Necrology Archives

Rev. Jerome Bevilacqua O.S.A., December 11, 2016

jerry-bevIt 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.

Rev. James E. Hannon, O.S.A.

Jaames Hannon, O.S.A.

It is with no small blend of sadness mixed with gratitude and joy that the Augustinian Province of St. Augustine in the West announces the death of our brother Rev. James E. Hannan O.S.A. who died on July 27, 2013.  He was 97 years old.

 

Fr. Hannan was born in Jamestown, Rhode Island on July 4, 1916. His parents, Julia and James Sr. and his brother Eugene have all predeceased him. In 1926 his family moved to San Francisco, California, where he attended St. Ignatius High School and for two years he attended the University of San Francisco. A lay teacher there introduced him to the Augustinians in Ojai, California and he entered the novitiate in New Hamburg, New York in 1938.

 

He professed vows in 1939 and graduated from Villanova College in 1941. After his third year of four years of studying theology in Washington. D.C., he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Mitty in the cathedral of San Francisco. One year later, Catholic University of America awarded him a Masters Degree in Education. This helped prepare him for the education apostolate. In 1947, he became one of the founding faculty members of Merrimack College in Massachusetts. Six years ago, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from this same school.

 

In 1949, Fr. Hannan was commissioned a chaplain in the Air Force Reserve. He wasHannon BW 1 called to active duty during the Korean War. In all, he had thirteen different assignments in his military career. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel on the bicentennial of the country he so proudly served, July 4, 1976. During his military career, Fr. Hannan was also the rector of the Augustinian collegiate seminary at Villanova from 1956-1959. From 1962 until two moths ago Fr. Hannan resided at the St. Augustine monastery in San Diego. He had a number of assignments at St. Augustine’s, most notably as a teacher and as the school’s business manager from 1966 until 1977. From 1978 until 1985 he was the Chaplain at San Diego County Jail. Fr. Hannan also had assisted or was assigned to a variety of parishes, including one year at Our Mother of Good Counsel parish in Los Angeles. For thirty-four years he assisted at St. John the Evangelist Church in San Diego.

 

Up until a few days before his death, Fr. Hannan was alert and intellectually acute. He read at least three newspapers a day and had a voracious appetite for the New York Times. He read all brochures and magazines that concerned themselves with the U.S Air Force, and still corresponded with the alumni from the very first graduating class at Merrimack College. Despite all his loyalties and regimen, all of these came second to his love of the Catholic mass and his faithfulness to the Divine Office of the Catholic Church. He was a good and holy Augustinian priest.

Rev. Steven M. Ochoa, O.S.A., August 24, 2012

nec.Steve.OchoaIt is with no small blend of sadness mixed with gratitude and joy that the Augustinian Province of St. Augustine in the West announces the death of our brother, Rev. Steven Ochoa O.S.A. On August 24th 2012 he died at Ojai California of complications of congestive heart failure and kidney failure.

Steve was born in Los Angeles, California on July 2, 1953 to Richard Ochoa, and Mary Moreno (Ochoa). His father and brother John predecease him. His mother and his brother Rick Ochoa and his sister Cindy Smith survive him.

Fr. Ochoa professed vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1974. He graduated from Villanova University in 1977, obtained a Masters Degree from the Washington Theological Union in 1981 and was ordained a priest on May 7, 1983. From 1981-1987 Fr. Steve became a missionary in Peru. In 1988 he spent his first term of service at St. Thomas Aquinas church in Ojai. He returned to the Peruvian missions in the Diocese of Chulucanas from 1989 to 1992. In 1993 he suffered his first massive heart attack while assigned to Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Los Angeles. As soon as he regained strength his love for the missions and particularly his love for the poor called him to return to the Peru where he served from 1994 to 1997. The next two years he served as the priest minister for Villa Nueva Apartments (low income housing) in San Ysidro California. In 1999 he was elected the prior provincial of the western province of St. Augustine. He held this position for eight years. It was during this time that he and a few other Augustinians pioneered a focus group called Augustinians in Hispanic Ministry. In recent years, Fr. Steve was a teacher at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai. This was followed by three years as a parish priest at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Ojai, the last two years serving as its pastor.

If there is one image of Fr. Steve that might stay etched in the minds of those who knew him, it most likely would be one in which he naturally displayed his love for the poor. Fr. Steve was not a person of demonstrative animation unless he was vividly retelling a story of him being touched by the faith and spiritual journeys of the poor in Peru. His eyes would glisten and his soft voice would bellow when the orphans of Hogar Infantil, an Augustinian-sponsored orphanage in Tijuana, surrounded him.

Fr. Steve loved his family and had a great loyalty to them, particularly his mother whom he would visit with regularity until his health forced him to stop. Perhaps it was his love for family that caused him to be a great supporter of youth activities. When he was a seminarian he was a member of the Big Brothers of America. In his priesthood he was a friendly presence to the young and old alike.

Physically, Fr. Steve was somewhat of an imposing presence, but imposing was certainly not the style of his leadership. Steve was quiet and generally focused on listening — sometimes to the frustration of those who sought more immediate answers. His quiet style was a reflection of his spiritual interiority. Fr. Steve was a man of prayer and sought an inner peace only attained by a genuine relationship with God. He is now reaping the rewards of that sacred relationship.

