1908 – 1982 (August 7)
Robert Edward Regan, son of William J. Regan and Sara F. Sullivan, was born at Tompkinsville, Staten Island, on May 27, 1908, and was baptized by Father John Barthouski, O.S.A., at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish. His grammar school education was obtained at Saint Peter parochial school and at Saint John. He was a member of the first class to enter the revived Augustinian Academy, Austin Place, in 1921, and a member of the last class to graduate from there in 1925. Received into the Augustinian Order on August 15, 1925, he was a pioneer of the first class at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York. He professed first vows on August 16, 1926 and solemn vows on August 16, 1929. At Villanova, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1930 and also completed a year and a half of theology. His theological training was completed at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, where he was ordained at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on June 14, 1932. The next year, 1933, the degree of Master of Arts in Religious Education was conferred on him by Catholic University.
While teaching homilectics at Augustinian College, from 1933 to 1950, he attended classes at Catholic University where he was awarded a lectorate in theology in 1938 and a doctorate summa cum laude in 1941. His dissertation, Professional Secrecy in the Light of Moral Principles, was subsequently published. Father Regan taught homilectics at Catholic University during the 1939-1940 school year, and religion in the summer school and Saturday sessions at Villanova from 1938 to 1950. Transferred to Villanova in 1950, he taught theology and was chairman of the Department for five years. During all these years he was constantly in demand as a preacher at first Masses, funerals of the friars, graduations, retreats, special lectures and conferences.
Father Regan was assigned to his home parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Staten Island, as pastor and prior in 1962. To him fell the privilege of originating and completing a new church and friary. In 1968 he was named assistant pastor at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Bronx, New York, and, in 1971 was assigned in the same role to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica. He retired in 1974 and remained there in residence. He had the joy of celebrating the golden anniversary of his ordination with two of his classmates, Fathers Richard Plunkett and John Dunne, just two months before his death on August 7, 1982.
An indefatigable laborer in many phases of the vineyard of the Lord, Father Regan was an accomplished speaker and a perceptive reader of astonishing speed. Ever ready to entertain with his rich baritone voice, his infectious bonhomie and proficiency at the keyboard made him welcome at any gathering. Erudite, dignified, proper, warmhearted, he was preeminently an Augustinian priest.
Following his Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Staten Island, Father Regan is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.