1928 – 2010 (June 1)
John Riley Havener was born on August 3, 1928, in Oneida, New York, one of two sons of Frank Havener and Kathryn Riley. He was baptized on August 26, 1928 at Saint Francis Church, Durhamville, N.Y, and attended public elementary and high school in Verona, N.Y. Upon graduation from high school in 1946, he went to the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where he studied mechanical engineering. In 1948 he applied for admittance to the Province, and was accepted that year into the post-graduate postulant program at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y. John was received as a novice on September 9, 1949, and following his year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y., he professed first vows on September 10, 1950. He then attended Villanova College, where he obtained his BA in Philosophy in 1952. From 1952 to 1956 he studied Theology at Augustinian College , Washington , D.C., and professed solemn vows on September 10, 1953. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1955, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington , D.C., by Bishop John McNamara. He obtained an MS in Physics for the Catholic University of America in 1957.
Father Havener was assigned to Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, PA, where he taught from 1956 to 1961. He then was assigned to Merrimack College , North Andover, MA. In 1963, he taught at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y., and in 1968, at Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, PA. In 1975 he returned to teach at Monsignor Bonner High School and remained there as teacher until 1991. Upon completion of his teaching career, he continued in residence at Saint Joseph Friary, attached to the school, and served as chaplain to the Villa Maria House of Studies, Immaculata, PA. From 1995 to 2005, he served in parochial ministry at Saint Mary’s Church, Waterford, N.Y. In 2005, Father Riley, as he was known throughout his life, moved to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova.
Father passed over to the Lord in the early morning of June 1, 2010, at the age of 81. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at St. Thomas of Villanova Church. Burial followed in the Province’s section of Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.
Father Havener was known for his sense of humor and his gracious presence in community. A highly qualified teacher of physics, he modernized the physics departments at Malvern Prep, Augustinian Academy, Msgr. Bonner High School and Merrimack College.