It is with no small blend of sadness mixed with gratitude and joy that the Augustinian Province of St. Augustine in California announces the death of our brother, Rev. Jerome Bevilacqua O.S.A. He died December 11th from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fr. Jerry was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania on August 3, 1937 to Jerome Bevilacqua and Florence (Pinko) Bevilacqua. He was the first of the five Bevilacqua children, including Dale, Frances, David, and Marcia.
Just before becoming a teenager, Fr. Jerry’s parents moved their family to San Diego. He graduated from St. John of the Cross School in 1952. Later that year he was introduced to the Augustinians when he entered St. Augustine ‘s High School. Not long after his graduation, he entered the Augustinian novitiate and professed vows in 1958.He made a solemn profession of vows (life commitment) on February 1, 1961. He was ordained a priest on January 30, 1965.
Jerry loved to learn and always found books to be among his favorite companions. He graduated from Villanova University in 1961, and Augustinian College in 1965. In addition to his love for theology, Fr. Jerry specialized in Library Science.
In the first four years after his ordination, Fr. Jerry ministered as a high school teacher (Villanova Preparatory and St. Augustine’s) and parish priest (St. Thomas Aquinas in Ojai.) It was while he was on a year-long retreat (1969-70) at a hermitage in Palestine, Texas that his call to be both a contemplative and an evangelizer was nurtured and affirmed by his Augustinian superiors. In the forty-five years that followed, his ministry led him to an almost continual weekly bible class, the establishment of a retreat and contemplation center at Tierra del Sol, a focus on the healing and (eventual) deliverance ministries, and a spiritual director for a countless number of people. Fr. Jerry was buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego, CA.
Please include in your prayers Fr. Jerry, his sister, nieces and nephews, his caregivers at Stellar Care and Apreva Hospice, the Augustinian family, and all those who ministered with and to him.