Louis Hamm, OFM
1901 – 1988
Fr. Louis Hamm, OFM, was born on Jan. 25, 1901 in Kirchheim-Teck, Germany. He was received into the Order as a tertiary brother at Gorheim, and began his studies of medicine at the Tuebingen and Wurzburg Universities. In 1923, he was received into the First Order at Frauenberg-Fulda, professing temporary vows one year later. Fr. Louis made his solemn profession in 1927 and continued his medical studies.
In 1934, he went to Shasi, China, to work with the friars of Holy Name Province. As a friar-physician, he cared for more than 200,000 patients in 1939. He was a pioneer in cataract surgery and iridectomy. In 1948, Fr. Louis began his theological studies in Hankow and at the regional seminary in Krau-Kou. He was ordained a priest in 1949.
Forced to leave China in 1951, he joined Holy Name Province and served as a priest in parishes in Statesville, N.C., Americus, Ga., Croghan, N.Y., and Elmwood Park and Beach Haven. N.J. He served at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., and as a chaplain to the Franciscan Brothers in Oyster Bay, N.Y. He retired to St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, N.J.
He died there on Jan. 8, 1988. Fr. Louis was 86 years old, a professed friar for 63 years and a priest for 38 years.