1941 – 2019 (February 23)
Brian Sylvester Lowery was born on October 24, 1941, in Philadelphia, PA, the son of Sylvester J. Lowery and Patricia Galen. He was baptized on November 30, 1941, at Saint Athanasius Church, Philadelphia and attended Melrose Academy, Melrose Park, PA from 1946 to 1949, and Waldron Academy, Merion, PA from 1949 until 1955. He then attended Malvern Preparatory School from which he graduated in 1959. After one year of studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he was received as a novice on September 9, 1960 and following his year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY, professed simple vows on September 10, 1961. He then began studies at Villanova University and received a BA degree in Philosophy in 1964, after which he pursued theological studies at the Augustinian Patristic Institute, Rome, and received an STL in 1968. He had professed solemn vows on September 10, 1964 in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in the chapel of the Collegio Santa Monica, Rome, on December 16, 1967 by Amleto Cardinal Cicognani. Following ordination, he continued graduate studies in Rome at the Pontifical Oriental Institute from 1968 until 1972.
In 1972, Father Brian returned to the United States and was assigned to Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery and taught at Merrimack College, North Andover, MA, until 1974, He then was appointed Director of Formation at Augustinian College, Washington, DC. In 1979, he returned to Rome as prior of the Collegio Santa Monica. During his term of office, he oversaw the renovation of the collegio, defended his dissertation and was awarded an STD by the Gregorian University in 1985. In 1987, he returned to the United States and to Merrimack College where he was engaged in campus ministry. During the General Chapter of 1989, he was elected General Counselor and took up residence in the Augustinian General Curia, Rome, until the completion of his term in 1995.
In 1995, Father Brian was instrumental in the conversion of the friary of Sant’Agostino in San Gimignano, Italy, into a house of hospitality and retreat. He was to remain there for the rest of his life, welcoming friars and lay men and women for periods of rest, recollection and renewal. Other friars joined him in this ministry from various circumscriptions of the Order. Father Brian was also heavily engaged in preaching retreats on Augustinian themes, particularly on the Confessions of Saint Augustine.
On February 23, 2019 Father Brian Lowery, after an extended stay in the Clinic Villa del Rosario, Rome, suffered heart failure and passed over to the Lord. His funeral was held on Monday afternoon, February 25th in San Gimignano, Italy. A Memorial Mass offered at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, Villanova, on March 9, 2019. He is buried in Calvary Cemetry, West Conshohocken.
Father Brian is survived by a sister, Fiona Foster, and her family.