Just two weeks shy of his 97th birthday, Josephite Father Joseph M. Calamari, the oldest living member of his order, died on Aug. 21 at St. Joseph Manor, Baltimore, Md. He was six weeks short of the 70th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, the first Josephite to reach that milestone.
Born in Elmhurst, he was educated in St. Bartholomew’s parish school and graduated from Cathedral Prep, Brooklyn, before entering the Josephite minor seminary in Newburgh, N.Y., in 1936.
After completing the novitiate and the program at St. Joseph Seminary, Washington D.C., he was ordained in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Oct. 10, 1945.
He served in 16 Josephite parishes, all in the South. In addition, he spent nine years in ministry on Long Island, an island in the Bahamas, when the Josephites ventured out of the country in the 1970s and 80s.
In addition to his priestly role, Father Calamari was known as “the Joe of all trades.” He was deft at blacksmith tasks while working with his father as a youth. He was skilled with the hammer and saw, was a stellar baseball coach and a certified dentist while in the Bahamas.
He retired to Baltimore when he was 80, but several years later returned to the South for two terms as parochial vicar. He is survived by his sister, Therese C. Rogers
Burial was in New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore.
One thought on “Obituary: Father Joseph M. Calamari”
He was a great person, he was the father we never had! We lives changed for the best, when he came to the Bahamas Island.. He will forever be missed.. Love you Father Joe forever..
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