Martin O'Kane, OFM
1898 – 1980
Fr. Martin was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on Nov. 29, 1898. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and entered the Province’s novitiate in 1921 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J.
The following year, he professed temporary vows and made his solemn profession of vows in 1925. Fr. Martin was ordained a priest in 1928.
The first 17 years of Fr. Martin’s priesthood were spent in parish ministry in Paterson, N.J., Croghan, N.Y., Winsted, Conn., and East Rutherford, N.J. He was a pastor with a love for order, who conducted parochial affairs with marked efficiency.
In 1946, Fr. Martin began what would become the principal ministry of his priesthood, a chaplaincy to the aged, sick and infirmed at the Frances Schervier Home in the Bronx. For 33 years, Fr. Martin’s life was the daily round of morning Mass, Communion calls, anointings, visiting of the residents and meetings with their families. He was aided by his Irish sense of humor and the gift of gab, as well as a great ability to remember first names.
In 1979, a heart condition dictated his retirement to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., and eleven months later he was transferred to the provincial infirmary at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y.
Fr. Martin died Sept. 10, 1980, at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, N.Y. He was 81 years old, a professed friar for 58 years and a priest for 52 years.