Father Simon Mary Engler, T.O.R., 92, of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, died Monday at St. Francis Friary at Mount Assisi, Loretto.
He was born in Williamsport, son of the late Joseph and Mary (Seewald) Engler. He was baptized at the Church of the Immaculate Conception and given the name Joseph Henry.
Surviving are a sister, Arlene Agnor of Williamsport; nieces and nephews; and his Franciscan brothers.
Father Simon Mary graduated from St. Joseph Grade School and St. Joseph High School, both in Williamsport. After high school graduation, he entered the Third Order Regular on July 7, 1942. He professed first vows on July 8, 1943, and his solemn vows on July 10, 1945. He was ordained to the priesthood by the late Auxiliary Bishop John M. McNamara of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Feb. 10, 1949.
Father Simon Mary received a B.A. in philosophy from St. Francis College, Loretto, and studied theology at St. Francis Seminary, Loretto. During his long and faithful ministry, he served as follows: from 1949-62 in Bhagalpur, Bihar, India, where his work primarily dealt with the formation of indigenous Franciscan vocations; from 1963-80 as chaplain to various hospitals in the Diocese of Pittsburgh; from 1980-95 as chaplain to the Veterans Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio; from 1995-97 as a parochial vicar in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and from 1997-2013 in local prayer ministry at St. Francis Friary at Mount Assisi, Loretto.
Friends will be received from 2 to 5 and 6 until the 7 p.m. vigil service today at Alvernia Chapel, St. Francis Friary at Mount Assisi, Loretto. A funeral Mass will be concelebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at the Friary Chapel, the Very Rev. Nicholas Polichnowski, T.O.R., minister provincial, as principal celebrant.
After the Mass, interment will take place at the Franciscan Friars' cemetery on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto.
Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired T.O.R. friars c/o Friars Retirement Fund, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940.
Arrangements are by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church St., Gallitzin.