Jude Smith, OFM
1924 – 2003
Fr. Jude Smith, OFM, was born on Sept. 13, 1924, in Susquehanna, Pa., and entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1942, where he studied for five years in preparation for Franciscan life and ministry.
He was received into the Franciscan Order in 1947 at St. Bonaventure Novitiate in Paterson, N.J., and professed first vows one year later. Fr. Jude studied philosophy in at St. Stephen’s Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, N.J., for two years, and completed his theological studies at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C.
In 1952, he professed solemn vows at Holy Name College. Fr. Jude was ordained a priest in 1953 at Mount St. Sepulchre Friary in Washington.
Fr. Jude’s first assignments after ordination were to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, St. Anthony Church in Asheville, N.C., St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., and St. Joseph Parish in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
In 1962, he went south again to work in Winston-Salem, N.C., at St. Benedict the Moor Church. In 1963, he was reassigned to St. Joseph’s in Wilkes-Barre, where he ministered for 12 years until 1975. After a year of ministry at the Callicoon seminary, Fr. Jude served as a chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital, Hoboken, N.J., in 1976, and as auxiliary in Paterson from 1976 to 1978.
From 1978 to 1980, Fr. Jude was assigned to Sacred Heart Rectory in Jamaica, West Indies. From Jamaica he went to Immaculate Conception Parish in Atlanta, Ga., where he ministered for another two years.
He again returned to St. Joseph in 1982. Fr. Jude served the people of Wilkes-Barre for four more years before being transferred in 1986 to Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, Mass. After a return to Atlanta for a year in 1989, he came back to New Bedford to minister until 1992.
Fr. Jude became a senior associate friar in residence at St. Anthony’s in Butler for the next eight years. He celebrated his golden jubilee of simple vows with the friars of the Butler community in 1998. He moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., in 2000. He celebrated his 50th anniversary of his priesthood June 12, 2003.
Fr. Jude’s entire Franciscan life was spent in pastoral ministry, working for the good of God’s people. Behind the smile, which he showed with ease, was a very quiet and gentle spirit. Fr. Jude certainly manifested kindness and gentleness from his days in the seminary in Callicoon to his final days in Ringwood.
He died Aug. 1, 2003, at Holy Name Friary. Fr. Jude was nearly 79 years old, a professed friar for 54 years and a priest for 50 years.