1915 – 2012 (December 25)
John Joseph Fitzgerald was born December 9, 1915 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania to Thomas and Clara Fitzgerald. He was baptized December 19, 1915, at Saint Monica Church, Berwyn. John received his elementary education at Saint Monica School, and began his secondary education at Saint Katherine High School, but transferred to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, from which he graduated in 1933. He was received into the novitiate on September 9, 1933, professed simple vows on September 10, 1934 and solemn vows on September 10, 1938. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1938, and pursued theological studies from 1938 to 1942 at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1941. Loyola University, Chicago, granted him an M.A. in History in 1954.
Upon completing his study of theology, Father Fitzgerald was affiliated to the new Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel. His first assignment was in 1942 to Saint Rita High School as a teacher. He remained in that position for 28 years. In 1970 he was transferred to Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, as a teacher. In 1971 he was named prior of the Augustinian community there.
Father Fitzgerald was assigned in 1973 to Augustinian Midwest Priory, Villanova, where he served as prior and member of the formation team. He moved in 1989 to Saint Joseph Friary at Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. In 1991, he became a member of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova. He suffered a heart attack on December 21, 2012, and was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital, where he died December 25, 2012.
Father Fitzgerald was known for his love of horses, his fondness of flying and his very good sense of humor. For several years, he taught an aeronautics course at Saint Rita High School, in which he and his students would build and fly an airplane. After he gave up piloting, his flying was done by remote control of miniature aircraft. He was also interested in model trains.
Funeral Masses were held in Villanova and in Chicago. Father Fitzgerald is buried in the Augustinian Plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.