Patrick Howard, OFM
1910 – 1985
Fr. Patrick Howard, OFM, was born on Feb. 8, 1910 in New York City. After studying and working in the New York area for a few years, he attended St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1926. He was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., in 1931, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1935 and was ordained in 1938.
After his ordination, Fr. Patrick was assigned to the Callicoon seminary to teach Latin and care for the mission in nearby Hankins, N.Y. Three years later, Fr. Patrick was appointed assistant master of novices at St. Bonaventure Friary. In 1946, he became master of novices, and served for three years.
In 1949, he was appointed guardian and pastor of St. Stephen’s Parish on 82nd Street in New York City. Three years later, he was elected to the Provincial Council and moved to St. Francis Friary on West 31st Street in Manhattan. In 1955, Fr. Patrick was appointed Provincial Secretary and director of the Province’s Mission Band. In 1958, he was assigned to Holy Name College in Washington as guardian, initiating an era of austerity.
Six years later, he returned to West 31st Street to serve again as Provincial Secretary. The final 18 years of his life were spent at St. Francis of Assisi Parish as a full-time staff member. For 15 years, he offered weekend assistance at St. Anne Parish in Hampton, N.J. At St. Francis Parish, he became well known as a preacher at the devotions of the Way of the Cross, and the Sacred Heart novena. During his latter years, graciousness and mellowness replaced the legend of severity for which he had been known.
He died on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1985. Fr. Patrick was 75 years old, a professed friar for 53 years, and a priest for 47 years.