1918 – 1994 (January 30)
Philip Francis Barrett was born on March 12, 1918 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Patrick Barrett and Anna Aneen. He was baptized in the Church of Saint Francis de Sales, Philadelphia, on March 24, 1918, and was raised in Larksville, Pa. He attended Saint Vincent's School in Plymouth, Pa., and in 1935 he entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a postulant. Following his high school education, Philip worked at Bendex Aviation Corporation. With the outbreak of the Second World War, he entered the military in 1942, serving in the Navy until 1945. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill of Rights, he enrolled in Villanova College in one of the first large postwar classes, graduating with an A.B. degree in economics in 1949. For a brief time, he was an accounting instructor at King's College, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, but in September 1949 he was received into the novitiate at New Hamburg, N.Y., where he professed simple vows on September 10, 1950. Three years later he made his solemn profession. He studied theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and was ordained on June 6, 1953, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Following ordination, he continued graduate studies in accounting and finance at The Catholic University from which he received a master's degree in 1954.
Father Barrett's first assignment was to the faculty of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC, in 1954. Five years later he was appointed the second rector of the school. In 1961, he was transferred to Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, as dean of men and professor of theology. Father Barrett along with Father George Burnell, O.S.A., began preparations with the Archdiocese of Boston to open Austin Preparatory School in the Merrimack Valley. In September 1962, Father Barrett was assigned to Villanova University, as dean of the College of Commerce and Finance, where he was instrumental in achieving accreditation for the college by the American Academy of Collegiate Schools of Business. In recognition of his efforts, Villanova University granted him an honorary doctorate of Humanities in 1977. From 1980 until his retirement in 1993, Father served in many parishes in the Province. He was assistant at Saint Thomas of Villanova, Rosemont, Pa. and Saint Genevieve Parish, Flourtown, Pa, and pastor of Saint Joseph's Church in Greenwich, NY. In 1972 when a disastrous flood struck Wilkes Barre, Father Barrett organized and served as director of the flood relief.
Father Barrett had a great love for the outdoors and with fellow Augustinians spent many vacations camping and fishing. His personality and enthusiasm for Villanova attracted the support of many influential businessmen. In 1993, as his health began to fail due to a heart condition, he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery on the campus of the University. Father Barrett died on January 30, 1994, after a short stay at the Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Prior Provincial, John Hagen, O.S.A., celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial on February 3, 1994 at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church. Interment was the following day in the family plot of Saint Stephen's Cemetery in Lehman, PA.