Carmel Miotke, OFM
1932 – 2013
Fr. Carmel Miotke, OFM, was born Dec. 20, 1932 in Albany, N.Y. He attended the parish grammar school and Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, graduating in 1950. He then enrolled at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., graduating as the valedictorian of his class in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in modern languages.
During his last two years at Siena, he discerned a call to Franciscan life. Fr. Carmel was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1954. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1958 and was ordained in 1960. Following ordination, Fr. Carmel spent a year of pastoral education at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston.
Since he had pursued graduate studies in French literature at Case Western Reserve University over the summer during his formation years, Fr. Carmel was assigned to the faculty of St. Bonaventure University to teach modern languages in 1961. In the midst of the changing culture on campus in the 1960s, Fr. Carmel left the teaching apostolate in 1969 to minister at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, which he was to call home for almost 40 years.
For his first few years in Boston from 1969 to 1973, Fr. Carmel served on the pastoral staff at the Shrine. For the next ten years, he was a mainstay on the staff of St. Francis Chapel in Boston’s Prudential Center, while continuing to reside at the Shrine. When the Province withdrew from that ministry in 1983, Fr. Carmel was assigned to St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., where he was appointed vicar in 1987. Two years later, he returned to Boston, serving at the Shrine until 2002. He retired to St. Anthony Residence, living there until 2012, when the Province closed that facility. He moved to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., living there until he transferred to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J., in 2013.
Throughout his ministry as a friar, Fr. Carmel gained the reputation of being a kind, attentive confessor and spiritual director. He preferred to work behind the scenes, dealing with people one-on-one or in back-room tasks like counting collections. Fr. Carmel was known for his wry wit, but also his willingness to assist others.
He died on June 9, 2013 at Holy Name Friary. Fr. Carmel was 80 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 57 years and a priest for 53 years.