Maurus Fitzgerald, OFM
1902 – 1993
Fr. Maurus Fitzgerald, OFM, was born on April 11, 1902 in Rochester, N.Y. After four years at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., he was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1924. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1928, and was ordained in 1931.
His first teaching assignment was at St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y., where he was stationed for three years. After doing graduate work at The Catholic University of America and Columbia University, Fr. Maurus went to Oxford University to specialize in Anglo-Saxon literature. He returned to the United States with his master’s degree and was assigned to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., where he taught in the English department for 16 years as a brilliant, witty and entertaining professor of Shakespeare.
Fr. Maurus was considered by friars and students as a genuine renaissance man. While at Siena, the world of English literary figures blended with the world of athletics, and the world of friars and students, and Fr. Maurus enjoyed them all. Unknown are the number of students who would never have been able to receive a college education without his presence and assistance.
In 1955, Fr. Maurus went to St. Anthony’s Guild, where he used his literary and editing talents for 27 years. He was always a gentle and gracious friar, and remained so in retirement at St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
He died at Holy Name Friary on Dec. 20, 1993. Fr. Maurus was 91 years old, a professed friar for 68 years and a priest for 62 years.