Stephen O'Neil, OFM
1920 – 2003
Br. Stephen O’Neil, OFM, was born on Feb. 7, 1920, in Moosic, Pa. At the age of 31, he was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 11, 1951., and professed temporary vows Aug. 13, 1952.
After his profession, he was assigned to St. Francis Friary in New York City, where he cared for the sacristy. From 1952 to 1954, Br. Stephen served as the sacristan at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. From Siena, Br. Stephen went to St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1954, where he served in the kitchen. On Aug. 17, 1955, he professed solemn vows at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y.
Br. Stephen moved St. Anthony Residence to Boston where he served in the kitchen for one year, and then served on the front desk at Holy Cross Parish in Clason Point, N.Y., from 1958 to 1959. He was asked to return to Siena College by Provincial Minister Fr. Celsus Wheeler, OFM, and he served faithfully as sacristan in Loudonville from 1959 to1965. Br. Stephen served for six years in the sacristy.
He left Siena in 1965, but returned for another 10-year stint as sacristan in 1971. In the meantime, Br. Stephen served as a sacristan in Brookline, Mass., and at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. In 1981, Br. Stephen was assigned to Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., for three years. He lived at the friary in Margate, N.J., for one year, then returned to Holy Name College for two more years before moving to St. Anthony’s Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla.
At the age of 70, Br. Stephen was given permission to go to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he lived and served quietly and peacefully among his fellow friars. He retired in December 1998 and moved across the street to St. Anthony Residence. In 2002, Br. Stephen moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
He died July 22, 2003, at Holy Name Friary. Br. Stephen was 83 years old and a professed friar for almost 51 years.