Wendelin Heath, OFM
1903 – 1961
Fr. Wendelin Heath, OFM, was born in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1903. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1927.
In 1928, he professed temporary vows and made his solemn profession of vows in 1931. Fr. Wendelin was ordained a priest in 1935.
Fr. Wendelin spent his entire life as a priest in various phases of pastoral ministry and held responsible positions in the Province throughout his years as a friar. He was always kind and amiable.
His first assignment was to St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, where he was in charge of the Franciscan Family Circle. In 1938, Fr. Wendelin went to Holy Cross Parish in the Bronx where he served as an assistant for 11 years and as guardian from 1946 to 1949.
In 1949, he was appointed to be the vicar of St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson and spent many years as the director of the Secular Franciscans. In 1955, he became the assistant novice master in Lafayette, N.J. One year later, he returned to St. Francis Friary in New York City to serve as the assistant director of the Franciscan Missionary Union.
Fr. Wendelin died in the dining room of St. Francis Friary on Sept. 8, 1961. He was almost 58 years old, a professed friar for 33 years and a priest for 26 years.