Laurence A. Hardy, OFM
1917 – 1998
Fr. Laurence (Anselm) Hardy, OFM, was born and baptized on Jan. 8, 1917 in Misericordia Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y. After graduating from LaSalle Academy in lower Manhattan, Fr. Larry attended St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., where he first met the Franciscans. He returned home after one year because of his father’s death, taking a job with the New York Herald Tribune to help his family through the Great Depression. Fr. Larry entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., at age 22. He was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1940, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1944 and was ordained in 1946.
After his simplex year, Fr. Larry enrolled in the School of Library Science at The Catholic University of America in Washington, receiving his degree and becoming a qualified librarian in 1948. He single-mindedly pursued that track, along with some classroom teaching, for the next 25 years, as librarian at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, assistant librarian to legendary Fr. Irenaeus Herscher at St. Bonaventure University, and librarian of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.
Fr. Lawrence’s focus shifted in 1972 when he became a parochial vicar at Assumption Parish, Wood-Ridge, N.J., for three years, then pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Callicoon, N.Y., for three more years before becoming ill. After recuperating for some months at St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla., he moved to St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. In 1983, he retired to St. Petersburg.
He died there on Feb. 23, 1998. Fr. Larry was 81 years old, a professed friar for 56 years and a priest for 51 years.