The 2016 Augustinian Gala Diamond Jubilee Remembrance: Fr. Ted Tack, O.S.A.

To conclude our Province's 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee, we can think of no one better to honor than Fr. Ted Tack, O.S.A.  Though Fr. Tack died in 2013, his impact and legacy still live on in the hearts and minds of thousands across the world wherever the Augustinians have served.

Theodore Edward Tack, Jr., was born on July 15, 1927, in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Theodore E. and Kathleen V. Tack.  He received the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation at Sacred Heart Church, now known as Christ the King Church, in Tulsa.  Father Tack graduated from Cascia Hall Preparatory School in Tulsa in 1944.  He then entered Augustinian formation studies at Augustinian Academy in Staten Island, New York.  He entered the Augustinian Novitiate in October 1946, professed his first vows in 1947, and professed his solemn vows in 1950.  He was ordained to the priesthood on September 16, 1953.

Father Tack held a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania.  He continued his theological studies at Gregorian University in Rome.  He earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) in 1956.  Upon his return from Rome in 1956, Father Tack was assigned as Assistant Pastor of Saint Rita Parish in Chicago, Illinois.  In the fall of 1956, he was transferred to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, as a teacher.  He was named Sub-master of Professed in 1958 when the new major seminary opened at Tolentine Hall in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

In 1960, Father Tack returned to Rome, where he taught and served as a librarian at St. Monica College.  He was named Master of Professed there in 1963, a post he held until 1968.  In that year, he became Sub-secretary of the Order and Secretary for Missions.

In 1971, Father Tack was elected Prior General (worldwide leader) of the Augustinian Order.  He was elected to a second term in 1977.  In this role, he was a transforming force in the life of the Augustinian Order.  He led a renewal in the Order by guiding its friars to a clearer understanding and more authentic living of community life in the spirit of St. Augustine.

Fr. Ted Tack, O.S.A., served as the worldwide leader of Augustinians under the pontificate of St. John Paul II

Having completed his two terms as Prior General, Father Tack returned to the United States in 1983, residing at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery in Olympia Fields.  He later transferred to Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Parish in St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as a member of the formation team and a retreat leader.  In 1985, he was assigned to St. John Stone Friary in Chicago, where he oversaw planning for the Province Convocation of 1986 while continuing his retreat ministry.

In 1987, Father Tack returned to his alma mater, Cascia Hall, as a teacher and prior.  He was named Headmaster of Cascia Hall in 1991 and served in that role until 1997.  After leaving this position, he continued teaching at Cascia Hall until declining health caused his retirement in 2011.

Father Tack is the author of numerous articles and three books on the spirituality of St. Augustine:

  • If Augustine Were Alive (Alba House, 1988)
  • A Man for Our Times (AP Press, 2000)
  • As One Struggling Christian to Another:  Augustine's Christian Ideal for Today (Liturgical Press, 2001)

Remembered as a deeply spiritual man, Father Tack loved St. Augustine as his mentor and guide.  His study of St. Augustine helped him be a compassionate, understanding spiritual guide for many.  He was humble, charitable, and approachable.  He drew strength from preaching as well as from teaching both adolescents and adults about Augustine, especially regarding Augustine's well-known book Confessions.  Father Tack was a model Augustinian.

The last words that Ted Tack spoke on Sunday, while Fr. Marty Laird held him in his arms, were ‘Lord, have mercy on me.’ We place all our trust in God, and pray that God will indeed have mercy on the soul of Theodore Tack, and that God will lead him gently home.
— Funeral Homily delivered by the Most Reverend Robert F. Prevost, O.S.A.

Please join us in congratulating Ernie Mrozek at this year's Augustinian Gala!

This year's fourth annual Augustinian Gala will be held at the historic Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago.  The gala is on April 22, 2016.  At the gala, we will also honor:

All proceeds of the gala will support Augustinian vocations, retired and infirm friars, and the Augustinian missions in Peru.  You can click here to learn more about supporting this year's gala or you can click the links below to go directly to the registration page.


Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy has been working with the Augustinians in fundraising and communications since 2010. He began working with the Augustinian Vocations office in 2015. He also holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management.