By the early 1990’s it was becoming painfully clear to the parishioners of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Amsterdam, NY, that their long-time Pastor, the Reverend Monsignor Edward Glavin was nearing the end of his life. His successor as pastor, Father James Gulley adored Glavin and was doing everything possible to help him continue to perform his priestly duties. Gulley knew how important Glavin had been to the ecumenical and fiscal strength of Amsterdam’s oldest and largest Catholic congregation.
Glavin was born on October 24, 1912 in Albany, NY. He attended Catholic Schools all his life and graduated from Georgetown University and the American College in Rome plus held three theology related doctoral degrees. He was ordained a priest on December 8, 1935 in Rome. He then returned to the Capital District where he taught on the faculty of Catholic Central High School in Troy for the next seven years.
During World War II, he served as an infantry chaplain with the famed Merrill’s Marauders, seeing action in both the jungles of Burma and the Chinese mainland. He attained the rank of Captain and was awarded a personal Bronze Star for valor. He was extremely proud of his service with the Marauders and maintained close relationships with many of the unit’s members his entire life.
When he returned from service in 1946, he spent the next 14 years serving as chaplain of St. Rose College in Albany. In 1960, he took over as administrator of St. Mary’s Church, replacing Father Francis Janis. At the same time, Glavin was appointed principal of St. Mary’s Institute in Amsterdam.
During the next three decades, in addition to his leadership role at his church and among the city’s clergy, Glavin became one of the most active members of the Amsterdam community…