Rev. Frank C. Quinn, O.P., a well-known Dominican priest, scholar and liturgist who advised Catholic bishops and archdiocesan commissions on liturgical issues and until 2007 served as Professor of Liturgical Theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, died today of complications from abdominal surgery at Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, Ohio. He was 76 years of age and had served as a Dominican priest for 49 years.
Father Quinn, a native of Faribault, Minnesota, and the son of the late Frank and Ethel Currier Quinn, began his priestly studies at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota (1950-1952) and was formally professed as a member of the Dominican community in 1953. He received his B.A./Ph.B in Philosophy from the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, Illinois (1953-56), and after subsequent study at the College of St. Rose of Lima in Dubuque, Iowa (1956-60) was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1959. After his ordination, Quinn received an M.A. in Musicology from Catholic University of America (1961) and a Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame (1978).
Father Quinn spent most of his priestly life teaching liturgy, first as an Instructor of Liturgy and Music to Dominican seminarians at the former St. Peter Martyr Priory in Winona, Minnesota (1961-69), and then as an Instructor and an Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Pastoral Theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology at its original location in Dubuque, Iowa (1973-82). After Aquinas Institute relocated to St. Louis in 1981, Quinn taught seminarians and lay students there as an Associate Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology and for twenty years served as the Institute’s Professor of Liturgical Theology (1987-2007). Throughout his teaching career, Quinn wrote, co-wrote or edited numerous books and articles on liturgical prayer and song.
Fundamental to Father Quinn’s love of liturgy was his dedication to the promotion of sacred music. Throughout his ministerial life, Quinn directed choirs, played the organ, wrote liturgical music and served as a consultant concerning liturgical music issues to Catholic bishops charged with the international translation of liturgical texts (1989-2000) and as a member of (1981-87) and advisor to (1987-92) commissions of the Archdiocese of St. Louis that addressed liturgy and music. From 1983 1991, he taught courses in liturgy and music in the certificate program of the then-Fontbonne Center of Church Music (known later as the Kenrick Center for Church Music), and for most of the last 25 years was closely associated with the liturgical and musical life at St. Francis Xavier (“College”) Church on the campus of St. Louis University.
“Father Quinn’s life and legacy is a testament to his love of the Church’s liturgy. His work lives on in his students and his colleagues,” said Father Richard Peddicord, O.P., President of Aquinas Institute of Theology.
Viewing will take place Wednesday, November 5 from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM at the Aquinas Institute Chapel, 23 S. Spring (at Forest Park Blvd). The Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, November 6 at 10:00 AM in the Aquinas Institute Chapel, followed by interment in the Dominican plot at Calvary Cemetery.
Father Quinn is survived by his brothers Robert B. and David M. Quinn. He was preceded in death by his brother, the late Patrick Quinn.
Memorials for Father Quinn can be made to Aquinas Institute of Theology, 23 South Spring Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108-3323.