Samuel Grega, OFM
1886 – 1968
Fr. Samuel Grega, OFM, was born in Yaszo, Hungary, on Aug. 10, 1886. He received his elementary education in Yaszo and began his high school studies at St. Joseph Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1903.
He was received into the novitiate in 1908 and professed temporary vows the following year. In 1912, Fr. Samuel made his profession of solemn vows and was ordained a priest in 1915 at St. Michael’s Church in Union City, N.J.
Fr. Samual was pastor of St. Clare’s Church in Delawanna, N.J., and Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, N.J. Endowed with a rich voice, he was assigned to the mission band in 1919, and conducted home missions with his bombastic and flamboyant style.
In 1931, he was appointed pastor and guardian of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, where he worked for 37 years as a kind and considerate confessor.
Fr. Sam provided the friars with laughter, joy and violin music for many years. He was one of the most colorful characters in the annals of Holy Name Province, and he enjoyed putting on shows for the friars. He was a constant reminder of minority and littleness among his confreres.
He died March 10, 1968 at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, N.Y. Fr. Sam was 81 years old, a professed friar for 58 years, and a dedicated and joyful priest for 52 years.