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Rev. John L. Seary
Rev. John L. Seary, O.S.A. (1900 - 1989)
Posted by TomCleary 2007-05-12


Rev. John L. Seary, O.S.A. entered eternal life February 15, 1989.

John Leo Seary, Jr. was born May 6, 1900 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to John Leo and Cecelia (Jordan) Seary. He was the youngest of ten children. He was Baptized May 27, 1900 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Philadelphia. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation May 26, 1910 at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, Philadelphia.

John received his elementary education at St. Gregory and Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Schools, both in Philadelphia. He studied at St. Joseph College High School, Philadelphia, before entering St. Rita Hall, the Augustinian minor seminary in Villanova, Pennsylvania. There he earned his high school diploma in 1918.

He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate June 27, 1919, professing simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine June 29, 1920 and solemn (permanent) vows December 12, 1923. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University, Villanova, in 1923. He then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained a Priest August 29, 1926.

Father Seary's first assignment was in 1927 to St. Augustine High School (now known as Villanova Preparatory School), Ojai, California. One year later he was transferred to St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, where he was a Teacher and, beginning in 1930, Vice-Principal/Prefect of Studies.

He was named Principal of St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois, in 1935. He also served as Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian community there. When the new Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Augustinians of the Midwest) was formed in 1941, Father Seary was affiliated to that Province. He was elected to the Council of the new Province.

In 1942 Father Seary was assigned to the recently opened St. Monica High School Seminiary, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He was Prior of the Augustinian community there, and also worked with the Augustinian Mission Band, which led spiritual retreats and preached parish missions throughout the United States.

Father Seary was transferred in 1944 to Cascia Hall School, Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he served as Headmaster and Prior of the Augustinian Community.

He returned to Chicago in 1950 to found a new school, Mendel Catholic High School. When the school opened in 1951 on the former campus of the Pullman Free School of Manual Training, Father Seary became its first Principal as well as Prior of the Augustinian community.

Father Seary was in 1956 elected Provincial (regional leader) of the Midwest Province. He continued to reside at Mendel Monastery, Chicago, until the new major seminary, Tolentine Hall (later Tolentine College), Olympia Fields, Illinois, opened in 1958. This building contained living quarters and offices for the Provincial, so Father Seary relocated there.

At the conclusion of his second term as Provincial in 1962, he went to St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, Chicago, where he was Assistant Pastor and Prior of the Augustinian community. In 1971 he retired from full-time ministry. He resided at Mendel Monastery, Chicago, where he continued to provide guidance to seminary support organizations such as the Men of Tolentine and the Ladies of Tolentine. He also ministered part-time at St. Walter Catholic Church, Chicago.

For a number of years Father Seary's health had been deteriorating. He suffered several heart attacks. He was assigned in 1988 to St. Rita Monastery, Chicago. There he died peacefully February 15, 1989. He was 88.

Father Seary enjoyed music. He was fond of reminding people of his early years as a popularizer of new sheet music. In addition to his delight in story telling and humorous reminiscing, he was noteworthy for founding the two seminary support groups, Men of Tolentine and Ladies of Tolentine, as well as founding Mendel Catholic High School.

He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

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




comments
2008-04-24 17:37 - dustykr
I can remember well, our first meeting ; when I enrolled in my freshman year at Mendel. I was accompanied by my parents, and we spoke of many things, especially studies, and homework and during the discussion, you made a statement that will always remain with me. "Science is systemetized knowledge" you so emphatically stated. With great humility, Father Seary, I hope that I made you proud, as I spent my entire professional career in research and development engineering. Your words have always had a profound meaning in my life. It is true to this day. I thank God for the opportunity to have had you as a part of my life. I hope the angels sang to you on the road to heaven. God Grant  You Eternal Rest.
        Mendel Men are Gentlemen,
          A Monarch Always,
      Kenneth R. Dust  Staff Engineer / Scientist  Retired
 

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