FATHER MEL BRADY, O.F.M.
1997 FAA Christian Life Award Recipient
Father Mel Brady was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1922 and was a member of the Gesu Parish where he attended grade school. His first two years of high school were at the University of Detroit High. In 1938, Mel entered the Franciscan formation process at St Francis Seminary where he graduated from in 1941. In August, 1941 Mel entered the Novitiate at Saint Anthony's in Mt. Airy, where after one year he made his first profession on August 16, 1942. Following Undergraduate studies at Duns Scotus College and Theological studies at Oldenburg, Fr. Mel was ordained to the priesthood here at Holy Family on June 8, 1950.
Following ordination, Fr. Mel was sent to do graduate studies in canon law at Catholic University. In 1952 he earned his JCL and the following year he was awarded his JCD from Catholic University.
From 1950 until 1962, Mel did graduate studies and seminary teaching in the United
States with the exception of two years when he was working in the Franciscan
headquarters in Rome. He initially served on the faculty of St. Francis Seminary and later at Duns Scotus College where he was also the Master of Clerics.
From 1962 until 1977, Fr. Mel was Academic dean and faculty member of Our Lady of Angels Seminary in the Philippines. During this time, he was the chairman of the canon law committee of the Bishops' Conference and also for the same committee of the major superiors of men religious. Under the joint associations of the major religious superiors of religious men and women, he was the first chairperson of the still functioning Task Force for Political Detainees (during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and his martial law).
In 1977 Fr. Mel was called to Rome and served initially as assistant secretary general of the missions for the Franciscans (Order of Friars Minor) and later as secretary general for the missions. During this time 1977 - 1985, he was part of an era of great emphasis on the missionary thrust of the Order.
After a year's sabbatical in Chicago, Fr Mel relocated to Houston, Texas in 1986 where he founded the Kolbe Project for ministry to people with AIDS.
From 1987 to 1990, Fr Mel served as Guardian and Assistant Novice Director at Mt.
Airy. In 1990, he relocated to St. Ann's where he was a member of the Pre-Novitiate
Formation Team. From 1992 until 1996 Fr. Mel worked as Promotion Coordinator for
the "Build with Living Stones" program.
In 1996, Fr. Mel returned to his native Detroit (St. Aloysius Parish) to perform pastoral ministry to inner-city poor.