1926 – 1995 (November 21)
Joseph Francis Gill, son of Joseph F. Gill and F. Maude F. Allen, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 9, 1926 and was baptized there on May 30, 1926, in the church of St. Joseph. His early education began in St. Joseph Grammar School, continued at Boston English High School, and, in 1943, he became a post-graduate postulant at Augustinian Academy on Staten Island, New York. He was received into the novitiate on September 8, 1945, professed simple vows on September 10, 1946 and solemn vows on that date in 1949. In 1950, Joseph graduated from Villanova College with a B.A. in philosophy. He studied theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and in 1954, obtained a MA degree in education from the Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 6, 1953 by Bishop McNamara, in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington.
In 1954, Father Gill received his first assignment to Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Staten Island, New York, and, during that year he taught religion at Augustinian Academy. In 1955, he joined the Monsignor Bonner High School community in Drexel Hill, Pa. During his twelve years in secondary education, he taught religion, served as chairman of the Religion Department, was vice-rector and assistant librarian. In 1967, Father Gill began ministry in the parishes of Massachusetts. He was well remembered for his services to the people of St. Augustine Parish, Andover, St. Augustine and St. Mary and Assumption Parishes in Lawrence. In the last of these, he spent nine years as director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and in 1972, was appointed prior and treasurer of that community. In 1982, Father Gill returned to St. Augustine Parish, Lawrence and remained there until 1990. When his health began to fail, he was transferred to the Health Care Unit of Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery, Merrimack College, N. Andover. In 1994, when the health care services were discontinued, Father Gill moved to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, Pa. He died at the Bryn Mawr Hospital on November 21, 1995.
Father Gill was a compassionate confessor, a generous associate who entertained with cheerfulness, a man of quick wit and skillful story-teller. Although illness and loss of eyesight caused him stress, he never ceased to influence the lives of others by his spontaneous quips and willingness to serve.
Vicar Provincial, Arthur Johnson, O.S.A. celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial at St. Augustine Church, Lawrence, on November 27, 1995, with Father Neil McGettigan, O.S.A. as homilist. Interment followed in the Augustinian section of Saint Mary Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts.