Paul Slaby, OFM
1920 – 2006
Br. Paul Slaby, OFM, was born in Coaldale, Pa., on June 29, 1920. After attending Niagara University, Niagara Falls, N.Y., for a year, he felt drawn to the Franciscan way of life, perhaps inspired by his uncle, Fr. Lambert Zaleha, OFM, and so he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate in 1940 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., The following year, he professed first vows there and professed final vows in 1944 at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. Br. Paul was ordained a deacon in 1945.
Upon completion of his theological studies in 1947, he was assigned to work at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. In 1951, he moved to Callicoon, N.Y., to assist at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary for three years. Over the years that followed, Br. Paul was diagnosed with mental illness and was admitted to various health care facilities.
From 1975 until 1984, he worked as refectorian at Holy Name College. He resided for one year at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., before moving to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., where he remained until his death.
Br. Paul’s prayer was that God’s grace keep him a Franciscan until the day of his death, and his prayer was answered. He clung to his Franciscan identity even though he lived 34 years of his Franciscan life outside Franciscan friaries. He loved being a friar.
He died Sept. 27, 2006, in Ringwood. Br. Paul was 86 years old and a professed friar for 65 years.