Rev. Joseph A. Graham, O.S.A. (1916-1980)
Rev. Joseph A. Graham, O.S.A. entered eternal life on May 23, 1980.
Joseph Aloysius Graham was born on September 12, 1916 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to Joseph A. and Mary (McKeon) Graham. He was baptized on September 24, 1916 at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, Bryn Mawr. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on September 14, 1925 at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, Rosemont, Pennsylvania.
Joseph received his elementary education at St. Thomas of Villanova School, Rosemont. He began his secondary education at West Catholic High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After one year there, he transferred to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which granted him a high school diploma in 1935.
He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 9, 1935. Joseph professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1936 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 10, 1939. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1940. He pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., from 1940 to 1944. He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1943.
Father Graham did graduate studies in Sacred Scripture at Catholic University of America, Washington, and at the Biblicum and the Angelicum, both in Rome, Italy. He did further studies in Greek, Latin, German and Mechanical Drawing at Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois; at Columbia Technical Institute, Arlington, Virginia; and at St. Xavier College, Chicago.
In 1944, he was assigned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, as a teacher. Father Graham taught at Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, from 1951 to 1956. He also served as Vice-Principal at Mendel. He was Assistant Pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, during 1956 and 1957.
Father Graham was engaged in Sciptural studies from 1957 to 1960, first at Catholic University of America, Washington, and then at the Biblicum and the Angelicum, both in Rome.
When he returned to the United States in 1960, he taught at St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois. He also served as Director of Studies and Disciplinarian there. He was then assigned to teach at Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, from 1961 to 1965.
Father Graham was elected Secretary of the Province in 1965. He resided at Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, and taught part-time at the College until 1968. He relocated to the Augustinian Provincialate, Evanston, Illinois, in 1968, continuing to hold the office of Secretary until 1971. He taught at Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, Michigan, from 1971 to 1973.
From 1973 to 1977, Father Graham was Assistant Pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also served as Prior of the Augustinian community there. In 1977, he volunteered to serve in the Augustinian Missions in Peru. Father Graham ministered in Lima and in Chulucanas. He died suddenly on May 23, 1980 in Lima.
Father Graham is remembered for his loyalty, good humor and dedication to the Augustinian Order. His humorous antics showed people that one must never take things too seriously. That life is to be enjoyed as one of God's creatures was surely at the heart of his life.
He is buried in Chulucanas, Peru.