Fabian F. Joyce, OFM
1916 – 2003
Fr. Fabian F. Joyce, OFM, was born on April 12, 1916, in Watertown, Mass. He spent two years studying at Catholic Commercial Institution before he entered Boston College High from 1931 to 1935. Fr. Fabian spent one year at Boston College in Newton, Mass., before entering St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate Aug. 12, 1937, at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and professed first vows a year later. He spent a year at St. Stephen’s Friary, Croghan, N.Y., and one at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. He then went to Washington, D.C., where he began his theological studies at Holy Name College.
Fr. Fabian professed solemn vows Sept. 17, 1941, and was ordained a priest May 29, 1943, in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
His first assignment was to the Western Mission Band of Holy Name Province while stationed at St. Elizabeth Friary in Denver, Colo. Fr. Fabian served for 14 years in Denver and was a beloved guardian and pastor for seven years. In 1970, Fr. Fabian was appointed director of St. Francis Chapel, Colonie Mall, Albany, N.Y. Under his leadership, the mall ministry in Albany flourished.
Fr. Fabian was asked to serve as the locum tenens at Christ House in Lafayette, N.J., a retreat center of Holy Name Province. After three years he returned to New England and served as an assistant at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. In 1985, Fabian was appointed guardian of St. Anthony Residence. In 1988, he retired there, where he enjoyed 12 years sharing his many memories of 56 years of Franciscan life and ministry. In 2000, Fr. Fabian was transferred from Boston to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
Wherever he served in a responsible position, Fr. Fabian was known among the friars for his hospitality and genuine fraternal concern for the friars. He was blessed with the Irish gift of gab and large dosages of Irish humor. He was a joyful friar and his life and ministry brought much joy to the many people he served so faithfully for so many years. Fabian enjoyed being a friar, and his joy was contagious.
He died June 27, 2003, at Holy Name Friary. Fr. Fabian was 87 years old, a professed friar for 64 years and a priest for 60 years.