Rev. L. Dudley Day, O.S.A. (1927 - 2010)
Rev. L. Dudley Day, O.S.A., entered eternal life on October 3, 2010.
Leonard Dudley Day was born in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, to Roy and Alice Day. He was baptized at St. Rita Church, Chicago, in 1927. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Rita Church in 1937.
After graduating from St. Rita School, Chicago, in 1941, Dudley entered Augustinian Academy, the Augustinian Preparatory Seminary in Staten Island, New York. When the Midwest Province opened its own minor seminary program in 1942 at St. Monica, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Dudley continued his studies there for two years. He returned to Augustinian Academy for his Senior year and received his high school diploma there in 1945.
Dudley was received into the Augustinian Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, on September 9, 1945. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1946, and solemn vows on September 10, 1949. He was ordained a priest on June 6, 1953.
After professing vows in 1946, he began university studies at Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, which granted him a B.A. in Philosophy in 1950. He engaged in theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D. C., from 1950 to 1954. He also studied business at Catholic University, Washington; Strayers Business College; and Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, where he earned an M.A. in business in 1958.
Father Day was assigned to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, in 1954. He served as a teacher and later directed the Province seminary appeal, which sought funds for the construction of Tolentine Hall, the major seminary in Olympia Fields, Illinois.
From 1961 to 1976, he was the Province vocation director. In this role, he worked energetically and successfully to recruit young men for the various Augustinian programs of formation. Among the activities he organized were the Seminary Weeks, which were held first at Tolentine and later at St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan. Large groups of boys would spend a week at the seminary, living with professed seminarians and getting an exposure to seminary life in an Augustinian community setting.
Father Day became assistant pastor of his home parish, St. Rita, Chicago, in 1976. He was named pastor of St. Rita Parish in 1981.
He was assigned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, in 1987 and began to work with the Institute for Religious Life. In 1993, Father Day moved to St. Monica Monastery, Chicago, while continuing his work with the Institute.
After retiring in January 1999, he continued to be part of the St. Monica community. He provided pastoral ministries as needed in various locations, including St. John Cantius Parish, Chicago, and for several groups of nuns, including the Missionaries of Charity, the Poor Clares and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
In December 2009, Father Day was hospitalized for treatment of pneumonia. His health improved, but he never fully regained his strength.
Father Day is remembered as a very kind man. He worked tirelessly to promote causes and viewpoints in which he believed, but was tolerant of those who were not in agreement. As pastor, he showed great concern for the welfare of his parishioners, especially through his visits to those who were ill.
He is buried in the Augustinian Plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.