1905 – 1983 (March 11)
Christian A. Retera was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on December 15, 1905. He entered the Order of Saint Augustine in 1925 and professed simple vows on September 14, 1926, and solemn vows on September 17, 1929. He was ordained to the priesthood in Den Bosch, Netherlands, on May 30, 1931.
From 1932 until 1952 he taught in Haarlem, Holland, and in 1949 obtained a Doctorate in English from City University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Although remaining always a member of the Province of Holland, Father Retera labored for many years in the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova. He taught at Merrimack College and at Biscayne College for a number of years. His specialization was the English language. He was an expert in English grammar and literature. In 1981 Father celebrated his golden jubilee of ordination to the priesthood. His classmate in formation was Augustinian Bishop Canisius Van Lierde, Vicar General of Vatican City.
Father Retera was respected by his students as a kind, cheerful man, who never began class without greeting individually each of his students.
The Biscayne College Community took leave of Father Retera with a viewing and a Mass on March 14 1983. The Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova held a viewing and celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial in Saint Thomas of Villanova Campus Church on March 15, 1983. In his homily, Father Joseph Duffey, O.S.A., Prior Provincial, thanked the Province of Holland and in particular, Fathers Jan Busch and Francis Brian, also members of the Province of Holland, and other Dutch Augustinians in this Province, for the example, zeal, and dedication that they gave to the Province.
Burial of Father Retera took place the next day in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, PA.