1923 – 2011 (March 2)
John Michael Driscoll was born on September 14, 1923, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Stephen Driscoll and Mary Ann Coll. He had one brother and two sisters. He was baptized on September 23, 1923, at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, Philadelphia, and attended Our Mother of Sorrows Grade School, from 1929 to 1936, and Saint Thomas More High School, from 1936 to 1940. In September 1942, he was accepted as a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, and was received into the novitiate on September 9, 1943. After his year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y., he professed simple vows on September 10, 1944, and pursued studies at Villanova College, where he received his BA in Philosophy in 1948. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1947. He then went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for theological studies, and completed an MA in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1951, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, by Bishop John McNamara.
Father Driscoll was assigned to teach at Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C. in 1952, and in 1956, was transferred to Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. In 1960 he returned to Washington, as a member of the Augustinian College community, and completed doctoral studies in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He was later awarded his PhD in 1964. In 1961 he had returned to Merrimack College, where he was a teacher, Vice President, and prior of the community. In 1965 he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, and for the next ten years he served as Vice President of Academic Affairs. From 1975 to 1988, he was President of Villanova University. In 1988, he was assigned once again to Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery, Merrimack College, where he was prior of the community.
In 1995, Father Driscoll returned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, where he passed away in the early hours of the morning of March 2, 2011.
Father Driscoll spent his entire life in the educational apostolate of the Province and firmly believed that a strong Augustinian community was an important ingredient for a successful educational institution. He also believed in and sought to instill an appreciation of Augustinian values at both Merrimack College and Villanova University.
The funeral Mass was held at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church on March 7, 2011, celebrated by the Prior Provincial Anthony M. Genovese, O.S.A. The homilist was Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., President of Villanova University. Father Driscoll was buried in the Community Cemetery on the campus of Villanova. On March 15, 2011, a memorial Mass was held at the chapel of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Austin Hall, at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass.