Eustace Smith, OFM
1908 – 1975
The Most Rev. Eustace Smith, OFM, was born in Medford, Mass., on Aug. 22, 1908. He studied St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., where he was an excellent student with a facility for languages.
He entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 16, 1927, and professed temporary vows Aug. 18, 1928. Bishop Eustace made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 18, 1931, and he was ordained a priest June 12, 1934.
He went to Rome immediately following his ordination and by 1938, he received his licentiate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute. In 1939, he was appointed vice-rector and professor of scripture at St. Bonaventure Seminary in Allegany, N.Y. In 1942, he was assigned to serve as secretary to Fr. Mathias Faust, OFM, who served as delegate general for North and Central America during the war years.
Bishop Eustace went with Fr. Mathias to Rome in 1946 and served as liaison between the Procuration of the General Curia and the Roman Congregations. He returned to the Province and was appointed master of clerics at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C.
He was loved by the students because he was never too busy or tired to listen to their concerns. Each week, he would accompany one of the students to hear the confessions of mentally disabled children and speak to them as “special children of God.”
On Dec. 8, 1955, Rome appointed Bishop Eustace vicar apostolic of Latin Rite Catholics in Lebanon and Titular Bishop of Apamea Cibotus. He was consecrated a bishop on Feb. 2, 1956, in Washington’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He served in Lebanon for 17 years, and in 1973 he resigned due to ill health. Bishop Eustace returned to Holy Name Province and resided at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Boston.
He was a genuine friar whose exuberant enthusiasm was the source of the joy-filled optimistic attitude, which marked his entire life. He died in the New England Medical Center, Boston, on June 13, 1975. Bishop Eustace was 66 years old, a professed friar for 46 years, a priest for 41 years and a bishop for 19 years.