Thomas J. Dillon, O.S.A.

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1931 – 2000 (January 2)

Thomas Joseph Dillon, son of William Dillon and Catherine Mullen, was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, on October 13, 1931. He received his early education at Saint Patrick School, Malvern, Pa., and then Malvern Preparatory School where he was elected class officer and a member of the student council. After graduation he entered Augustinian Academy on Staten Island, New York, as a post graduate, in September, 1949. The following year he entered Our Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York and made his simple profession of vows on September 10, 1951. In September 1954, he professed solemn vows. Having completing his philosophical studies at Villanova University, he studied theology at the Gregorian University, Rome, and was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1957, at the Church of the Twelve Apostles by Bishop Canisius van Lierde, O.S.A., Papal Sacristan.

Father Dillon’s first assignment, upon returning to the United States in 1958, was to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y. where he taught Mathematics and Religion. A year later he served as assistant in Saint Rita Parish, Philadelphia and in August 1959 returned to teaching Mathematics and Religion, at Monsignor Bonner High School. In 1960, Father Dillon was appointed sub-master and treasurer at the novitiate in New Hamburg. In 1966, he became the Director of Brothers at the Brothers’ Formation House at Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. In June 1967, he was appointed Master of Professed Students at Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova. Two years later he was assigned to Saint Denis Parish, Havertown, Pa., and in 1975 was appointed prior of that Augustinian Community.

In 1983, Father Dillon became pastor, prior and treasurer of Saint Mary Parish, Waterford, New York. At the end of that year he resigned and was assigned to the parish of Saint Thomas of Villanova, Rosemont, Pa., where, in 1986, was appointed treasurer of the community. In 1993, he was appointed treasurer and assistant in the Parish of Our Mother of Consolation, Philadelphia, Pa. In September 1998, due to failing health, he was transferred to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, Pa. 

Father Dillon was a patient, kind, thoughtful person who was totally dedicated to the people he served. In the last weeks of his illness he wrote the following reflection on friendship and caring about others. “How may we be true friends to one another today? By refusing to let us settle for less than we know we can be. By asking each other to take that extra step for the other who needs a helping hand or an encouraging word. By being there for one another when nothing more can be done than share quietly in the pain or joy.”

Father Dillon passed away on January 2, 2000. A Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, Villanova, and interment took place at the Augustinian plot of Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.