Hilarion Sallenger, OFM
1906 – 1955
Fr. Hilarion Sallenger, OFM, was born in Brighton, Mass., on Aug. 27, 1906. After two years at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., he entered Holy Name’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J. on Aug. 5, 1926, and professed temporary vows Aug. 6, 1927. Fr. Hilarion made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 6, 1930, and was ordained a priest June 13, 1933.
Sickness plagued him during his formation years and remained with him throughout his life as a friar. His 22 years of active ministry were devoted chiefly to studying, teaching and giving retreats. He taught homiletics at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., and at St. Bonaventure Seminary in Allegany, N.Y.
From 1945 to 1947, Fr. Hilarion was chaplain at St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City. Frail though he was, he had an amazing capacity for sufferin, which he endured quietly throughout his entire life. Among the friars he was known for his light-hearted remarks and his quiet calm and cheerfulness.
He died in Paterson on May 18, 1955. An open book was found on his bed the morning he died: I’ll Cry Tomorrow, the story of another’s pain and suffering. He was 48 years old, a professed friar for 27 years and a priest for almost 22 years.