Rev. Harry C. Cronin, C.S.C., 87, died at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. on April 7, 2022, after a short illness. Fr. Cronin was born on November 12, 1935, in Denver, Colo., the only child of Harry and Marguerite (Gaffy) Cronin, who preceded him in death.
After graduating from Cathedral High School in 1953, Fr. Cronin entered the Old College program at the University of Notre Dame, Notre, Dame, Ind. A year later he went to Sacred Heart Novitiate in Jordan, Minn., where he made First Vows on August 16, 1955. In 1958, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor in Arts in Philosophy. In 1962, he earned a Master of Arts in Theology from Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C. He was ordained a Holy Cross priest in Denver on May 26 of that same year. After ordination, Fr. Cronin spent a year at Notre Dame in the pastoral apprenticeship program and then went on to study at the University of Minnesota earning a Ph.D. in Theatre Arts in 1968.
From 1968 to 1978, he was playwright-in-residence at the University of Portland, Portland, Ore., and later director of its theatre for four years until 1982. From 1983 to 1986, he was associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Burbank, Calif., before being assigned to Campus Ministry at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif. In 1991, he moved to the Los Angeles area where he served as a parish priest, high school chaplain, and hospital chaplain for the Veteran’s Administration for the next seven years. In 1998 he moved to the Bay Area, where he began teaching classes in religious drama and film at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. In 2001, he became the Director of Holy Cross Center in Berkeley, Calif. until moving into Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. in 2020.
Fr. Cronin received the James H. Mitchell Memorial Award for playwriting when he graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He was awarded a McKnight Foundation Graduate Theatre Fellowship at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minn. He was awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982, and was a long-time member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif. He has directed a few plays over the years, but he is most known for his playwrighting. His one-manplay called “Memoirs of Jesus” was produced by the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles and was the recipient of two Los Angeles Drama-Logue awards and his one-man play called “My Will and My Life” won a Best of Fringe Award at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in 2019. His book, Eugene O’Neill, Irish and American was published by Arno Press.
The Funeral Mass was performed at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at donate.holycrossusa.org.