William Abbott, OFM
1917 – 1975
Fr. William Abbott, OFM, was born in Bangor, Maine, on July 7, 1917. After graduating from high school, he worked as a bank teller for six years.
He attended St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1944. He professed temporary vows Aug. 14, 1945, and made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1948. Fr. William was ordained a priest June 11, 1950.
His first 11 years as a priest were devoted to service church ministry at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston and St. Mary’s Church in Providence, R.I. The final 14 years of ministry were spent in parish work at Sacred Heart Parish in Rochelle Park, N.J., and St. Elizabeth Church in Wyckoff, N.J., where he was pastor and renovated the old church.
His concern for the happiness and well-being of people remained characteristic of his ministry throughout his life. He was frank and forthright, but could find humor where many were not inclined to look for it. Two traits of Fr. William’s Franciscan life were his deep concern and care for the sick and his delight in the company of the friars.
One week after celebrating his Silver Jubilee as a priest, Fr. William died on June 17, 1975, in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Paterson, N.J. He was almost 58 years old, a professed friar for 29 years and a priest for 25 years.