James Schwantner, OFM
1919 – 2001
Fr. James Schwantner, OFM, was born on Aug. 26, 1919 in New York City. He enrolled in St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., but withdrew after three years of study, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He joined the Navy, and after the war, the Reserves. Fr. James attended Fordham University in New York City for one year before enrolling at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y.
He was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1950, receiving the name Simon. He professed temporary vows one year later, and made his solemn profession and was ordained in 1955.
Fr. James fulfilled his ministry in 20 pastoral locations. He retired to St. Anthony Friary in 1987. While there, he assisted in various local parishes. In 2001, he transferred to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
He died on Nov. 15, 2001 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y. Fr. James was 82 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 50 years, and a priest for 46 years.