John Capistran Polldavid, OFM
1880 – 1963
Br. John Capistran Polldavid, OFM, was born on Dec. 19, 1880 in Osterwiehe, Germany. As a youth, he worked on his father’s farm. He came to America to become a Franciscan and was received as a tertiary brother at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1903. Br. Capistran entered the novitiate in 1906, professing temporary vows one year later and making his solemn profession in 1910.
He was stationed in many friaries throughout his more than half a century with the Order. His first assignment was to St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., where he helped carry stones from the quarry for the new seminary then under construction. Br. Capistran also served in Paterson, N.J., New York City, Croghan, N.Y., and Denver.
From 1933 to 1952, he lived and worked at St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., where his example impressed many young clerics who studied there. His devotion to his work and his contemplative spirit characterized his life and endeared him to the friars.
He died on Dec. 27, 1963 at Mother Schervier Hospital, the Bronx, N.Y. Br. Capistran was 83 years old, a professed friar for 56 years.