Rev. Albert A. Durant, O.S.A. (1911-1978)
Rev. Albert A. Durant, O.S.A. entered eternal life on June 8, 1978.
Albert Augustine Durant was born on October 23, 1911 in Lawrence, Massachusetts to Albert H. and Mary (Kirby) Durant. He was baptized on November 5, 1911 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Lawrence. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation in June of 1924 at the same church.
After graduating from Lawrence High School, Albert attended Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a post-graduate student. He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate in September of 1928 and professed vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1929. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and an M.A. in English Letters from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Albert did further graduate study at the University of Chicago and at DePaul University, both in Chicago, Illinois. He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1936.
Father Durant was first assigned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, where he taught for six years. He also taught at Cascia Hall School, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and served at Mother of Good Counsel Church, Los Angeles, California. For a short time, he was involved in the preaching ministry of the Villanova Province Mission Band. In 1957, Father Durant was assigned to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago. Here he served first as a teacher and then as a counselor until the time of his death.
While teaching in Chicago, Father Durant was chaplain for several years of the Catholic Poetry Society of America, Chicago Chapter. He was considered an expert in the field of drama, especially in his analysis of theater as a source of spiritual enlightenment, rather than merely a medium of entertainment. He personally knew and advised many performing artists. Especially in the early years of his ministry, he was widely sought after as a retreat director and lecturer before University and literary groups on topics of religion, literature and drama.
During his career as an educator, Father Durant enjoyed an extraordinary reputation as a teacher of public speaking and of English literature, particularly the works of William Shakespeare.
In his later years, Father Durant suffered from declining eyesight and other health problems. He died on June 8, 1978 of a heart attack.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.