Gerard Fitzsimmons, OFM
1917 – 1965
Fr. Gerard Fitzsimmons, OFM, was born Aug. 10, 1917 in Jessup, Pa. After studying at St. Thomas College in Scranton, Pa., he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1937. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1941 and was ordained in 1943.
After ordination, Fr. Gerard was assigned to Paterson as assistant commissary of the Secular Franciscans, and served until 1955. In 1953, he established the Secular Franciscans in Jamaica, West Indies, and was the first HNP friar to work in the Jamaica mission. Fr. Gerard transferred to St. Francis Friary, Brookline, Mass., in 1955 and preached retreats while serving as vicar. Three years later, he was appointed guardian at Brookline. Ill health forced him to resign in 1962 and he moved to St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, where he was an instructor in the fifth year pastoral program for newly ordained priests.
He died April 17, 1965 at St. Joseph Hospital in Paterson. Fr. Gerard was 47 years old, a professed friar for 26 years and a priest for 21 years.