Br. Michael Blastic, OFM, passed away on Dec. 21, 2023, at the age of 74.
A native of Chicago, Br. Michael entered the Order as a Conventual Franciscan in 1968, and was ordained to the priesthood on April 5, 1975. He began the process of transferring to the OFMs while teaching at the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, and professed his solemn vows on Nov. 2, 2009. Br. Michael held a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University, Chicago; a licentiate of sacred theology from Gregorian University, Rome; a bachelor of scared theology from the Seraphicum, Rome; and a Ph.D., in historical theology from St. Louis University.
His scholarship and service as a Franciscan were dedicated to the study and teaching the early Franciscan tradition. He taught at the Washington Theological Union in Washington D.C., the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University and at Siena College near Albany, New York. He spent 10 years in novitiate formation, most recently at the Old Mission Santa Barbara at the novitiate for the US-6 OFM provinces. He did workshops and retreats for Franciscan groups and communities in India, Africa, Australia, the Philippines and across North America. His publications attempted to critically study early Franciscan sources as a resource for Franciscan life and ministry today. When he wasn’t teaching, Br. Michael enjoyed reading police procedural and spy novels to relax.
He is remembered as a joyful, friendly and humble friar, along with being an approachable and knowledgeable teacher, both in and out of the classroom. His care for those he encountered was truly an example of compassion and fraternal love, and his willingness to share his gifts as an educator and pastoral leader helped others deepen their knowledge of and appreciation for St. Francis, drawing them ever closer to God.
Br. Michael is survived by friars, family members and friends.
A Funeral Mass will be held Monday, Jan. 8 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific at Immaculate Conception Church, 2540 San Diego Ave., San Diego, CA 92110. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Burial will take place at 2 p.m. at Old Mission San Luis Rey Cemetery, 4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92057.
The Mass will be livestreamed on the YouTube channel of the Franciscan School of Theology. Please note that although the livestream is scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m. Pacific, the Mass will begin at 10:30 a.m.
May he rest in peace.