Donald Hoag, OFM
1900 – 1984
Fr. Donald Hoag was born on Aug. 15, 1900, in Philadelphia, Pa. He was one of many Philadelphians recruited for St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., by the sexton Charlie Zimmerman. He went to Callicoon to complete his high school studies, and was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Frairy in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 16, 1922.
He professed temporary vows Aug. 20, 1923, and made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 20, 1926. Fr. Donald was ordained a priest in Buffalo, N.Y., May 25, 1929.
He spent his first year in ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, and then went to St. Joseph Friary in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and served as pastor in Mountain Top, Pa.
In 1932, he was assigned to St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany, N.Y., and became the pastor in 1939. In 1942, Fr. Donald volunteered to be a chaplain in the United States Army, and he spent four years in Western Europe with the 35th Infantry. He was with his men during the Battle of St. Lo, which was the bloodiest battle of the Normandy Invasion.
In 1946, he was appointed pastor and guardian of St. Joseph Church and Friary in East Rutherford, N.J.
In 1952, Fr. Donald was elected to the Provincial Council and appointed director of retreats. In 1955, he was elected Provincial Vicar of the Province, and in 1961, Fr. Donald was elected Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province.
He was a warm, affable friar who was free of all pretension and ambition. He approached friars and people with a spirit of simple honesty. After serving for six years as Provincial Minister, Fr. Donald became pastor and guardian of Assumption of Our Lady Church in Wood-Ridge, N.J., and at the age of 70, he asked to retire to Ringwood, N.J., where he could work part time in the parish.
In 1971, he became the chaplain at Mount Saint Francis. In 1983, he went to St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, N.J., and because of illness was transferred to St. Joseph’s Home in Totowa, N.J., where he died on June 21, 1984. He was 83 years old, a professed friar for 60 years, a priest for 55 years and served as Provincial Minister for 6 years.