Rev. Francis X. J. Smith
Departed July 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Florida
Father Francis X. J. “Frank” Smith was born the youngest of eight children to Eugene Vincent and Mary Brennan Smith on March 22, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He passed on July 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Florida.
He attended Catholic schools in Philadelphia and after graduating high school worked before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1952 to serve in Korea. After his honorable service he attended La Salle College on the G.I. Bill earning a degree in industrial management. Later he entered St. Jerome Seminary College, Ontario, in 1959 to study for service as a Priest in the Diocese of St. Augustine. He received an appointment to continue his seminary studies at the American College of the University of Louvain, Belgium in 1960 and was ordained in Louvain on June 27, 1964.
Father Smith served at several parishes and schools in the Diocese of St. Augustine and the Diocese of Orlando: St. Martha in Sarasota, teaching at Bishop Barry Catholic High School, St. Petersburg. He was appointed Pastor of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Ocala (1966-1976). After a study sabbatical at the University of Louvain he returned and worked for two years on the establishment of a Diocesan permanent diaconate program, and as Pastor of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Orlando. He was appointed Pastor of Epiphany Catholic Church, Port Orange (1981-1989), and Pastor of Ascension Catholic Church, Melbourne (1989-2001). While at Epiphany, he renovated the church and built Epiphany Manor, an affordable housing complex. While at Ascension he built a new school and Ascension Manor, another affordable housing complex. Other assignments and ministries included chairman of the liturgical commission, diocesan director of evangelization, forming the Commissioned Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program, member of the Presbyterial Council, counseling the incarcerated, and working with farm workers. Father Smith retired in 2001, yet continued to serve for several years at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Winter Park. He is known for his joyous sense of humor and warm heartedness .
He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Alice Smith, Thomas Smith, Eugene Smith, Joseph Smith, John Smith, Vincent Smith, and Marie Smith Mintern. He is survived by his many nieces and nephews. He is beloved by his family, fellow Priests and God’s holy people.
Family and friends may call on Monday, August 1, 2022 from 10 am until time of his Funeral Mass at 11 am at Ascension Catholic Church, 2950 N. Harbor City Boulevard, Melbourne, Florida 32935. A reception will follow in the parish hall with burial following at Queen of Angels Catholic Cemetery, 1901 Queen of Angels Drive, Winter Park, Florida 32792 at 3:00 pm.