Rev. Francis J. Cavanaugh, O.S.A. (1910-1988)

Rev. Francis J. Cavanaugh, O.S.A., entered eternal life on October 27, 1988.

Francis Joseph Cavanaugh was born on December 4, 1910, in Hoosick Falls, New York, to Patrick Francis and Mary (Ladden) Cavanaugh. He was baptized on December 11, 1910, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hoosick Falls. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on June 7, 1927, at the same church.

Francis received his elementary education at Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Hoosick Falls. He began his secondary education at Hoosick Falls High School, Hoosick Falls, transferring to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, where he earned his diploma.

He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 9, 1928. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1929, and solemn (permanent) vows on September 10, 1932. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1933.

He started his theological studies in 1933 at Gregorian University, Rome. Because of an illness, he returned to the United States in 1934 and in 1937 he completed his study of Theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1936. He earned an M.A. from Villanova College, Villanova, in 1955.

While still a theological student, he was appointed in 1936 as Acting Sub-Master of Professed at St. Mary's Hall, Villanova. In 1937, he was assigned to Cascia Hall School, Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a teacher. When the new Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Augustinians of the Midwest) was founded in 1941, Father Cavanaugh became affiliated to that Province.

In 1944, he was assigned to St. Matthew Parish, Flint, Michigan, as Assistant Pastor. Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to St. Augustine Parish, Detroit, Michigan, also as Assistant Pastor.

Father Cavanaugh was named Vice-Rector in 1953 of St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. In 1956, he became Principal of Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, and was elected to the Province Council.

He was assigned in 1959 to Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, as a teacher. He also served as Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian community there.

In 1962, Father Cavanaugh was elected Prior Provincial (regional leader). He resided at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois. When the Provincial headquarters moved to Evanston, Illinois, in 1966, Father Cavanaugh relocated there. During his administration, the seminary system was enlarged and the Province accepted responsibility for a large mission territory centered in Chulucanas, Peru.

At the conclusion of two terms of office as Prior Provincial in 1968, he became Comptroller of the Province. He became a Senior Friar in 1972, residing at St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan, until 1977, when he moved to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields. He resided there until his death on October 27, 1988.

Father Cavanaugh is remembered for proposing many new and creative ideas for the Province. His interest and support of the Augustinian Missions in Peru never ceased. At the same time, he was equally concerned for the financial solvency of the Province.

He is buried in Hoosick Falls, his home town, at Immaculate Conception Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel, 5401 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615-5664, or via our Online Giving Page.