Otho Spann, OFM
1877 – 1940
Fr. Otho Spann, OFM, was born in Munich, Germany, on Dec. 21, 1877. He entered the novitiate in 1898 and professed temporary vows the following year. In 1902, he made his solemn profession of vows and was ordained a priest at St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J., in 1906.
Fr. Otho studied Sanskrit and Indo-European languages at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and for the greater part of his Franciscan life, he was a professor of Hebrew and scripture for Holy Name Province.
When St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, N.J., became the philosophy house for the Province, he was assigned to teach the students, and he cared for St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln Park. Fr. Otho’s final years were spent in Paterson where he also served in the St. Boniface Parish.
He died Sept. 13, 1940, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken, N.J. Fr. Otho was 62 years old, a professed friar for just short of 41 years and a priest for 34 years.