Priest Dedicated to Duquesne, Less Fortunate

By Parrish, Tory N | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 23, 2011 | Go to article overview

Priest Dedicated to Duquesne, Less Fortunate


Parrish, Tory N, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The Rev. David L. Smith lived his life aiding others, friends and colleagues said.

"He was very dedicated and interested in justice for the poor, and helping as far as he could," the Rev. Sean Hogan, executive vice president of student life at Duquesne University, said Friday.

The priest, whose ties to Duquesne stretch back nearly 40 years, died Thursday, July 21, 2011, of complications from a coronary condition in UPMC Mercy, Uptown. He was 79.

The youngest of six children, Rev. Smith was born Oct. 24, 1931, in Berwinsdale, Clearfield County.

A professor emeritus of psychology at Duquesne, he began working at the university in 1972 as a part-time psychology professor. He was an associate professor of psychology from 1973 to 1976, chairman of the psychology department from 1976 to 1985 and executive director of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center from 1994 to 2004. The center holds a collection of books on phenomenological psychology and philosophy.

Father Smith served as superior of Trinity Hall, chairman of Duquesne Corp., which owns Duquesne; treasurer of the Spiritan Province-USA East; and as pastor of St. Ann parish in Millvale. The Spiritans are the founding congregation of Duquesne.

He helped to create Duquesne's Office of Mission and Identity, which was founded in 1997 to promote the university's Catholic and Spiritan mission and values. He authored several scholarly articles and books related to spirituality and phenomenology.

Father Smith retired in 2004 but continued to live in Trinity Hall with other Duquesne priests until he became ill, Hogan said. …

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