Cover photo for Fr. Thomas "Tom" Speier, OFM's Obituary
Fr. Thomas "Tom" Speier, OFM Profile Photo
1931 Fr. Thomas "Tom" 2023

Fr. Thomas "Tom" Speier, OFM

November 14, 1931 — July 4, 2023

Cincinnati, OH

 

Cincinnati - Fr. Thomas (Tom) Speier, OFM, died Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at St. Margaret Hall in Cincinnati. Fr. Tom was 91 years old. Born on November 14, 1931, in St. Bernard, Ohio, Fr. Tom was one of four children of Edward and Mathilda (Schmidt) Speier. He attended St. Clement School in St. Bernard. He graduated from St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati before entering the novitiate on Aug. 15, 1949, and receiving the religious name "Omer." He later returned to his baptismal name. After professing his first vows in 1950, he entered Duns Scotus College in Southfield, Mich., where he made his solemn vows on Aug. 16, 1953. Fr. Tom was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1958, at Holy Family Church in Oldenburg, Ind. He received an MS in Biology and an MA in Philosophy of Science from St. Bonaventure University before beginning nine years as a professor and Formation Director at Duns Scotus College Seminary in Southfield. After a sabbatical at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., he served on the faculty of St. Leonard College in Centerville, Ohio, and traveled as a popular preacher. In 1979 he became a retreat director at Friarhurst Retreat House and began an intense study of the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. In 1981 this study led him to develop the Franciscan Internship Program, a weeks-long workshop in Franciscan spirituality and spiritual direction.  Over the next several years he presented this program in 18 foreign countries and throughout the United States.  He also began bringing together all that he was teaching and learning into several books on spiritual direction and a “life’s work” titled Historical Chronology of Francis of Assisi and His Followers.  In 2001 Fr. Tom was named a member of the Novitiate Team in Cedar Lake, Ind., where he helped young friars grow in the Franciscan charism and prepare to profess vows.  In semi-retirement, he ministered as associate pastor of St. Monica-St. George Church & Newman Center near the University of Cincinnati and, in 2017, began serving as Pastoral Administrator of Holy Name Parish.  He finally really retired in 2020 at St. Clement Friary in St. Bernard. Fr. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Robert Speier, and his sisters Suzanne Stieritz and Sr. Jane Anne Speier, OSF. He is survived by nieces, nephews, and a multigenerational extended family and wide circle of friends. Friars and friends will receive Fr. Tom’s body at St. Clement Church in St. Bernard on Monday, July 10 at 9 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial follows at 10;30 a.m. Interment will take place following Mass in the friars' plot at St. Mary Cemetery in Cincinnati. Memorials may be made in care of FriarWorks, 1615 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, July 10, 2023

9:00 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Mass

Monday, July 10, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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Burial

Monday, July 10, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Saint Mary Cemetery and Mausoleum

701 E Ross Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45217

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