1934 – 2009 (June 11)
Anthony Joseph Tomasulo was born on May 5, 1934, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the son of Joseph T.omasulo and Grace Calabro. He had one sister, Marie. Anthony was baptized at the Church of the Assumption, Roselle Park, N.J., on July 1, 1934. He attended Alden School, Roselle Park Junior High School and Roselle Park High School, and Delbarton School, Morristown, NJ, for his primary and secondary education. In 1953 he entered Villanova and during his years there he applied for entrance into the Order. He was received as a novice on September 5, 1955, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY, he professed first vows on September 10, 1956. He returned to Villanova to complete his undergraduate degree and, in 1958, went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for his theological studies. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1959, and he was ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1961, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, by Bishop Philip Hannan.
Father Tomasulo was assigned to Saint Joseph Friary and Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, PA, in 1962, where he taught Mathematics and Religion, and served in school administration. In 1975 he was appointed Master of Professed at the Augustinian Collegiate Seminary, Villanova. Beginning in 1976, Father Tomasulo became engaged in parochial ministry where, he said, he found his greatest joy. He served as parochial vicar at Saint Rita of Cascia Parish, Philadelphia, from 1976 to 1982; as pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish, Hoosick Falls, NY, from 1982 to 1990; as parochial vicar and later administrator at Assumption/Saint Paul Parish, Mechanicville, NY, for one year; and then as pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish, Schaghticoke, NY, until 1997.
In 1995 he became parochial vicar at Our Mother of Consolation Parish, Chestnut Hill, PA, and in 1999, was sent to Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, Dania Beach, FL, as pastor. His final assignment was to Saint John Neumann Parish, Charlotte, NC, in 2007 as parochial vicar.
Father Tony passed over to the Lord, peacefully in his sleep, on June 11, 2009, while attending the Convocation of the four North American Augustinian Provinces, which was being held in the Chicago, IL, area. At this gathering he had the opportunity to renew friendships with friars he had studied with, lived with and served with. He was 75 years old at the time of his death.
Father Tony had been diagnosed with a brain tumor while he was serving at Msgr. Bonner High School in the 1960s. The operation was successful, but this near death experience gave Tony an understanding that every day he lived beyond the operation was a gift from God to be enjoyed, celebrated and shared with others. This spirit pervaded his life and his ministry and gave Tony a joy-filled sense of humor and an affirming attitude toward every person or situation he met for the rest of his life. He often said that his greatest loves were his family and his experience of brotherhood as an Augustinian, his opportunity to be an instrument of God's peace as a priest, and his friendship with Jesus Christ, that made everything else blessed and possible. His ability to laugh at life and at himself drew others close to him and helped him to minister to them as friend, brother and priest.