Brother Charles Gilmartin, O.F.M., who served for nearly half a century at Manhattan parishes, died Oct. 26 at Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, N.J. He was 91.
Brother Gilmartin spent nearly half a century at friaries and parishes in Manhattan including St. Francis of Assisi on West 31st Street, where he supervised the front desk and maintained guest rooms, 1961-2002, 1956 and 1953-1954, and All Saints, Harlem, where he was a pastoral assistant, 2003-2010. That year, he retired to St. Anthony Residence in Boston. In 2012 he moved to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J.
In retirement, he maintained friendships by phone with New Yorkers whose lives he touched with his spiritual guidance and outreach. Early on, he served at Holy Cross parish, Callicoon, where he worked on the farm and also did housework. He also served in Loudonville, Allegany, New Bedford, Mass., and Puerto Rico. His tasks included working as a sacristan and chauffeur.
Born in Manhattan, he attended St. Monica School in Manhattan and Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx. He entered the Franciscans’ Holy Name Province in 1951 and made final vows in 1955.
A Funeral Mass was offered Oct. 30 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Butler, N.J. Burial was at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Butler.