Reverend John Patrick Grenham
The Reverend John Patrick Grenham who served as a Catholic priest and pastor throughout the New Orleans area for 30 Years, died March 6, 2015 in the rectory at St. Thomas Church in Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana. He was 65 years old. A Funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Gregory Aymond on March 20th at St. Thomas Church in Point a la Hache, where Father Grenham had served as Pastor at St. Thomas and Assumption of Mary Mission, Braithwaite, LA since July 2013. Father Grenham was born in Boston on March 17, 1950 and grew up in Norwood, Mass. He earned an undergraduate degree at Boston State College and three master’s degrees at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis where he received an M.A. in Systematics and Scripture, the Dominican House of Studies in Washington D.C- M.Div. (STB) and the University of New Orleans- M.A. Communications. He was ordained a Dominican Friar in the Archdiocese of Miami on May 21, 1980 and formally incardinated in the Archdiocese of New Orleans in July 1985. Initially he was asked to assist the then Archbishop Phillip Hannon in developing a television ministry. John had a great baritone voice and a history of study in communication so he was tapped to help out. After several years in this work, he asked to be transferred to parish work. John missed working directly with the people developing a sense of community among diverse populations. Over his years in Louisiana, John served as pastor in three New Orleans Churches- St. Dominic, Resurrection of Our Lord and St. Rose of Lima and at st. Benilde in Metairie, Our Lady of Lourdes in Slidell, St. Jane de Chantal in Bita Springs, San Pedro Pescador Parish in St. Bernard, and St. Hubert in Garyville. He was Chaplain of the Mount Carmel Motherhouse; chaplain in both the Coast Guard Reserve and the Navy Reserve; and chaplain for The Slidell Knights of Columbus. He also served as chaplain and taught religion at Redeemer/Seton and Archbishop Hannan high schools. Both John’s parish and home were totally wiped out during Hurricane Katrina and he spent many years helping to rebuild parishes, parishioners’ homes and schools. Eventually he rebuilt his own home in Pass Christian Mississippi. He designed and helped rebuild the rectory he died in at St. Thomas Parish in Pointe a la Hache. During the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990’s, John was a chaplain for two years, assigned to the USS Missouri with the rank of lieutenant. He also spent time in Rome in the Vatican on doctoral studies related to the role of women in the Catholic Church.Survivors include Dr. Hazel Grenham of Marblehead, MA, Sheila Grenham of Studio City, CA, Matthew Grenham of Lewiston, Maine, James Grenham of Medford, MA, and Kathleen Grenham of Oakland CA, 17 grand nieces and nephews and 27 great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Matthew and Hazel Grenham and his sister, Maureen Oh Eigeartaigh, her husband Richard, and his nephew, Kevin Gerrity. A Memorial Mass was celebrated on Friday, June 26, 2015 at John’s childhood parish, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Norwood, MA preceded by interment at Highland Cemetery, Norwood, MA.