BUFFALO, N.Y. — Maurice Swartout, OFM, 88, a professed Franciscan friar for 67 years, died July 15 at Mercy Hospital.
A wake will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, with a wake service at 7 p.m. at St. Clare Church in Buffalo. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on July 19 at St. Clare Church. Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM,will be principal celebrant, and Ronald Pecci, OFM, will preach the homily. Burial will follow at St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, N.Y.
Born Sept. 18, 1924 to Leroy and Cecilia Swartout, Maurice was baptized Raymond Leonard on Oct. 12, 1924 at St. Joseph Church in Boonville, N.Y. He attended Boonville Public School and graduated in 1942 from Boonville High School.
On Jan. 22, 1945, he was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., where he professed first vows one year later. He made his solemn profession on Jan. 24, 1949 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.
Following his profession, Maurice was assigned to St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, where he served as sacristan, bookbinder and cabinet maker until 1950. For the next 16 years, he directed work in a cabinetmaking shop in Anapolis, Brazil.
Maurice returned to the United States in 1966 and devoted the next 12 years to the ministry of initial formation of young friars, first at the brothers’ training school in Croghan, N.Y., and Rye Beach, N.H., and then at the novitiate in Brookline, Mass. In 1974, he received permission to open an intentional community in East Boston, along with three other friars. While there, he worked at a variety of ministries over the next 15 years.
In 1989, Maurice was assigned pastoral associate at St. Rita and St. Patrick Parish in Buffalo. Beginning in 2005, he served as guardian there for three years, while assisting at the newly-created St. Clare Parish in Buffalo. In July 2011, he retired from full-time ministry, but continued to serve the seniors of the parish.
Maurice is survived by his sister, Barbara Sweeney, and several nieces and nephews. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Barbara Sweeney, 7859 Lewis Road, Boonville, NY 13309.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars-Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10001.
— Compiled by Theresa Bartha