1910 – 1988 (September 18)
Henry Francis Weeks was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, on February 5, 1910, the only child of Henrv F. Weeks and Catherine Groark. His father died shortly after his birth and he was raised by his devoted mother. Baptized in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Chester, Pennsylvania, he attended Holy Spirit Grammar School and, in 1926, transferred to Our Mother of Good Counsel in Bryn Mawr, where his mother had gained employment. Graduating in 1933, and influenced by the Augustinians of the parish, he enrolled as a postulant in Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. He graduated in June 1937 and entered Our Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, where he professed simple vows on September 11, 1938. His college years were spent at Saint Mary's Hall on the campus of Villanova College, where he professed solemn vows on September 11, 1941, and graduated with an A.B. degree in philosophy in June 1942. His theological studies were done at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, where he was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1945 at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by Bishop McNamara. While studying theology, Father Weeks worked obtained, in 1942, a M.S. degree in mathematics with a minor in physics from the Catholic University.
Father Weeks' first assignment in 1946 was to the collegiate seminary, Saint Mary's Hall, where he taught mathematics to the professed and lay students of Villanova. In 1947 he was appointed submaster of professed. During these years he proved to be an excellent and popular instructor. In 1952 he was assigned to the Augustinian Mission Band and for the next four years became a much sought after preacher throughout the country. In 1955 he was assigned to Our Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, as submaster of novices and Province director of vocations, while continuing to do mission work. After a year he was transferred to Augustinian Academy, as director of postulants. Wishing to return to teaching, he was assigned to Villanova University as a professor of math and chaplain to nearby Rosemont College.
In 1959 Father Weeks was assigned as assistant pastor to Saint Rita Parish, Philadelphia, but returned to Villanova University the following year to assume the position of chairman of the theology department and chaplain to Rosemont College. In 1965 he was assigned as professor of math and religion at Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. The following year he returned to the Mission Band but continued to reside at Merrimack College. In 1971 he was assigned briefly to Saint Paul Church, Mechanicville, New York, as assistant pastor but returned that same year to Merrimack.
In the early 1970s, Father Weeks suffered the loss of his devoted mother and the first onset of a debilitating illness, which was diagnosed by a variety of medical authorities as irreversible. For the next twenty-five years, he endured patiently an apostolate of suffering as his faculties continued to weaken. He remained in residence at the Monastery at Merrimack and in 1982 was transferred to Saint Thomas Monastery of Villanova University. He died of heart failure in Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on September 18, 1988.
Father Weeks' life was marked by a great devotion to Our Blessed Mother. His humble and gentle manner greatly impressed many who came in contact with him as a priest, teacher, counselor, and preacher. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on September 21, 1988, at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church on the university campus by the vicar provincial, Francis Horn, O.S.A. The homilist was his close friend, Father Edwin T. Grimes, O.S.A. Father Weeks is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.