The Rev. Raymond J. McNicholas, retired associate pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Orchard Park, died Monday in the Mercy Nursing Facility, Lackawanna, after a lengthy illness. He was 85.
Born in Chicago, Father McNicholas attended Quigley Prep Seminary and pursued his studies for the Catholic priesthood at St. Columban's Junior Seminary in Silver Creek from 1939 to 1943.
After completing his formal studies in 1949, Father McNicholas was ordained at St. Cecilia's Cathedral in Omaha, Neb.
His first assignment was in the Philippines, where he began work as a chaplain in 1950 and then was appointed priest in charge of the American church in Manila until his return to the United States in 1957.
Father McNicholas then was assigned to work in mission education, serving in Silver Creek and Derby, as well as Chicago.
He was assigned to the Virgin Islands in the late 1970s, and Bristol, R.I., in 1980, when he assumed the role of superior and served three consecutive terms. He also served as chaplain to Salve Regina College in Newport, R.I.
Father McNicholas was assigned to St. Bernadette in 1994 and remained there until he retired in 2008.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Bernadette Church, 5930 S. Abbott Road, Orchard Park.