Maurice W. O'Hara, OFM
1908 – 1997
Fr. Maurice O’Hara, OFM, was born Jan. 15, 1908, and raised in Olyphant, Pa., a small country town near Scranton. For two years, he studied at St. Thomas College (now Scranton University), working off and on in a machine shop. He spent a short time at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., before being received into novitiate on Aug. 25, 1932, at St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J.
He professed temporary vows on Aug. 26, 1933, and made his profession of solemn vows April 11, 1937. Fr. Maurice was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1939.
Most of Fr. Maurice’s ministry was spent in direct pastoral care. His first assignment, lasting 12 years, was near home at St. Joseph’s Parish in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The following seven years were spent serving at St. Francis of Assisi Parish on West 31st Street in Manhattan. From 1959 to 1963, he served as chaplain of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn in Smithtown, Long Island, before returning to 12 more years of church ministry at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.
Fr. Maurice retired in 1975 to St. Anthony’s Residence in St. Petersburg, Fla., then to a local nursing home and hospice care. In December 1996, he transferred to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., where he died on May 1, 1997. He was 89 years old, a professed friar for 63 years and a priest for almost 58 years.