+Fr. Samuel Joseph Zebron, OFM Conv. (1932-2017)
Born in Baltimore, MD in 1932, at the age of 17, Friar Sam entered Mt. St. Lawrence Novitiate of the Franciscan Friars Conventual. A year later, he professed his vows and on May 24, 1958 was ordained to the priesthood at St. Michael’s Cathedral, in Springfield, MA, by +Most Rev. Christopher J. Weldon (who also served as a military chaplain during World War II). After his ordination, Friar Sam served the province as a teacher in New York and Maryland high schools, until in 1969 he requested permission to become a Military Chaplain. Granted permission, Friar Sam served in the US Air Force for 21 years, attaining the rank of Lt. Colonel. He received numerous medals and honors and retired from the military in 1991. His military experience helped form his life and he conducted himself with the high expectations of military bearing.
In the years following his military chaplaincy, he continued to serve the province in pastoral ministry. His last assignment was as Parochial Vicar at St. Mark Parish, in Boynton Beach, FL. He remained there after his assignment retirement, and continued to be a presence in the parish community.
+Friar Sam met Sister Death on June 19, 2017, and on this year’s Commemoration of All Faithful Departed (All Souls Day – November 2, 2017) he was interred in Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors. Friars, family and friends – with clearance – were on hand for the Catholic Rite of Committal ceremony, followed by military honors.
More photos from the November 2, 2017 Internment at Arlington National Cemetery can be found in the Province Facebook Page Album.