Colin O'Rourke, OFM
1922 – 2008
Fr. Colin O’Rourke, OFM, was born in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Aug. 27, 1922. During World War II, Fr. Colin served in the Air Force from 1942 to 1945 on a bomber in the European theater of operations. Upon his discharge from the military, he enrolled at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., graduating in 1949 with a BBA in accounting.
In 1953, Fr. Colin enrolled in St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., where he studied for two years. He was received into Holy Name Province on July 14, 1955, at St. Raphael’s Novitiate in Lafayette, N.J. He professed first vows there on July 15, 1956, and on Aug. 18, 1959, he professed solemn vows at Christ the King Seminary, Allegany, N.Y.
He studied philosophy at St. Francis College, Rye Beach, N.H., and theology at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C. Fr. Colin was ordained a priest Feb. 25, 1961, in the church of the Franciscan Monastery, Mount St. Sepulchre, Washington, D.C.
Fr. Colin’s first assignment following ordination was to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, originally for the “fifth year” pastoral theology program, but it turned out to be his only ministerial assignment. He lived and worked at Arch Street for the next 45 years, serving in a number of capacities: at the front desk, in the treasurer’s office, keeping the Mass book and drawing up the work schedule.
He was dependable and attentive to his daily work and brought a warm, unfailingly gentle presence to community life. Although Fr. Colin was quiet by nature, he possessed a great sense of humor. He was a voracious reader, especially of Western novels.
On Nov. 6, 2006, he transferred to Holy Name Friary. He died on May 6, 2008. Fr. Colin was 85 years old, a professed friar for 51 years and a priest for 47.