Wulstan Gleason, OFM
1907 – 1959
Fr. Wulstan Gleason, OFM, was born in Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 5, 1907. After high school, he entered St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y., and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 18, 1928. He professed temporary vows Aug. 19, 1929, and made his profession of solemn vows on Sept. 17, 1932. Fr. Wulstan was ordained a priest on June 10, 1935.
After ordination, Fr. Wulstan was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish on 31st Street in New York City, as assistant director of the Secular Franciscans and local procurator of the Franciscan Missionary Union. In 1939, he was appointed provincial procurator of the Franciscan Missionary Union, an office he held until his death.
Fr. Wulstan took over a small-scale operation with few resources, and developed the Franciscan Missionary Union into one of the finest Missionary Unions in the Order. This was due to his personal touch, for he answered every donation with a hand-written letter. The number of benefactors grew to 40,000 generous people who have supported Holy Name missionaries for the past five decades.
Fr. Wulstan’s entire life was spent supporting Holy Name missionaries in Brazil, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Japan and the southern United States. He died at St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City on May 3, 1959. He was 51 years old, a professed friar for 29 years and a priest for 23 years.