Walter Hammon, OFM
1894 – 1959
Fr. Walter Hammon, OFM, was born July 21, 1894 in Philadelphia. He entered St. Joseph’s Serpahic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., after grammar school and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1920. Fr. Walter professed temporary vows in 1921, made his solemn profession in 1924 and was ordained in 1927.
As a young priest, he went as a missionary to Shasi in China, but political circumstances forced his return after months of hiding in attics. He served on the Province’s Mission Band as a popular preacher, and in 1933, was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. From 1940 to 1946, Fr. Walter ministered in Emporia, Va., and was then assigned to Clarksville, Va., where he built St. Catherine’s Church and its rectory.
In 1951, Fr. Walter was appointed Provincial Archivist. He gathered numerous documents from the friaries and microfilmed the personal records of the friars for the Province. In 1958, he published The First Bonaventure Men.
He died on Feb. 23, 1959 at St. Francis Hospital in Miami Beach, Fla. Fr. Walter was 64 years old, a professed friar for 37 years and a priest for 31 years.