Rev. Alvin P. Metzger, O.S.A. (1928 - 2007)
Rev. Alvin P. Metzger, O.S.A. entered eternal life on November 9, 2007. He suffered a stroke earlier that day.
Alvin Peter Metzger, Jr. was born on April 14, 1928 in Rockford, Illinois to Alvin P., Sr. and Josephine H. Metzger. He was baptized on April 22, 1928 at St. Anthony Hospital, Rockford. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 24, 1938 at St. Joseph Church, Freeport, Illinois.
In 1942, after graduated from St. Joseph Elementary School, Freeport, Alvin did one year of secondary school studies at St. Thomas High School, Rockford. He entered the minor seminary program in 1943 at St. Monica Seminary, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He studied there for two years, then transferred to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, for his senior year. He earned his high school diploma from Augustinian Academy in 1946.
On September 9, 1946, Alvin was received into the Augustinian Novitiate. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1947 and solemn vows on September 10, 1950. Following profession of vows, he studied at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy in 1951. Alvin followed the program of theological studies from 1951 to 1955 at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. During those years, he also studied at Catholic University, Washington, earning an M.S. in Physics in 1956. He was ordained a priest in Chicago on May 29, 1954.
Father Metzger’s first assignments were as a teacher: first at St. Thomas High School, Rockford (1955-1959); then at Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago (1959-1963); and at Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, Michigan (1963-1968). He was assigned to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois, in 1968. That year, he taught part-time there at Tolentine College and part-time at Mendel Catholic High School. In 1969, he served as Assistant Pastor at St. Anthony Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In the Fall of 1969, Father Metzger began to write and edit reference articles for Encyclopedia Britannica in the areas of chemistry and physics. He continued his work at Encyclopedia Britannica until 1973.
Father Metzger became Assistant Pastor of St. Rita Parish, Chicago, in 1973. He took courses in Clinical Pastoral Education in 1976 at Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital, Detroit. He served as a Chaplain at Bon Secours Hospital, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, from 1977 to 1979. He was then Chaplain from 1979 to 1981 at Trinity Memorial Hospital, Cudahy, Wisconsin. While serving at Trinity, he resided at St. Rita Parish, Racine, Wisconsin, and was Associate Pastor there in 1981 and 1982.
During the next year, from 1982 to 1983, Father Metzger spent a year of prayer at Franciscan Retreat, Cedar Lake, Indiana. Following his year of prayer, he was assigned briefly in 1983 to St. Monica Monastery, Oconomowoc, before being named Associate Pastor of St. Rita Parish, Chicago. In 1984, he ministered in the missions of Peru.
Father Metzger was named Associate Pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1985. Later that same year, he moved to Mendel Monastery, Chicago, and became a Chaplain at Palos Community Hospital, Palos Heights, Illinois. Father Metzger was then assigned to St. Mary Parish, Rockford, in 1988. There he cared for his seriously ill mother. Following her death in 1989, he ministered in the parish.
In 1992, Father Metzger returned to Holy Rosary Parish as Associate Pastor. Then, in 1993, he was named Prior of the Novitiate Community of Bl. Stephen Bellisini at St. Rita Parish, Racine. He served in this role until 1999. While residing in the community at Racine, he continued to be part of the formation team for the Novices until the time of his death.
Also during his time in Racine, Father Metzger served as moderator of the St. Rita Augustinian Seculars, a fraternity of lay people who seek to grow in their spiritual life, especially in its Augustinian dimension. He was named Director of Augustinian Seculars in the Midwest U.S. in 2006, with a goal of facilitating the establishment of additional Augustinian lay fraternities in new locations.
Father Metzger is remembered as a deeply spiritual and prayerful man. His example and his teaching had a profound effect on the Augustinian Novices during his 14 years at the Novitiate. He was an understanding and merciful confessor and counselor to many. Father Metzger was constantly seeking to learn, especially in theological and biblical studies. He had an encyclopedic knowledge in many fields. He radiated a calmness and peace to those who were in his presence.
A funeral Mass was celebrated on November 13, 2007 at St. Rita Church, Racine. Father Metzger is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.