1907 – 1989 (February 11)
John Thomas McCall was born August 31, 1907 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, to Thomas McCall and Margaret Campion, and was baptized there in Saint Mary’s Church. John received his elementary education at local schools and began his high school education at Saint John Prep School, Danvers, Mass. He later transferred to Lawrence High School, in Lawrence, and graduated from Villanova Preparatory School, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1924. He entered the novitiate on June 25, 1924, and professed simple vows on June 26, 1925. He was solemnly professed on September 1, 1928. John earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, in 1928, and did his theological studies from 1928 to 1932 at St. Monica College, Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on September 12, 1931 in Rome. In 1933 he received an M.A. in Sociology from Villanova College.
Father McCall’s first assignment was in 1932 to Villanova College, where he taught while taking courses toward his master’s degree. From 1935 to 1942 he was a teacher at Saint Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois. When the new Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel was formed in 1941, he was affiliated to that Province.
Father McCall was transferred in 1942 to Saint Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. In 1943 he joined the U. S. Navy as a Chaplain, serving in that role until 1946. Upon discharge from the Navy, he returned to teach at Saint Rita High School. In 1950, while still at Saint Rita, he was elected Secretary of the Province. He returned to teach at Saint Thomas High School, Rockford, in 1952. In 1959 he was assigned to Cascia Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was a teacher and prior of the community. From 1962 to 1968 he was assistant pastor of Saint Rita Parish, Chicago, and prior of the community. At the conclusion of his term of office in 1968, he was transferred to Saint Mary Parish, Rockford, Il., where he was assistant pastor and prior. Father McCall was given reduced ministerial responsibilities, in 1977. He joined the community at Saint Monica Monastery, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and remained there until 1986, when he moved to Saint Rita Parish, Racine, Wisconsin.
While taking part in the Province retreat in Mundelein, Il., in June 1988, Father McCall suffered a severe stroke. He was disabled, and moved to Lincoln Village Convalescent Center, Racine. He died there February 11, 1989. He was 81.
In his early years, Father McCall was noted as an adventurous person who was not averse to taking risks. After his return from military service in 1946, he became somewhat reclusive and a voracious reader. He could venture into almost any area of discussion and hold his own. In his final days he was consoled by the daily attention of members of his community.
He is buried in Lawrence, Mass., at Saint Mary Cemetery.