1930 – 2003 (January 14)
Arthur Gerard O'Rourke, son of Herbert O'Rourke and Mary Ellen Reilly, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 26, 1930. He was baptized in St. Mary Church, Brookline, on June 29, 1930, where he received his elementary and high school education. In September 1948, he became a post graduate postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y. In September 1949, Arthur entered Our Lady of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y, and on September 10, 1950, professed simple vows. He attended Villanova from 1950 to 1953, where he received his BA Degree in Philosophy, and continued his studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. receiving an MA in Theology and Religious Education. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1953 and was ordained to the priesthood at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. on June 8, 1957. In August 1957, he completed an MA degree from Strayer Business School, Villanova University.
Father Art's first assignment was as a member of the faculty of Augustinian Academy, Staten Island from 1957 to 1958. From 1958 to 1971, he served as assistant pastor at Saint Mary’s Church, Waterford, N.Y., and in 1962, was elected sub-prior. In August, 1971, he was appointed pastor and treasurer of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Atlantic City, N.J., and in 1975, was given the added responsibility of prior of that community. From 1980 to 1982, Father Art served as associate pastor at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Jamaica, N.Y., where he celebrated his silver jubilee of ordination. In August, 1982, he returned to Upstate New York and served again in Saint Mary’s Church, Waterford, for one year, when he became associate pastor at the Assumption/Saint Paul parish in Mechanicville, where he remained for five years.
In 1988, Father Art was appointed treasurer of Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery at Merrimack College, No. Andover, Mass., where he assisted with the care of the elderly friars. In 1995, he was assigned as associate pastor of Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, where his health began to fail, such that in August, 2001, he retired to the health care unit at Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova. In January 2003, during the renovation of the monastery, the health care unit was moved to Saint Joseph Friary at Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pa., and Father Art died there on January 14, 2003.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Saint Mary/Immaculate Conception Church, Lawrence, on Sunday, January 19. Interment was conducted the following day at Saint Mary/Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence.
Father Art was known throughout his life as a man of gentleness and good humor,a loyal brother and a faithful priest. His spontaneous compassion toward everyone he met and his conscientious care for those hospitalized and the infirm friars, were his dominant traits. His sense of justice was reflected in the amount of a gratuity he offered in restaurant services. Over the years Father Art showed dedication to his sister, Sister Mary O'Rourke, CSJ, who, at the time of his death, was actively involved in ministry in the parish of the Blessed Sacrament, Saugus, Ma.