Maximo J. Ortiz, O.S.A.

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1939 – 2016 (October 12)

Maximo Jose Ortiz, O.S.A., was born on October 8, 1939, in Havana, Cuba, the son of Maximo Ortiz and Sylvia Ramirez-Cartaya Ortiz de la Fuente, and was baptized on January 1, 1940 at the Cathedral of Havana. He attended Colegio de la Salle, Havana, Cuba, from 1944 to 1952, and Cardinal Farley Military Academy, Rhinecliff on Hudson, New York, from 1952 to 1956. He studied at the Universidad Catolica de Santo Tomas de Villanueva, Havana, beginning in 1956, and then at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, from 1961 until 1963. He received a BS in Economics from Villanova University, after which he worked for several years in his family’s business in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was received into the Order as a novice on September 2, 1967, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, professed simple vows on September 3, 1968. He then was assigned to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, and studied at the Catholic University of America, receiving an STL in 1971. He also completed a MA in Theology at Villanova University in 1970. He professed solemn vows on September 3, 1971. He was assigned as deacon to Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts, and was ordained to the priesthood there on September 14, 1974, by Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts.

Father Maximo continued as an associate pastor at Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, until 1975. From 1975 to 1978 he pursued graduate studies at the Catholic University of America as a member of Saint John of Sahagun Friary, at Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, DC. He returned to Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, in 1978 as associate pastor. In 1982 he was transferred again to Washington, once more as a member of Saint John of Sahagun Friary, and ministered as chaplain  at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital. While he served the entire hospital population, his particular contribution was to the Spanish-speaking. In 1990 he was transferred to the community of Austin Friars Hall, and when the Province withdrew from the Washington area, he continued on in his ministry, while a member, de familia, of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery community, Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Father Maximo worked enthusiastically to offer pastoral care to the residents of Saint Elizabeth’s large population for over 25 years. In August, 2010, he was assigned to Casa San Lorenzo, Miami Gardens, Florida, where he was appointed prior. In February, 2012, he resigned as prior of Casa San Lorenzo and was assigned de familia at St. Elizabeth Seton, Parish, Golden Gate, Florida, while continuing to minister in the Miami area to the Spanish and Haitian communities.

When Father Maximo began to have health concerns in August, 2016, he was brought to the health care unit of Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, where he was soon diagnosed with brain cancer. He was cared for at the monastery until his death on Wednesday morning, October 16, 2016.

Father Maximo is survived by three sisters: Sylvia Ortiz Rodriguez, Cristina Ortiz Ramirez and Teresa Ortiz Krog-Hansen, eleven nieces and nephews and their children.