1922 – 2014 (January 4)
Edward Valentine Griffin was born on January 20, 1922, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, one of two sons of Gerald A. Griffin and Madeline Berry. He was baptized on January 30, 1922, at Holy Spirit Church, Atlantic City, and attended New Jersey parochial schools in both Atlantic City and Ventor. He attended Holy Spirit High School, from 1937 to 1941, and then enrolled as a postulant in Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. He was received as a novice on September 9, 1942, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, professed simple vows on September 10, 1943. He attended Villanova College from 1943 to 1946, and was awarded a BA in Philosophy. He pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, from 1946 to 1950, and also obtained an MS in Physics from the Catholic University of America. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1946, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1949, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, by Bishop John McNamara.
Father Griffin was first assigned to Sacred Heart Church, Lewiston, Pennsylvania, where he served as associate pastor and as chaplain both to the Bucknell University Newman Center and to Laurelton State Village, until 1954. In the latter year he volunteered for the Province's newly established mission in Japan and he served there for twenty-six years: as associate pastor at Our Mother of Consolation Parish, Nagasaki, from 1954 to 1960, as pastor at Saint Augustine Parish, Fukuoka, from 1960 to 1968, and as pastor at Saint Augustine Parish, Tokyo, from 1968 until 1979. He also served as regional superior of the mission from 1972 to 1978. In 1979 he was named pastor at Saint Monica Parish, Nagoya.
In 1980, Fr. Griffin returned from the mission in Japan and was assigned to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Bronx, New York, where he served as associate pastor for one year. In 1981, he was assigned as pastor of Saint Patrick Parish, Cambridge, New York, and in 1992, as administrator of Saint Rita of Cascia Parish and National Shrine, Philadelphia. From here he ministered from 1993 to 1995 as Staff Chaplain at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and from 1995 to 2000 as chaplain to the Motherhouse of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart in Yardley, Pa. In 2008, he retired and was assigned to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, Pennsylvania.
Father Griffin was a kind and gentle man, with a good sense of humor, which at times was evidenced in a hearty and contagious laugh. He died peacefully in Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery on Saturday, January 4, 2014, following a long decline in health. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in the Monastery Chapel by Prior Provincial Anthony M. Genovese, O.S.A. The homilist was Father Thomas P. Dwyer, O.S.A.
Father Griffin is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.