In his 2016 State of the Province Address, the Very Rev. Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D., announced the appointment of a new pastor at St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Racine, Wisconsin. In addition to pastoral ministry at the parish, the Augustinians have our North American Novitiate at this site. Father Richard O'Leary, O.S.A., was named the Pastor of Saint Rita to replace Father Rich Young, O.S.A., who has been serving as Administrator.
Father O'Leary comes to us from the Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, headquartered in Villanova, Pennsylvania. With this being his first assignment in the Midwest, please take a moment to learn a little more about Father by reading below.
Father O'Leary's relationship with the Augustinians goes back 73 years!
Richard Thomas O'Leary was baptized at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church (Bronx, New York) where the Augustinians have served since 1914. He attended the parish school from 1948 to 1956 and then enrolled in Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York from 1956 to 1960.
He was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1960, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1961.
He then attended Villanova University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He began his theological studies at the Order’s international school, Collegio Santa Monica, Rome, Italy and completed them at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He professed his solemn vows in 1964 and was ordained to the priesthood nine years later at Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.
From 1968 to 1975, he taught at Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania; from 1975 to 1977, he taught at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC. In 1977, Fr. Rich was assigned to Saint Augustine Parish in Andover, Massachusetts, where he served until 1987.
In 1988 he took a leave for prayer and vocational discernment, at the end of which in 1996 he returned to parochial ministry at Saint Mary Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts. He was then was assigned to Campus Ministry at Villanova University from 1997 to 2002. In 2002, he became pastor of Saint Thomas of Villanova Parish, Rosemont-Villanova, Pennsylvania. After the Provincial Chapter of 2014, Fr. Rich was assigned to St. Augustine Parish, Andover, Massachusetts as parochial vicar.