Giles A. Webster, OFM
1905 – 1996
Fr. Giles Webster, OFM, was born July 30, 1905 in New York City. He went to Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with honors, in 1929. For the next four years, he worked on Wall Street as a stockbroker. Fr. Giles was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1933, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1937 and was ordained in 1939.
His had a multi-faceted ministry. Aside from being on the faculty of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., and St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., in his early years, he spent a good deal of his friar life in the Navy, either on active duty — from 1942 to 1946 and 1950 to 1957 — or in the reserves — from 1942 to his retirement. His tours of duty took him to Japan, Korea and Okinawa. He held the rank of commander in the Navy Reserves and received his letter of commendation from Admiral Chester Nimitz.
In 1958, Fr. Giles began a career in Newman Club work. He served as chaplain at Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Georgia State College, Oglethorpe University and Agnes Scott College. His later years were spent writing and giving missions. In 1983, he retired to St. Anthony’s Residence, Boston, and remained there until transferring to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
He died there on Feb. 10, 1996. Fr. Giles was 90 years old, a professed friar for 61 years and a priest for 57 years.