Saint Louis University.
He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on June 29, 1955. The following year he earned his Master"s in English from the University of Toronto and then went on to teach English language and literature at the newly established Saint John Fisher College in Rochester, which had been founded by the Basilians in 1948 and had its first graduating class in 1955. In September 1959, he began doctoral studies at Saint Louis University.
After completing his course work there, he returned to teaching at Saint John Fisher College in 1962.
He completed his doctoral dissertation in 1970. Both his Master"s thesis and his doctoral dissertation were studies of certain features of Saint Thomas More"s writings.
In 1984, he took a yearlong sabbatical trip to Ireland, locating his ancestral home. When he returned to Fisher as Chair of the English Department, he launched an Irish literature course and became active in recounting Ireland"s history and countering stereotypes of the Irish people.
To that end, he helped found the Rochester chapter of the Irish-American Culture Institute, a group that brings Irish artists and scholars to Rochester.
In addition to his teaching and scholarship, Cavanaugh enjoyed playing bagpipes, an activity he had to give up when he developed heart problems in 1980. He served on the board of trustees for Fisher and Aquinas Institute. In 2000, he was named Distinguished Irish American of the Millennium Year at the sixth annual Rochester Irish Festival, and in 2001 he was the Grand Marshal of the Saint Patrick"s Day parade.
A life-size bronze statue of Cavanaugh was erected on the east side of the Fisher campus in his honor.
He was an active and celebrated member of the Fisher community for over 50 years.