1920 – 2006 (September 30)
Joseph Francis Laverty was born on October 2, 1920, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Laverty and Beatrice Kelly. He was baptized on October 17, 1920, at Saint Francis de Sales Church, Philadelphia, and attended St. Francis de Sales Parish Elementary School, St. Athanasius Parish School, and Northeast Catholic High School In 1939, he entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island as a postulant, and was received into the novitiate on September 9, 1940. After completion of a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed simple vows on September 10, 1941, and began studies at Villanova College, graduating with an AB degree in 1945. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1944, pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1948 by Bishop John M. McNamara at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.
Father Laverty was assigned as assistant pastor at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, Los Angeles, California in 1949. In 1951 he was transferred to Villanova University, where he taught biology and lived in one of the school's student residences. From 1953 to 1963, he taught biology and religion at Msgr. Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. From 1963 to 1973, he was assistant pastor at several parishes: Saint Mary Church, Waterford, Saint James Church, Carthage, Saint John Church, Schaghticoke, all in New York, and Assumption Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts. In 1973, he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, Pennsylvania. He then served at Saint Rita Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1974 to 1976, and at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Atlantic City, New Jersey from 1977 to 1978. In 1978 he was transferred to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery.
Throughout his life, Father Laverty was troubled with poor physical health. He underwent a number of eye operations, which never appreciably improved his sight. His person health difficulties, however, made him a kind and compassionate visitor to the sick and hospitalized. In all of the parishes where he was assigned, as well as during his time at Saint Thomas Monastery, he ministered to the sick.
Fr. Laverty passed over to the Lord early on Saturday morning, September 30, 2006, just a few days short of his 86th birthday. His Funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Tuesday, October 3, 2006 in the Saint Thomas Monastery Chapel, with burial in the Augustinian section of Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.