1910 – 1973 (January 25)
John Lawrence Gilman was born May 15, 1910 in the Bronx, New York, to Sylvester Gilman and Mary Karney. He was baptized on June 12, 1910, at the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, the Bronx, and was confirmed on April 3, 1922 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Staten Island, New York. After receiving his high school diploma from Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, he was received into the novitiate on September 11, 1929. He professed simple vows on September 11, 1930 and solemn vows on September 11, 1933. John earned a B. A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1934, and pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 1937, and did graduate studies at Catholic University of America, Washington.
Father Gilman taught at Saint Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, from 1937 to 1940 and from 1941 to 1949. He served in the intervening year as assistant pastor of Saint Matthew Parish, Flint, Michigan. In 1949 he became a chaplain in the United States Army. He was stationed for one year at Fort Lee, Virginia, and then was sent to Japan. After two weeks in Japan, the Korean war began. Father Gilman was sent to Korea with the first troops of the 21st Regiment. After his return to the United States, he served at Fort Dix, New Jersey, attaining the rank of Captain and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Following his discharge from the Army, Father Gilman was asigned to St. Monica Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he was Director of Novices from 1956 to 1962.
From 1962 to 1968 he was prior of Saint Joseph Mission House, Fort Wayne, Indiana. He returned in 1968 to Saint Monica, Oconomowoc, where he served as prior. In 1971 ill health occasioned his retirement. He remained at Saint Monica until the time of his death January 25, 1973.
Father Gilman enjoyed music and composed several religious and secular songs. One of them, Staten Island Ferryboat Blues, won a prize in 1952 on the C.B.S. radio program Songs for Sale, starring Steve Allen.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.