1935 – 2015 (June 12)
William Townley Garland was born on November 3, 1935, in Arlington, Massachusetts, the son of William T. Garland and Mary C. Caldwell. He had one sister who pre-deceased him. Bill was baptized on November 24, 1935, at Saint Agnes Catholic Church, Arlington, Massachusetts. He attended Brackett School from 1941 to 1947, and Junior High Centre, 1947 to 1949, both in Arlington, and Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, from 1949 to 1953. He was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1953, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1954. He matriculated at Villanova University from 1954 to 1958, and received a BA in Philosophy. He attended Augustinian College, Washington, DC, from which he obtained his Masters in theology, and, in 1961, a Masters in counseling from the Catholic University of America. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1957, and was ordained to the priesthood on February 3, 1962, at the Chapel of Christ the Teacher, Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass., by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston.
Fr. Garland was assigned, in 1962, to Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, PA, as a teacher and guidance counselor. He was transferred, in 1966, to Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery, North Andover, Massachusetts, while enrolled in graduate studies, at Harvard University. Here he was awarded a doctorate in Educational Administration. From 1970 to 1974, he was a doctoral intern for educational projects at Arthur D. Little, Inc., a management services consulting firm. From 1974 to 1977, he directed a federal project in teacher training for Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties in New York. From 1977 to 1987, he served in the Archdiocese of Boston as the Principal of the newly consolidated East Boston Central Catholic School, and from 1987 to 1991 as Principal of Saint Peter's School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1991 to 1995 he was Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire. From 1995 to 1996 he pursued sabbatical studies at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium.
Upon his return to the United States, and until 2002, he was the Director of Education for the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. That same year, he was appointed prior of Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery at Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, and was elected a counselor of the Province, with special oversight for the Province's secondary and higher education efforts. In that appointment he served on the Boards of Trustees of Villanova University and Merrimack College, and of Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pennsylvania and St. Augustine Preparatory School, Richland, New Jersey. For two years, from 2003 to 2005, he was the Director of Education for the California Province. When the Villanova Province withdrew from the monastery building on the campus of Merrimack College in 2004, he became prior and treasurer of the community at Austin House, the Augustinian residence in North Andover, Massachusetts.
Father Garland became seriously ill in May, 2015, and was admitted to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts. With some improvement he was transferred after several weeks, to Kindred Hospital in Boston. After suffering several serious setbacks, he passed away on the morning of June 12, 2015 in the 60th year of his religious profession and 53rd of priestly ordination.
A funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at Saint Augustine Church, Andover, Mass. by Prior Provincial, Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A. Father Kevin Dwyer, O.S.A. was homilist. Father Garland is buried in the Augustinian Plot at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence, Massachusetts.