Gregory Smith, OFM
1902 – 1978
Fr. Gregory was born in Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 30, 1902. After graduation from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., he entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 21, 1924, and professed temporary vows Aug. 24, 1925.
Fr. Gregory made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 25, 1928, and was ordained a priest June 9, 1931.
His first assignment was to Callicoon, but in 1936, he was sent to Paris to study Gregorian chant and French. He returned to Callicoon and dedicated himself to the formation of candidates for the Order until 1943, when he was appointed guardian and pastor of St. Joseph Church in Winsted, Conn.
During his many years at Callicoon, Fr. Gregory was a very solicitous prefect of discipline, a resourceful French instructor, and a practiced musician who loved playing the organ. He was not by nature an outgoing person, but a confidant in whom many placed their trust. He took life seriously but was capable of laughing at himself.
In 1951, he transferred to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he became a popular confessor for 12 years. He served as director of the tertiary brothers at St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H., for three years and worked as an assistant at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City. His final assignment was to St. Catherine’s Parish in Ringwood, N.J.
The last seven years of his life were spent at St. Anthony’s Residence in Boston, but he continued to hear confessions and man the front desk at the Shrine. He died in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on June 21, 1978. He was 75 years old, a professed friar for 52 years and a priest for 47 years.