1915 – 1989 (October 12)
Donald John Ammering was born on November 14, 1915, in Rochester, New York, to John J. Ammering and Maud Shoen. He had three sisters and two brothers, one of whom became a priest with the diocese of Rochester. Baptized in Holy Family Church, his early education was in the parochial schools of Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Monica, from which he graduated in 1919. In 1934 he graduated from West High School in Rochester and worked for a year in the local post office.
In 1936, Donald was accepted as a post-graduate postulant at Augustinian Academy on Staten Island, New York. The following year he entered the novitiate at Our Mother of Good Counsel, New Hamburg, New York, where he professed simple vows on September 10, 1938. Three years later, September 10, 1941, he professed solemn vows at Saint Mary's Hall, on the campus of Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania. After he graduated with a B.A. degree in philosophy in June, 1941 he began theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. and did course work in English and Romance languages at Villanova and the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. On May 22, 1945 he was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Father Ammering's first assignment in 1946 was to Colegio San Agustin in Havana, Cuba, where he became dean of studies and taught English, religion, and mathematics, He also assisted in parish work at nearby El Cristo Church. In 1948, he was assigned as assistant to Saint Mary Church in Waterford, New York, and five years later was transferred to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Hoosick Falls, New York, where he worked as an assistant pastor and taught in the parish school. In 1959 he became a member of the Augustinian Mission Band, giving parish retreats along the east coast. In 1965 he was appointed its rector. During these years he resided at Saint Augustine and Saint Rita in the city of Philadelphia, Pa., and Saint Denis in Havertown, Pa.
In 1968, Father Ammering was assigned as pastor and prior of Immaculate Conception Church in Hoosick Falls, New York, where he remained until 1975, when he was transferred to the Church of the Resurrection, Dania, Florida. For the next few years he assisted at Saint Augustine and at Saint Rita in Philadelphia. In 1979, he was assigned as prior to Saint Patrick Church, Cambridge, New York, and the following year to Saint Augustine, Troy, New York, as assistant pastor. In 1985, as his health began to fail, he retired, but remained in Troy where he assisted as best he could. He died on October 12, 1989, in Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Father Ammering had a long and fruitful ministry as a parish priest and was a much sought after preacher while on the Mission Band. His wit and good humor remained with him as his health failed. With his expressed fondness for upstate New York, his wake was held at Saint Augustine, Troy, and on the following day, October 17, 1989, a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church in Hoosick Falls. Father Ammering is buried in the Augustinian plot at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hoosick Falls, New York.