Br. Roman Morris, O.S.F.
Brother Roman was born in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn on September 9, 1932, the third youngest of ten children of George Raymond Morris and Anna Katherine McGuire. Brother Roman attended St. Theresa of Avila Elementary School along with all his brothers and sisters. He was taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph in the lower grades and then by the Xaverian Brothers in the upper grades, graduating with the class of 1947. He attended St. Francis Prep on Baltic Street and graduated with the class of 1951. While at the Prep, he was worked at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden where he developed his life long passion for gardening. It was during this time that he made the decision to become a Franciscan Brother of Brooklyn, having been influenced by Brothers Benignus, Timothy, and other the Brothers that he met during and after school.
In July, 1951, Brother Roman entered the St. Bonaventure Postulancy in Kings Park under the guidance of Brother Urban and Brother Aquinas. He received the habit at St. Paul's Church on Court Street, Brooklyn on February 3, 1952 and then began his novitiate at St. Francis Novitiate in Wyandanch, NY, professing first vows on January 24, 1954.
After profession, Brother Roman was assigned to St. Mary, Star of the Sea located in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn while living at the Monastery of St. Francis on Butler Street (Brother's father was educated by the Franciscan Brothers at this same school and graduated in 1903). During this era, the Monastery housed the Brothers on the faculties of St. Francis College, St. Francis Prep, St Patrick, and St Mary's as well as the retired Brothers.
Brother Roman also taught at St. Brigid's, St. Francis Xavier, St. Joseph's in Babylon, and St. Aidan's in Williston Park. In 1965, he was assigned to Bishop Ford High School where he taught English and maintained the bookstore for ten years. Brother Roman, like many of the brothers of his day, spent numerous summers working at Camp St. Anthony, Camp Alvernia, and teaching reading at St. Joseph's in Babylon.
From 1973 to 1975, he resided at the pre-novitiate house in Bay Ridge and then he served as Novice Director from 1975-1978 at the St. Francis Novitiate in Oyster Bay. In1976, Brother Roman became the director of St. Francis Center until June 2001 when he moved to Padua Friary in Kings Park?- living on the same property where he began his Religious Life in 1951.
Brother Roman earned his BA in English with a minor in History from St. Francis College in 1963, his MA from New York University in English in 1967, and he received his permanent teaching certification from the State of New York in 1968. He also studied at Fordham University and Molloy College.
Brother Roman and his faithful companion Nigel continue to reside at Padua Friary where his horticultural expertise is the envy of the neighborhood