In Special Recognition of Fr. John Gaffney OSA

This year, we are hosting a special Reception Honoring the Augustinians of Tulsa.  Dozens of Augustinians friars have made tremendous impacts on the lives of thousands in Tulsa, particularly at Cascia Hall Preparatory School, where the Order has served since 1926.  One friar in particular we will be honoring is Father John Gaffney, O.S.A., who has been a professed Augustinian for an astounding 77 years!

So who is Father Gaffney?

John Gaffney was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in the year 1919.  After graduating from St. Leo High School in Ashley, Pennsylvania, in the year 1937, he worked for a short time as a grocery clerk and eventually found his way to entering the Augustinian formation program.

John became an Augustinian Novice in 1938 and professed his first religious vows in the Augustinian Order one year later; he solemnly professed his perpetual vows on September 10, 1942.  He proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from present-day Villanova University in 1942; further theological studies at Augustinian College in Washington, D.C.; and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Catholic University of America in 1946.  Amidst these studies, he was also ordained a priest in the year 1945.

What Ministries Has Father Gaffney Been Assigned?

Father Gaffney was assigned in 1946 to St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, as a teacher for eight years.  He also served as the Director of Novices for two years from 1962 to 1964.  He has devoted, however, his most years of active ministry to Tulsa's Cascia Hall ...

Father Gaffney served at Cascia Hall from both 1954 to 1962 and from 1964 to his retirement in 1989.  That means an incredible total of 33 years of service to the Cascia Hall Community!  Many of those in the Cascia Hall Community - our students, parents, teachers, and faculty - can tell profound stories of how Father Gaffney has impacted their lives.  Perhaps we can also peer into the holy man that he is by reading one of his favorite quotes:


Celebrate this Mass as if it were your only Mass, your first Mass, and your last Mass.
— Quote posted in a Carmelite convent Father Gaffney had once served

Father Gaffney has lived out this mantra for years.  For Father Gaffney, "The Mass is the entire thing," and he has shared this spirituality with scores of students that have attended Cascia Hall over the years.

Where Is Father Gaffney Now?

Father Gaffney retired from teaching in 2012 but has not left the Tulsa Community.  He now lives at the Montereau Retirement Community.

I spent most of my career at Cascia Hall, about 33 years in teaching, and after that, all together I’ve been over 50 years at Cascia Hall. About 33 of those years were in teaching, and then the ones that were not in teaching were in some contact from time to time with some of the students that were going to Cascia Hall after I had retired.
— Father John Gaffney, O.S.A.

Some of the other students that Father Gaffney has taught went on to become upstanding leaders in society.  More importantly, he has brought hundreds (if not thousands) of them closer to knowing God.

How Can I Help in Recognizing Father Gaffney?

We are hosting a special Reception Honoring the Augustinians of Tulsa on Saturday, October 8 at Cascia Hall.  The reception will also honor Father Bill Perez, O.S.A., on the occasion of his 60th anniversary of vows in the Augustinian Order.  The reception begins at 5:30 pm in the Scianna Performing Arts Center and follows Mass with Bishop David Konderla of Tulsa in St. Rita Chapel.

Tickets are available now; all proceeds for the reception benefit Augustinian vocations and men in formation.  There are also several sponsorship opportunities still available!

The reception has been generously sponsored by the William K. Warren Foundation.  It is co-sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Meredith Siegfried Madden & Peter Madden; and Mr. & Mrs. John Gaberino, Jr.

What If I Can't Make It to Tulsa on October 8?

Don't fret!  If you can't make it, you can still recognize Father Gaffney!  All donations made in honor of Father John Gaffney, O.S.A. (or any other Augustinian) are publicly recognized in The Midwest Augustinian newsletter.  If you wish to make a tribute gift - in any amount - to publicly recognize an Augustinian, click here.  You'll also receive a complimentary subscription to receive the newsletter!

We Hope to See You There!

Remember, the reception is on Saturday, October 8!  We are asking for all RSVPs by Tuesday, October 4.  Click the link below to register today!


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.