Rev. Thomas W. van Thienen, O.S.A. (1915 - 2001)
Rev. Thomas W. van Thienen, O.S.A. entered eternal life January 16, 2001.
Thomas W. van Thienen was born October 7, 1915 in Amsterdam, Holland to Johannes van Thienen and Johanna Maria ter Weijde. He had five sisters and three brothers. He was Baptized October 9, 1915 at St. Bonifatius Catholic Church, Amsterdam.
Thomas graduated in 1928 from St. Nicholas Elementary School, Amsterdam. He graduated in 1934 from St. Thomas College in Venlo, Holland.
On September 9, 1934 he was received into the Augustinian Novitiate. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine September 10, 1935 and solemn (permanent) vows September 11, 1938.
He studied and completed all branches of Thomistic Philosophy, Theology, Patristics, Church History and Canon Law at Rijks University, Utrecht, Holland, in 1947. He did graduate work in Physics at Rijks University, earning a Doctoral degree in 1952.
He was ordained a priest May 14, 1940 by Bishop Johannes de Jong in Utrecht.
Father van Thienen's first assignment in 1943 was as an instructor in Deurne, Holland. In 1951 he was assigned to the Augustinian community in Carlisle, England.
In 1953 Father van Thienen was assigned on loan to the Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel, Chicago, Illinois, where he faithfully served until his death.
He began his ministry in the United states as a Teacher at St. Rita High School, Chicago. In 1961 he was transferred to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, where he taught Mathematics, Physics and Electronics. Additionnally at this time he began his ministry as Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus Council 3582.
Father van Thienen returned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, in 1964. He served there as Teacher, Assistant Disciplinarian for Juniors and Seniors and later as Bookstore Manager.
As a senior member of the Province, Father van Thienen retired at St. Monica Monastery, Chicago, while continuing his priestly ministry at St. Gerald Parish, Oak Lawn, Illinois, and as Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus.
Father van Thienen died of cardiac arrest January 16, 2001 at Lexington Health Care Center, Chicago Ridge, Illinois.
He was a humble, pious and religious priest who served the needs of the Church, the Augustinian Order and the Province. He serves as a witness for those who wish to obediently answer God's call to community life and priesthood. He also is remembered for his dedication and service to the Knights of Columbus.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.