about him that made everyone so comfortable. He really ministered to people. Thatâ€™s difficult when youâ€™re the pastor and you have so many responsibilities.
â€œHis 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.â€
His wake will be held at St. Brendanâ€™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.