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Father Francis Cavanaugh
Rev. Francis J. Cavanaugh, O.S.A. (1910-1988)
Posted by TomCleary 2007-05-10

Rev. Francis J. Cavanaugh, O.S.A. (1910-1988)


Rev. Francis J. Cavanaugh, O.S.A. entered eternal life October 27, 1988.

Francis Joseph Cavanaugh was born December 4, 1910 in Hoosick Falls, New York to Patrick Francis and Mary (Ladden) Cavanaugh. He was Baptized December 11, 1910 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hoosick Falls. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation June 7, 1927 at the same church.

Francis received his elementary education at Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Hoosick Falls. He began his secondary education at Hoosick Falls High School, Hoosick Falls, transferring to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, where he earned his diploma.

He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate September 9, 1928. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine September 10, 1929 and solemn (permanent) vows September 10, 1932. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1933.

He started his theological studies in 1933 at Gregorian University, Rome. Because of an illness he returned to the United States in 1934 and in 1937 completed his study of Theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained a Priest June 9, 1936. He earned an M.A. from Villanova College, Villanova, in 1955.

While still a theological student, he was appointed in 1936 Acting Sub-Master of Professed at St. Mary's Hall, Villanova. In 1937 he was assigned to Cascia Hall School, Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a Teacher. When the new Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Augustinians of the Midwest) was founded in 1941, Father Cavanaugh became affiliated to that Province.

In 1944 he was assigned to St. Matthew Catholic Parish, Flint, Michigan, as Assistant Pastor. Shortly thereafter he was transferred to St. Augustine Catholic Parish, Detroit, Michigan, also as Assistant Pastor.

Father Cavanaugh was in 1953 named Vice-Rector of St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. In 1956 he became Principal of Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, and was elected to the Province Council.

He was in 1959 assigned to Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, as Teacher. He also served as Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian community there.

In 1962 Father Cavanaugh was elected Prior Provincial (regional leader). He resided at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois. When the Provincial headquarters moved to Evanston, Illinois in 1966, Father Cavanaugh relocated there. During his administration the seminary system was enlarged and the Province accepted responsbility for a large mission territory centered in Chulucanas, Peru.


At the conclusion of two terms of office as Prior Provincial in 1968, he became comptroller of the Province. He became a Senior Friar in 1972, residing at St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan until 1977, when he moved to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields. He resided there until his death October 27, 1988.

Father Cavanaugh is remembered for proposing many new and creative ideas for the Province. His interest and support of the Augustinian Missions in Peru never ceased. At the same time he was equally concerned for the financial solvency of the Province.

He is buried in Hoosick Falls, his home town, at Immaculate Conception Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to Augustinian Guild, Tolentine Center, 20300 Governors Hwy., Olympia Fields, IL 60461-1081.




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