Father Justin 'Fred' McCarthy (1918 - 2009) expertly doodled his way through childhood in Boston. As a student at Boston College he felt the call of religious service. He heard and acted on that call by transferring to St. Bonaventure College in Buffalo. It was there that his cartooning hobby flowered and drew the attention of his peers - which resulted in the appearance of a nameless little monk in college flyers and posters. In 1942, he dubbed this cheery, pint-sized creation, "Brother Juniper."
McCarthy was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order for seventy-one years. He served as art director of the national Franciscan magazine, Friar. He also taught classes about the art of comics and humor at numerous universities and colleges; and networked with fellow comic artists by playing street football out in front of New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Rumor has it that, at eighty-four, he could still punt a football forty yards.
Father McCarthy retired to southern Florida with his wife Lilly and continued to create new material for the well-traveled Brother Juniper. In a 2004 interview he is quoted as saying:
I hope that my 'little sunbeam in burlap' will serve as an exemplar of Catholic good humor while providing us with a chuckle a week.