1875 – 1931 (November 10)
Nicholas Joseph Vasey was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 12, 1875, one of three children of Bartholomew Vasey and Margaret Curley. He attended local public elementary and high schools, after which he enrolled at Villanova College. He obtained his B.A. degree in June, 1894, and the following September entered the novitiate at Villanova. He made his simple profession on September 19, 1895, and solemn profession in 1898. Following completion of theological studies at Villanova, he was ordained to the priesthood by Apostolic Delegate Sebastian Martinelli, O.S.A. at Villanova on September 29, 1898.
In August, 1899, Father Vasey was appointed Vice President and Prefect of Discipline at Villanova. This was the beginning of sixteen years spent at the college as faculty member, treasurer, procurator, and trustee. In 1903 he was assigned to the Province Mission Band and remained in this ministry for fifteen months, after which he returned to Villanova. In 1906 he became a definitor of the Province under Father Martin Geraghty. In 1914, with the election of Father Nicholas Murphy as Prior Provincial, he was appointed provincial socius and secretary. In 1914 he became rector of Our Mother of Consolation Parish, Chestnut Hill.
In 1918, Father Vasey was elected Prior Provincial at the 11th Provincial Chapter, and served in that office until 1926. During this time of great expansion of the Order in the United States, thirteen new foundations were made, several of them to provide for the ever-increasing number of candidates seeking admission to the Province, such as Augustinian College in Washington, D.C., Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y., and Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y. Malvern Prep was also begun as a school separate from Villanova College during this period. In California, both Saint Augustine High School in San Diego, and Villanova Prep in Ojai, were founded, as well as Saint Thomas Parish, Ojai and Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Hollywood. In the Midwest, Cascia Hall was begun in Tulsa, OK., as well as three additional parishes.
At the conclusion of his term as Prior Provincial, Father Vasey became pastor and prior of Our Mother of Consolation, Chestnut Hill. In 1931 he attended the General Chapter in Rome as a definitor from the Province. On Tuesday, November 10, just three weeks after his return, he died at the age of 56 at Chestnut Hill Hospital, during surgery for an emergency intestinal disorder.
A Solemn Requiem Mass was offered on Saturday, November 14, 1931 at the Chestnut Hill Church by classmate, Father Francis Tourscher, O.S.A. Over 200 priests and 100 sisters were in attendance. Denis Cardinal Dougherty and his auxiliary, Bishop Gerald O’Hara, were also present.
Father Vasey was buried at Villanova in the Community Cemetery. Vasey Hall, the first Commerce and Finance building at Villanova University and now an academic building and home to the Villanova theatre, was named in his honor.