Gabriel Toth, OFM
1905 – 1976
Br. Gabriel Toth, OFM, was born March 3, 1905 in Nyirbator, Hungary. His family emigrated to America when he was still a boy. He studied accounting, as he and his brother planned to open a clothing store. However, he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1931, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1935.
His command of the Hungarian language made him a valued member of the community of St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City, where he was porter and sacristan for 12 years. He served in the same capacities in Paterson and at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston for 12 years. In 1956, Br. Gabriel began his 20-year stay at St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J. For many years, he engaged in a unique letter-writing ministry. Whenever he read a newspaper account of a particularly tragic death, he would write a letter of genuine condolence to the family of the victim.
He died on Jan. 31, 1976 at St. Anthony Friary. Br. Gabriel was 70 years old, a professed friar for 43 years.