1914 – 1996 (March 7)
Alfred John Monte, son of Domenic Monte and Almerinda Mincarelli, was born on May 1, 1914, in Saint Rita Parish, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was baptized on June 10, 1914. In 1928, after graduation from Saint Rita Parochial School, he entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. On September 9, 1932, he began his novitiate in New Hamburg, New York, professed simple vows on September 11, 1933, and made solemn profession in 1936. He studied at Villanova College and earned a BA degree in 1937, after which he pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood there on June 10, 1940, in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
In 1941, after Father Monte earned a master's degree in romance languages from The Catholic University of America, he volunteered to join the Augustinians in the Philippine Islands where he taught at Saint Augustine University in Illoilo. On April 13, 1942, shortly after the Japanese attacked the Philippines, Father Monte, and three other friars of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, Fathers Henry C. Carr, John V. Casey and Leo McCarthy, were imprisoned in Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila together with other priests, religious and lay people, totaling about four thousand American, British, and other Allied civilians. Father Monte taught Spanish and Religion to prisoners and tended to the spiritual and physical needs of those who were close to death. So that they might offer Mass, priests in the camp made wine from raisins they received from the Red Cross.
In May, 1945, Father Monte returned to the United States and was assigned to Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, California, where he taught Religion and Spanish until 1954. He then was assigned to Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pa., where he taught Latin and Spanish. For five years he was also the school disciplinarian and founded and coached the rifle team. His teaching career continued at Austin Preparatory School, Reading, Ma., from 1963 to 1965, and then at Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C. From 1968 to 1974, Father Monte was prior and pastor at the Church of the Assumption, Mechanicville, New York, and then, from 1974 to 1980, served at Saint John the Baptist Parish, Schaghticoke, New York.
In 1980, Father Monte was assigned to Our Mother of Consolation Church, Chestnut Hill, Pa., where he began his retirement in 1994. Father Al who was known as “Freddie” to family and friends, was well respected because of his generosity and religious dedication. He and his sister Philomena, a member of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart, were great friends who mutually supported their respective vocations to the religious life. Father Al became an avid golfer, enjoyed reading, operas, worked crossword puzzles, collected images of owls and made rugs - vibrant colored chenilles. A classmate spoke of him, saying, "I have seen him say Mass in the cold and hunger and desolation and unbelievable suffering of a concentration camp. But his priesthood was the pearl of great price that not even the squalor of a prison could tarnish."
He died on March 7, 1996, and on March 12th the Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Mother of Consolation Church, Chestnut Hill, Pa. Burial took place the following day in the Augustinian section of Calvary Cemetery, Conshohocken, Pa.