Louis Black, OFM
1927 – 2002
Br. Louis Black, OFM, was born in Philadelphia on Sept 4, 1927, the oldest of the three children. At age 17, he became a postulant in St. John the Baptist Province, and two years later he was clothed as a tertiary brother in that province until 1947, when he transferred to Holy Name Province and was assigned to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, as refectorian.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1950, professed temporary vows the following year and final vows in 1954.
While in Paterson, Br. Louis served as sacristan and apprentice tailor and refectorian. He then volunteered for the Japanese mission, where he served from 1955 to 1957, before returning to the United States to assume the duties for which he is surely best remembered — the busy jobs of sacristan and front desk attendant at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan.
Br. Louis served at St. Francis from 1957 through 1983, with exception to a brief intermission at Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in Buffalo, N.Y. He then took up ministry to the poor in East Boston, Mass., followed by the status of senior associate friar at St. Anthony Shrine, beginning in 1987.
In 1998, Br. Louis moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
In his 31 years at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Br. Louis proved to be a very competent sacristan and an able manager at the front desk — receiving visitors, answering queries and fulfilling requests for Masses and spiritual enrollments. Many friars remember his great sense of humor joined to wit with an edge and a talent for mimicry.
He died Nov. 1, 2002, at Holy Name Friary, four years to the day after arriving there from Boston. Br. Louis was 75 years old and a professed friar for 51 years.