1902 – 1988 (August 10)
John Raymond Collins was born August 12, 1902 in Troy, New York, to John T. Collins and Alice Ryan. He was baptized August 20, 1902, at St. Augustine Church there, and was confirmed there also, on April 21, 1912. He graduated from both St. Augustine Elementary School and St. Augustine High School, and was received into the novitiate of the Province on January 15, 1923. He professed simple vows on January 16, 1924 and solemn vows on January 16, 1927. John earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1926, and then began theological studies at Villanova and concluded them in 1930 at the newly established Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1929. He earned an M.S. in Physics from Villanova College that same year.
Father Collins was assigned, in 1930, as a teacher at Fox Valley Catholic High School, Aurora, Illinois. When the Augustinians moved in 1933 from Fox Valley to St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Ill., he was among them. From 1938 to 1951 he served as Dean of Studies at St. Rita High School, Chicago, Ill. When the Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel was founded in 1941, Father Collins was affiliated to that Province.
In 1951, Father Collins was transferred to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, as assistant pastor and procurator of the community. He served as a member of the Provincial Council from 1951 to 1957. In 1957, he was named pastor, prior and procurator at St. Augustine Parish, Detroit. In 1965 he was assigned to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Chicago, serving as associate pastor and prior. Father Collins was named prior of St. Joseph Mission House, headquarters of the Augustinian Mission Band, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1968. In 1971 he was assigned to Austin Friary, Detroit, and in 1978 he returned to St. Augustine Parish in that city.
In his final years Father Collins suffered from muscular disabilities, and so took up residence in Lourdes Nursing Home, Pontiac, Michigan. Especially in these years Father Collins was noted for the consistency of his schedule. This included a daily walk, during which he dedicated himself to prayer. Father Collins died August 10, 1988, two days short of his 86th birthday. He is buried beside his parents in St. John Cemetery, in Troy, N.Y..