Rev. Vincent de Paul Burnell, O.S.A. (1911-1988)
Rev. Vincent de Paul Burnell, O.S.A., entered eternal life on August 27, 1988.
Vincent de Paul Burnell was born on September 7, 1911, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James and Anna (McAteer) Burnell. He had one sister. He was baptized on September 24, 1911, at St. Raphael Catholic Church, Philadelphia. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 26, 1927, at St. Edmond Catholic Church, Philadelphia.
After graduating from St. Edmond Catholic Elementary School, Philadelphia, he began his secondary education at Roman Catholic High School, Philadelphia. After one year there, he transferred to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, where he earned his diploma in 1930.
He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 11, 1930. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 12, 1931, and solemn (permanent) vows on September 12, 1934. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1935. He pursued theological studies from 1935 to 1939 at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He also did graduate studies in Education and Mathematics at Catholic University of America, Washington. He was ordained a priest on June 7, 1938.
Father Burnell's first assignment was in 1939 to St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, as a teacher. When the new Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel was established in 1941, he was affiliated to that Province.
In 1948, he was assigned to St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois, as a teacher. He was transferred in 1952 to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, where he also taught. He served as Procurator (Business Manager) there from 1953 to 1956.
In 1957, Father Burnell was assigned to St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan, as a teacher. He then taught at Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, during the 1960-61 school year. He returned to teach at Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, in 1961.
Father Burnell became Assistant Pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, in 1965. In 1978, he was transferred to Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish, St. Louis, Missouri. There he was a part of the Formation Team at the Augustinian Novitiate there, while at the same time serving as Chaplain to the Augustinian Cloistered Nuns in St. Louis.
He was transferred in 1984 to St. John Stone Friary, Chicago, where he participated in the formation of Augustinians who resided there during their time of theological studies.
Father Burnell was visiting his sister in San Diego, California, and celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest when he died on August 27, 1988.
For many years, he had been noted for his willingness to fix practically anything. He was an expert handyman and was eager to spend whatever time necessary to complete a project. He was an excellent example for the Novices in St. Louis and the students of Theology in Chicago with his attitude toward prayer, community, and the Augustinian way of life. He is remembered for his quick smile and eagerness to be of help.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.