Hilary Scott, OFM
1918 – 1998
Fr. Hilary Scott was born on May 18, 1918 in Allentown, Pa. He attended St. Joseph Grammar School in West New York, N.J., as a classmate of Ted Beach (later Fr. Raymond, OFM), then the parochial high school, where he took commercial courses that later played a large role in defining his ministry.
He worked for five years in New York City, mostly as a secretary for the national railroad association, before enrolling at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1940. He was received into the Order in 1943 at the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., professing temporary vows one year later. Fr. Hilary made his solemn profession in 1947 and was ordained in 1949.
Fr. Hilary’s multiple talents and qualifications were exercised in many different ministries. His first assignment was to St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., where he taught for one year before moving to Christ the King Seminary where he lived for four years. He was a jack-of-many-trades: lector in English literature, treasurer, procurator, and registrar.
He pursued higher studies at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome, where he earned a licentiate in sacred theology. There Fr. Hilary became procurator of the Antonianum until he was appointed to succeed Fr. John Rowan as priest-secretary to the Latin-Rite Vicar Apostolic of Beirut, Lebanon, Bishop Eustace Smith, OFM, a friar of Holy Name Province. Bishop Smith assigned him an additional post as pastor of Beirut’s English-language parish.
Eight years later, Fr. Hilary returned to the United States, serving at Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, Mass., St. Elizabeth’s Parish, Wyckoff, N.J., and St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City. In 1978, he began nine years of service as chaplain to the motherhouse and novitiate of the PBVM Sisters in Aberdeen, S.C., in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, which he later recalled as “the best years of my life.” In 1987, he was assigned to Our Lady’s Chapel again, serving as vicar until he retired in 1992 to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J.
He died on Nov. 14, 1998 at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J. Fr. Hilary was 80 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 54 years, and a priest for 49 years.