Norbert Norton, OFM
1923 – 1962
Fr. Norbert Norton, OFM, was born on Jan. 17, 1923 in Perry, N.Y. He entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and graduated in 1944. He was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., that year, and professed temporary vows in 1945. He made his solemn profession in 1948 and was ordained a priest in 1950.
His first assignment was to St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, where he taught English and served as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Hankins, N.Y. Fr. Norbert was then assigned to St. Francis Chapel, Providence, R.I., where a serious illness impacted his life at a very early age. He never allowed the illness to interfere with his ministry or his joyfulness among the friars.
In 1962, Fr. Norbert was appointed superior and pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Asheville, N.C., but shortly after his appointment, illness plagued him again. While his years of ministry were few, they were marked by a distinct Franciscan flavor of kindness and compassion. His quiet manner and smile caused one confrere to remark: “He was compatible with everyone.”
He died on Oct. 14, 1962 at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, N.Y. Fr. Norbert was 39 years old, a professed friar for 17 years and a priest for 12 years.