Fidelis O'Rourke, OFM
1902 – 1971
Fr. Fidelis O’Rourke, OFM, was born Jan. 23, 1902 in New York City. He graduated from Fordham University Law School and spent 15 years working in business, and five years of practice before the Bar of the State of New York. He also had 12 years of teaching experience.
In 1934, he left behind his career as a prominent attorney and joined the Order. Fr. Fidelis was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1934 and professed temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1938 and was ordained in 1939. As early as 1936, Fr. Fidelis was admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court.
He devoted his entire priestly life to ministering in education at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y. Fr. Fidelis served as dean of the business school as well as assistant procurator in charge of providing housing for World War II veterans studying at Bona’s. He was an adviser for the Federal Meditation and Conciliation Service. He also served as chairman of the Middle States Association of Colleges of Business Administration, and he enjoyed being a confessor for countless students and seminarians.
He died on April 12, 1971 at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, N.Y. Fr. Fidelis was 69 years old, a professed friar for 35 years and a priest for 31 years.