Joseph Wider, OFM
1918 – 1983
Fr. Joseph Wider, OFM, was born in Union City, N.J., on June 18, 1918. After graduating from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., he was received into Holy Name’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1938. He professed temporary vows Aug. 14, 1939, and made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1942. Fr. Joseph was ordained a priest in Washington, D.C., June 11, 1944.
After one year in Americus, Ga., he was assigned to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., where he was a teacher for two years. In 1948, Fr. Joseph volunteered for the Province’s mission in Brazil, where he built churches, schools, convents and chapels in Goiandira, Cumari, Anhanguera, Porangatu and Brasilia.
He was remembered as a man who decided what had to be done and then went about doing it. In 1966, Joseph returned to the United States and served as an assistant at St. Anthony’s Frairy in Butler, N.J., and Narrowsburg. In 1968, he became a hospital chaplain in Johnstown, Pa., and later worked in various diocesan parishes in Florida and New Jersey.
A classmate described him as a “quiet and kind friar who loved God, the Church and the Order; and he was faithful and loyal.” He died in Seaside Heights, N.J., May 19, 1983. He was 64 years old, a professed friar for 43 years and a priest for 38 years.