Rev. Mario J. ‘Paul’ Porreca, O.S.A. (1913 - 1989)
Rev. Mario J. “Paul” Porreca, O.S.A. entered eternal life on December 19, 1989.
Mario Joseph Porreca was born on July 2, 1913 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Domenic and Vincenza (Luonghi) Porreca. He had two sisters and one brother. He was baptized on April 16, 1916 at St. Rita Catholic Church, Philadelphia.
After receiving his elementary education at St. Rita Catholic School, Philadelphia, Mario did his high school studies at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, earning his diploma in 1932. He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 9, 1932. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 11, 1933 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 11, 1936.
In 1937, Mario earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania. He then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., from 1937 to 1941. He was ordained a priest on June 10, 1940. While studying theology, he also did graduate studies at Catholic University of America, Washington, earning an M.A. in Psychology in 1941.
Father Porreca's first assignment was in 1941 to the newly formed Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Augustinians of the Midwest). He was assigned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, as a teacher. In 1943, he became a teacher at St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois. He was then transferred in 1948 to teach at Cascia Hall School, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 1963, Father Porreca returned to teach at St. Rita High School, Chicago. After this, he was transferred to teach at Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1968. He again taught at Cascia Hall, Tulsa, from 1969 to 1971, after which he resumed teaching at St. Rita High School, Chicago.
When he reached the age of 70, Father Porreca became a Senior Friar, allowing him to have a less demanding ministerial schedule. During these years, his ministry included counseling students and serving as a Chaplain at St. Rita High School, Chicago.
During the night of December 19, 1989, Father Porreca suffered a coronary occlusion and died in his sleep.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.