Rev. John J. FitzGerald, O.S.A. (1915 - 2012)
Rev. John J. FitzGerald entered eternal life on December 25, 2012, following a brief illness. He was 97.
John Joseph FitzGerald was born on December 9, 1915 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania to Thomas and Clara FitzGerald. He was baptized on December 19, 1915 at St. Monica Catholic Church, Berwyn. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on June 8, 1923 in the same church.
John received his elementary education at St. Monica School, Berwyn. He began his secondary education at St. Katherine High School and transferred to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which granted him a diploma in 1933.
He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 9, 1933. He professed temporary vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1934 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 10, 1938. John earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1938. He then pursued theological studies from 1938 to 1942 at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest on June 10, 1941. Loyola University, Chicago, granted him an M.A. in History in 1954.
Upon completing his study of Theology, Father FitzGerald was affiliated to the new Midwestern Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel. His first assignment was in 1942 to St. Rita High School as a teacher. He remained in that position for 28 years.
In 1970, he was transferred to Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, as a teacher. He was named Prior of the Augustinian community there in 1971.
Father FitzGerald was assigned in 1973 to the Augustinian Midwest Priory, Villanova, where he served as Prior and member of the Formation Team.
He moved in 1989 to the St. Joseph Friary at Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. In 1991, he relocated to St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova.
He suffered a heart attack on December 21, 2012. He was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital, where he died on December 25, 2012.
Father FitzGerald was known for his love of horses, his fondness of flying and his very good sense of humor.
For several years, he taught an Aeronautics course at St. Rita High School, in which he and his students would build and fly an airplane. After he gave up piloting airplanes, his flying was done by remote control with miniature aircraft. He was also interested in model trains.
Funeral services were held in Villanova and in Chicago. Father FitzGerald is buried in the Augustinian Plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.