Rev. John J. Flaherty, O.S.A.
1928 - 2014

October 10 is the anniversary of the death of John J. Flaherty, O.S.A.

John Joseph Flaherty was born July 21, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois to Thomas and Ann (O’Connor) Flaherty.  He was Baptized August 5, 1928 at St. Kilian Church, Chicago.  He received the Sacrament of Confirmation October 1, 1939 at the same church.

John is a graduate of St. Bernard Elementary School, Chicago (1942) and St. Rita High School, Chicago (1946).  He studied at De Paul University, Chicago, for a year before entering the Augustinian program of Formation in 1947.

After a period of postulancy, John entered the Novitiate September 9, 1948.  He professed Temporary Vows September 10, 1949 and Solemn Vows September 10, 1952.  He was ordained a Priest October 28, 1955.

Following profession of vows, John completed his university education at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, earning a B. A. in Philosophy in 1952.  He did his theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., from 1952 to 1956.  He was granted an M. S. in Biology from Villanova University in 1961, an M. Div. from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1975, and a D. Min., with concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling, from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1991.

Father Flaherty taught Biology at St. Rita High School, Chicago, from 1956 to 1971.  In 1971 he was assigned to Mendel Monastery, Chicago, and began his ministry as a hospital chaplain.  He continued his work in various hospitals (Little Company of Mary, Evergreen Park; St. Francis, Blue Island; Palos Community, Palos Heights; Ingalls Memorial, Harvey) while being assigned to St. Rita Monastery (1988) and St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery (1993).

In 1995, Father Flaherty was named Chaplain of Mercy Residence at Tolentine, a post he held until 2000.  After his retirement as Chaplain, he continued to provide sacramental ministry at Mercy Residence and elsewhere whenever there was a need.

Because of his growing need for health care, Father Flaherty was assigned to the newly establishedBl. Stephen Bellesini Friary, Lemont, Illinois, in 2010. This community, located at Franciscan Village, was formed to provide health care to elder friars while preserving elements of Augustinian community life.  When Bl. Stephen Bellesini Friary relocated to the St. Anthony Home campus, Crown Point, Indiana, in 2013, Father Flaherty moved to this location.

He died there October 10, 2014 following several years of gradually declining health.

Father Flaherty is remembered as a kind and compassionate “people person.”  He loved talking and ministering to people.  Even when he required care in the skilled nursing facilities at Franciscan Village and St. Anthony Home, he delighted in visiting with other patients, especially those who seldom had visits from family or friends.  He often referred to himself as the “pastor of my floor.”

He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.