1920 – 2014 (July 26)
Cherubin Formosa Kerr was born on September 1, 1920, in Valetta, Malta, the son of Ernest Kerr and Anna Grima. He was baptized two days later at Saint Paul’s Church, Valetta, and attended Valetta Public Elementary School and Central High School. He entered the Order of Saint Augustine as a novice on September 22, 1936, and following his novitiate year in Gozo, Malta, professed vows on October 3, 1937. Solemn Profession took place on October 7, 1941. Cherubin did his philosophical and theological studies at Saint Mark Seminary, Rabat, Malta, and was ordained to the priesthood on March 25, 1944, at Saint John Co-Cathedral, Valetta, by Archbishop Michelgonji.
Father Kerr first assignment was to Saint Augustine College, Malta, where he taught for thirteen years. He then served as chaplain at the civil prison in Malta for nine years. In 1967 he came to the United States to minister in the Italian Vice Province and served at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, East Vineland, New Jersey. In 1970 he was transferred to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Philadelphia. He was appointed pastor of Saint Mary’s Church, East Vineland in 1981. There, in addition to his pastoral and sacramental duties, he personally contributed to the enrichment and improvement of parish and school facilities through his handiwork and creative talent. In 1990 Father Kerr was assigned to the community of Saint Augustine Preparatory School, Richland, N. J., and continued to minister at area parishes in Southern New Jersey. He was ascribed to the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova in 2002, while remaining a member of the Province of Malta. On March 16, 2009, due to diminishing eyesight and other ailments he retired to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova PA.
Father Kerr was an avid cook, stamp collector and woodworker who delighted in fashioning clocks, ships and furniture, which he graciously gave away to others. Until the very last day of his life he remained mentally alert, joy-filled, and positive in his outlook. Despite almost total blindness in his later years, he continued, with the help of special equipment, to keep in contact with his many friends, especially in South Jersey, and with his relatives overseas. He was a dedicated and faithful religious and priest, exemplary in his participation in the life of the community, in his faithfulness to +prayer and to the daily celebration of Mass.
He died suddenly on the evening of July 26, 2014, in his room at the monastery. He had been an Augustinian for 76 years and a priest for 70. A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in the Villanova Monastery Chapel. That same evening, a viewing was held at Our Lady of Pompeii Church (St. Padre Pio Parish), East Vineland. The Mass of Christian Burial followed at 7:00 PM, celebrated by Prior Provincial Michael F. Di Gregorio, O.S.A. Father Kerr is buried in the Augustinian plot of St. Mary Cemetery, East Vineland.