Martin Lawrence Smith, O.S.A.

1945 – 2024 (January 19)

Martin Lawrence Smith, O.S.A., was born on July 6, 1945, in New York City, New York, the son of James A. and Agnes R. (Kollenz) Smith. He had one brother. He was baptized on July 22, 1945, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bronx, New York. He attended Sacred Heart Parish School from 1950 to 1959 and Samuel Gompers Vocational and Technical High School, Bronx, New York from 1960 to 1967. He then attended Biscayne College, Miami, Florida from 1967 to 1971 and received his BA degree. It was here that he met the Augustinians. He was received into the Order as a novice on August 29, 1972, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on August 28, 1973. He then went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC from 1973 to 1977, and studied at the Washington Theological Union, receiving an MDiv in Theology in 1977. He professed solemn vows on September 11, 1976. He was ordained to the priesthood on October 15, 1977 in his hometown parish, Saint Ann Catholic Church, Freeland, Pennsylvania, by Bishop James C. Timlin, Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton.

Fr. Marty was first assigned to Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, where he served as the Director of Student and Social Activities, Director of Residential Life, Campus Minister, Resident Hall Minister and campus liaison to the college food service program from 1977 to 1980.

In 1980, he was assigned to Biscayne College, (later, Saint Thomas University), Miami, Florida. During his seven-year tenure (1980-1987), he held the positions of Assistant to the President, Director of Maintenance, Director of Student Activities, Dean of Student Life, Campus Minister, Resident Hall Minister and Instructor in the Theology Department. As the Director of Maintenance, Fr. Marty was responsible for the athletic fields and worked closely with the Miami Dolphins football team and their coach Don Shula. He also worked closely with the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. Both sports teams had their training camps on the main campus of the university. Fr. Marty won several awards for his work with students at Biscayne College.

In 1987, Fr. Marty was transferred to Villanova University where he served five years as Assistant Director of Resident Life and the Assistant Director of Athletics (1987-1992). As the Assistant Director of Resident Life, he was responsible for the facilities management of 20 residence halls on the university’s three campuses. As the Assistant Director of Athletics, he was responsible for the scheduling of practice times for all athletic teams at the university as well as the care of the athletic facilities and fields. He also coordinated the security details at all athletic events.

In 1992, Fr. Marty was transferred to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, as the prior and treasurer of the community. He also served on the formation team at the college and as the Chair of the Formation and Vocation Commission of the province. While at Augustinian College, he coordinated major renovations to the building and the grounds. He served in this capacity for six years (1992-1998).

In 1999, after a year of sabbatical studies, Fr. Marty was assigned to Saint Augustine College Preparatory School, Richland, New Jersey. During his five years there (1999-2004), he served as the Director of College Guidance, Registrar and he taught part-time in the Theology Department.

In 2005, he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery on the campus of Villanova University. He served as facilities manager of the monastery from 2005 to 2008, in which he oversaw the completion of the renovations of the monastery. He served as treasurer of the community from 2006 to 2010. He designed and built the Heritage Room for the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova in 2006 and served as its Curator.

At the Provincial Chapter of 2010, he was elected Treasurer of the Province and served in that position until June of 2014. He retired in 2014 and continued living at St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery.  In his retirement, Fr. Marty continued with his hobby of refurbishing old computers which he donated to families and students in need of them, especially during the time of the pandemic. Faced with his illness, he went into hospice care with faith, and he peacefully passed away January 19, 2024 at St. Thomas Monastery.

Funeral arrangements for
Fr. Martin Lawrence Smith, O.S.A. are as follows:

Viewing and Funeral Mass:

Monday, January 29, 2024
St. Thomas of Villanova Church
Villanova University Campus
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA

9:00 -10:30 AM (Viewing)
10:30 AM (Mass)

Following the Funeral Mass

Monday, January 29, 2024
Calvary Cemetery
West Conshohocken, PA