Rev. Patrick J. Keane, O.S.A., December 11, 2011

nec.Pat.KeaneOn December 11th Rev. Patrick J. Keane, O.S.A.died at St. Augustine Monastery in San Diego after long bouts of pulmonary and post- polio complications.

Pat was born in San Diego, California on March 14, 1926 to Patrick Keane, a native of Ireland, and Leona Karrels. His sisters Rita Wyckoff and Sister Helen Keane SCL predecease him.

Fr. Keane professed vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1946. He graduated from Villanova University in 1949, obtained a Masters Degree from Catholic University in mathematics, and was ordained a priest on May 31, 1952. In 1953, Fr. Keane was missioned to his first priestly assignment, as a teacher at St. Augustine High School in San Diego. In 1962 he became principal of St. Augustine and served there until he was elected prior provincial (superior) of the California province in 1975. Whenever he led, he always did so by example. While provincial he participated in marches with Cesar Chavez in support of the United Farm Workers.

In 1983, after serving two terms as provincial, he was assigned to St. Mary’s High School in Medford, Oregon. While there only a few weeks, he was called to Rome to be an Assistant General of the Order of St. Augustine. During much of this time, he was also on the formation team for the Augustinian novitiate in Racine, Wisconsin. In 1989 he became the pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Ojai. From 2005 to 2009 he served that parish as pastor emeritus. In 2009 he returned to the place where he started — the St. Augustine’s community in San Diego.

Despite all his accomplishments, nothing was as significant as his role of witness to Christ’s suffering. In 1954, while still very much a new priest, Fr. Pat was on vacation in Mexico. While there he became paralyzed and was soon in a Texas hospital in the grip of polio. For the rest of his life Fr. Pat had effects of the debilitating disease. With all his pain, his difficulty in seating, standing and walking, Fr. Pat never complained, and accepted his cross with grace. Now, as with Christ, his cross has led to a joyful resurrection.

Fr. Pat was a leader who was not known for making quick decisions. But when decisions needed to be made, Pat always made the right ones, and never doing so before turning it over to prayer. Outwardly, he never seemed to let too many things bother him. When he was principal of St. Augustine, he would often end a challenging day —and there were many of them — by inviting others to join him at the beach. He was a pied-piper who never chose to be one. He simply did God’s will and people followed him. He loved being an Augustinian priest and his students, parishioners and other Augustinians basked in the warmth of his gentility, sense of humor, and his displayed interiority.

Rev. Anthony J. Wasko, O.S.A., January 26, 2011

Nec.Tony.WIt is with no small blend of sadness mixed with gratitude and joy that the Augustinian Province of St. Augustine in the West announces the death of our brother, Rev. Anthony J. Wasko O.S.A. On January 26th he died at home suddenly of a combination of illnesses, including a bad heart. Only a few days before, he used his inimitable charm by turning a mundane restaurant dinner into a memorable social evening.

Tony was born in Shamokin Pennsylvania on May 16, 1931 to Joseph Wasko and Elizabeth DeConcini. When Tony was a small boy, his father died in a coal mining accident. His mother later married George Price. His brothers Edward Wasko and Jacob Price survive Fr. Tony. His parents and his brother George Price predecease him.

Fr. Wasko professed vows in the Order of St. Augustine September 10, 1951. He graduated from Villanova University in 1955, and was ordained a priest on June 7, 1958. In 1959, Fr. Wasko was assigned to his first priestly assignment, and arrived at the San Diego train station wearing a straw hat, not typical for the locale. His east coast sensibilities were at first challenged by perceived west coast impropriety; but soon Fr. Wasko fell in love with California, and particularly Catholic high school education. Fr. Tony taught for ten years at St. Augustine High School in San Diego. He was the headmaster of Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, California from 1969 to1975. In 1975 he became the principal of St. Augustine High School. He was a most effective administrator. On September 25, 1978 his leadership was challenged as principal in a way that no one could ever imagine. PSA flight 182 crashed over North Park and the school gym became a triage and command and control center. Fr. Wasko proved to be the most effective of school ministers and civic leaders.

In 1984, Fr. Wasko became the Director of Development for St. Augustine’s. In 1989 Fr. Tony proved himself wrong when he discovered that his gifts in ministry weren’t restricted to education. For the next eighteen years Fr. Wasko was a most effective and loved parish priest, serving at both Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Los Angeles, and St. Patrick’s Church in San Diego. Since 2001, he was the archivist for the Augustinians. Intermittently, over many years, Fr. Wasko celebrated the Sunday mass at St. Augustine’s High School Chapel.

Fr. Tony multi-tasked before it was a word in the lexicon. While still a teacher, he created what is now called “the Augustinian Guild,” an instrument for raising money for the education of seminarians. As ASB moderator of St. Augustine’s in the 60’s, he organized and chaperoned dances that took place in the gym twice a month. In recent years, he has been the animator of frequent class reunions for the school. As if this weren’t enough, he was an orator. He had a master’s degree in drama and made use of it at will. This made him the most effective of preachers and his humanity allowed him to bask in that glory.