Celsus Gansen, OFM
1902 – 1984
Br. Celsus Gansen, OFM, was born on Nov. 10, 1902 in Köln-Nippes, Germany. He studied engineering at the Technischeschule in Cologne, graduating in 1922. In 1926, he entered the Order and was received into the novitiate in Fulda in 1927, professing temporary vows one year later. Br. Celsus made his solemn profession in 1931.
His expressed repugnance for Nazism moved him to leave Germany and apply for a visa to the United States. Br. Celsus arrived in Paterson in 1935 and served in the Bronx, N.Y., from 1936 to 1942 as cook and maintenance man. In 1943, he went to Brazil as a dedicated missionary, and he served there for 14 years. His love for the missions remained with him and until his final days, he prayed for the missions and sent money to the Franciscan Missionary Union.
In 1957, Br. Celsus returned to the United States and then went off again as a missionary to Puerto Rico, where he remained until 1965. He spent seven years as a friary cook at St. Francis Friary, Brookline, Mass., before moving to Holy Name College, Washington, where he manned the switchboard for 10 years and served as a model friar to the young students with whom he lived. In 1983, he moved to the Provincial infirmary at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y.
He died there on March 12, 1984. Br. Celsus was 81 years old, a professed friar for 55 years.