Father Roy Gasnick, O.F.M., a Franciscan Friar of Holy Name Province who was instrumental in the issuing of a U.S. postage stamp honoring St. Francis in 1982, died July 24 at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 81.
He was provincial moderator of the Third Order, 1967-1970, while serving at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Manhattan. He was appointed the first director of communications for Holy Name Province, 1969-1985. He was coordinator of research and planning for the province, 1976-1979.
He lectured in English rhetoric, research and literature at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, 1961-1967. There he also served as director of student activities.
He was vicar at St. Anthony’s Friary in St. Petersburg, 1993-2005, and served on the staff of the Franciscan Retreat Center in Tampa, Fla. He was vice president for resource development at the Franciscan Communications Center in Los Angeles, 1985-1987. He was spiritual assistant to the Secular Franciscan order in the mid-South sector of the province, 1987-1993.
Father Gasnick dedicated his life to communicating the Franciscan message, including as an author. He was instrumental in the issuing of a postage stamp honoring St. Francis in 1982 on the occasion of the eighth centenary of the saint’s birth.
As an activist in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, he founded Action for Interracial Understanding within the Secular Franciscan order and participated in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Born in Garfield, N.J., he attended St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon. He entered the Franciscan order in 1953 and made final vows in 1957. He was ordained in 1960.
He earned a master’s degree in English literature and a bachelor’s in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University. He studied theology at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. and Holy Name College in Washington, D.C.
A Funeral Mass was offered July 29 at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson. Burial was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, N.J.