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Giles Grosshauser, OFM

Giles Grosshauser

1872 – 1953

Br. Giles Grosshauser, OFM, was born in Altenberg, Germany, on July 18, 1872. He worked as a farmer until the age of 23 when he joined the Franciscans in Fulda. He came to America in 1895 and served as a tertiary brother in Paterson, N.J., for three years.

He was received into the novitiate Oct. 9, 1898, and professed temporary vows Oct. 19, 1899. Br. Giles was assigned to Callicoon, N.Y., and when the property was purchased in 1901, and St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary was started, Br. Giles became the cook for the first community. He made his solemn profession Nov. 6, 1902.

In 1909, he was assigned to St. Francis Friary on 31st Street in New York City where he continued to cook for the friars and served as porter. After 10 years in New York, Giles was assigned to St. Joseph’s Friary in East Rutherford, N.J., and he worked there for 33 years.

During the last year of his life, Br. Giles was in Washington, D.C., where he shared his final days with Fr. Benvenute Ryan, OFM, also a jubilarian of the Order. Fr. Benvenute and Br. Giles made a great pair: the one a humble brother who had spent the greater part of his life in the kitchen and the other a noted theologian who had spent his life in the classroom. During those final weeks, one could not tell which was the theologian and which the cook.

Br. Giles died in Washington on July 21, 1953. He was 81 years old and a professed friar for 53 years.