Ferdinand Woerle, OFM
1895 – 1984
Br. Ferdinand Woerle, OFM, was born July 5, 1895 in Stimpfach, Germany. He served in the German army in World War I in Serbia and France. After the war, he worked as a waiter in the Tübingen seminary, where he began to think about serving the Lord. In 1920, Br. Ferdinand became a tertiary brother of the Fulda Province. When volunteers were requested for Holy Name Province, he came to the United States in 1921.
He was received into the Order in 1922, professing temporary vows one year later. Shortly after professing temporary vows, Br. Ferdinand boarded a train to St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., where he remained for 60 years. He made his solemn profession in 1926.
Br. Ferdinand’s vegetable gardens provided food for the seminarians and students, and the beauty of the Bonaventure campus was a credit to his imagination and hard work. Until his death, he cultivated the flower plots of the campus and the friary courtyard. He also served as sacristan in the friary and kept the chapel immaculate.
He died on Jan. 29, 1984 at the Provincial infirmary at St. Bonaventure University. Br. Ferdinand was 88 years old, a professed friar for 60 years.