Rev. Edward L. Hamel, O.S.A. (1928 - 2005)
Rev. Edward L. Hamel, O.S.A. entered eternal life on February 25, 2005 after several months of declining health.
Edward Lester Hamel was born on January 24, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois to Peter and Flora (Hudon) Hamel. He was baptized on February 5, 1928 at St. Joseph and St. Anne Church, Chicago. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 24, 1939 at St. Rita Church, Chicago.
After completing his elementary education at St. Rita School, Chicago, Edward entered the minor seminary at St. Monica Seminary, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he followed the secondary school program. He spent his senior year at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which awarded him a diploma in 1946.
He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 9, 1946. Edward professed simple (temporary) vows on September 10, 1947 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 10, 1950. He was ordained a priest on July 4, 1954.
Following profession of vows, Edward studied at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy in 1951. He studied Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, receiving the S.T.L. Degree in 1955. He began additional studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, in 1960, earning an S.S.L. Degree in 1963.
Father Hamel was a teacher and Assistant Chaplain at St. Rita High School, Chicago, from 1955 to 1957. He was Assistant Pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, in 1957 and 1958. He was assigned in 1958 to St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois, where he served as Dean of Studies, Dean of Discipline and Assistant Principal.
After earning his degree in Sacred Scripture, Father Hamel was assigned as a professor in the seminary at Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois. He remained there until 1968, when he was transferred to St. Anthony Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as Assistant Pastor.
In 1969, he was assigned to Villanova University, where he taught in the Theology Department. During his time at Villanova, he also had several roles in the Province's Pre-novitiate formation program there, including: member of the Board of Formation Studies, Regent of Studies, member of the Formation Team and Spiritual Director.
Father Hamel was assigned to St. Peter Parish, Douglas, Michigan, in 1993. He became Pastor of St. Peter in 1995, a position he held until 1998. After a brief time assisting at Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Parish, St. Louis, Missouri, he was transferred in 1999 to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois. There, while semi-retired, Father Hamel served as Chaplain of Mercy Residence.
In 2001, he retired and was assigned to the newly formed Our Lady of Grace Community at Marian Village, Homer Glen, Illinois. He was transferred to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, in June of 2004. Because of declining health, Father Hamel was admitted to Applewood Nursing Center, Matteson, Illinois, in September of 2004. He later moved to Glenshire Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Richton Park, Illinois, where he died on February 25, 2005.
Father Hamel is remembered for his good teaching, excellent preaching, and for his sense of humor. He was very active in the Christian Family Movement and served for a time as national Chaplain of C.F.M.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.