1933 – 2014 (December 29)
Maurice James Mahoney was born on October 19, 1933, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, one of seven children of Vincent Mahoney and Mary Coughlin, and was baptized on November 2, 1933, at Saint Mary’s Church, Lawrence. He attended Saint Augustine Parish School, Tower Hill, from 1939 to 1947, and Central Catholic High School, also in Lawrence, from 1947 to 1952. Maurice then began higher studies at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., in 1952. Two years later he requested admittance into the Order and was received as a novice on September 9, 1954. Following his year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed simple vows on September 10, 1955, and attended Villanova University, from which he received a BA degree in Philosophy in 1957. Maurice attended the Collegio Santa Monica, Rome for theological studies, and there made solemn profession of vows on October 19, 1958. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 10, 1960, in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in the Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy.
After returning to the United States, Father Maurice was first assigned to Malvern Preparatory School, where he taught Latin, religion and public speaking from 1961 to 1962. In 1962 he volunteered for the Province's mission in Japan and was assigned, from 1962 to 1975, as associate pastor at Our Mother of Consolation Parish, Nagasaki. While there he also taught English at Nagasaki University, from 1967 to 1972. In 1975 he was assigned as pastor at Saint Augustine Parish, Fukuoka, where he remained until 1987. During this assignment he taught English at Kyushyu University and Fukuoka University, from 1977 to 1983, and was a member of the Japanese Augustinian formation team, from 1982 to 1987. From 1987 to 1988 he was associate pastor at Saint Monica Parish, Nagoya, and from 1988 to 2008 he served at Saint Augustine Parish, Tokyo, first as associate pastor, from 1988 to 1997, and then as pastor, until 2008, and also served on the vocation/formation team for the Vicariate of Japan, from 1988 to 2008. In 2008 he returned to Nagasaki. During his many years in Japan, and his various apostolic works, Father Maurice was concerned especially with issues of Justice and Peace, assisting exploited Filipino and Korean residents, both legal and illegal, in the country.
In 2010, he observed his 50th anniversary of ministry as priest with Masses both in Japan and in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Since September, 2012 he had been in failing health following a fracture which made it difficult for him to walk, and in May, 2014, was hospitalized with a tumor on his brain. He died in Japan on Monday, December 29, 2014.
Father Mahoney had a quick sense of humor, eagerness to engage others in conversation and love for the Augustinian way of life. His 52 years of service to the people of Japan and the development of the Order in that country mark a proud chapter in the story of the Vicariate of the Japanese Martyrs and of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova.
The funeral Mass was celebrated on Wednesday, December 31, at Shiroyama Church, Nagasaki. Memorial Masses were celebrated at St. Michael Church, North Andover, on January 17, 2015 and at Saint Thomas of Villanova monastery chapel, Villanova, on January 13, 2015. Father Mahoney’s remains were interred in Nagasaki, Japan.