Rev. Raymond P. Wheeler, O.S.A. (1913-1995)
Rev. Raymond P. Wheeler, O.S.A. entered eternal life December 20, 1995.
Raymond Philip Wheeler was born April 4, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois to Andrew and Alice Mary (Mersick) Wheeler. He had three sisters. He was Baptized April 20, 1913 at Visitation Catholic Church, Chicago.
He attended St. John the Baptist and St. Rita Elementary Schools, both in Chicago. He began his high school studies at Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Chicago, then transferred to Lindblom High School, Chicago. He entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, in 1932 as a post-graduate student.
On September 9, 1933 he was received into the Augustinian Novitiate. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine September 10, 1934, and solemn (permanent) vows September 10, 1937.
He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1938. He studied Theology from 1938 to 1940 at the Gregorian University, Rome, while residing in the Augustinian community of St. Monica. The outbreak of World War II necessitated his return to the United States, where he completed his Theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He earned his S.T.B. in 1940. He was ordained a Priest in Washington in 1941.
Father Wheeler did graduate studies in Chemistry at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He studied Science at the University of California and Education at the University of Illinois.
Father Wheeler's first assignment was in 1942 to St. Rita High School, where he taught in the Summer School program. He was then transferred in August, 1942 to St. Monica Seminary, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he served as a Teacher. One year later, he was moved to St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois.
In 1945 he returned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, where he ministered for 22 years, teaching Chemistry and serving as Dean of the Science Department.
He became Assistant Pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Chicago, in 1967. In 1968 he was transferred to St. Rita Parish, Chicago, as Assistant Pastor and Prior (Superior) of the Augustinian community there. In 1977 he was named Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Independence, Missouri. He also served as Prior there.
Father Wheeler moved to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois, in 1979. He was Business Manager of the Monastery. He continued to faithfully work with the Knights of Columbus and the Alhambra. He also provided sacramental ministry at nearby homes for the aged and at local parishes.
Father Wheeler is remembered as a deeply religious and dedicated Priest. He serves as an example to those working in the educational apostolate. His convictions and values were never left in doubt. He was always willing to share his views and ideas on a wide variety of topics.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.