David J. Duffy, O.S.A.

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1931 – 2006 (January 9)

David Duffy was born on February 24, 1931, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William J. Duffy and Genevieve Colvey. He was baptized March 22, 1931, in Most Blessed Sacrament Church, Philadelphia, and attended St. Laurence Parish School, Upper Darby, Pa. He began high school at West Catholic High School, Philadelphia, Pa., in 1944, and transferred in 1946 to Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pa. Upon graduation in 1948, he was admitted to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, for a year of post-graduate studies, before being received into the Order as a novice at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1950, and began studies at Villanova College, graduating in 1953 with an AB degree in philosophy. He attended Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., for theological studies from 1953 to 1957. He professed solemn vows in the Order on September 10, 1953, and was ordained priest on February 9, 1957 at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

Father Duffy’s first assignment was to Villanova University as instructor of theology. In 1958, he was assigned to the newly-opened Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pa., where he served until 1966 as a teacher of English and Religion, and from 1966 to 1971 as Principal. He then served as a member of the Provincial Council from 1971 to 1973. Father Duffy returned, in 1973, to Malvern Preparatory School, where he spent the remainder of his life, first as Headmaster, until 1990, then as President, from 1990 until 2006. He also served, at various times, on the Board of Trustees for Saint Thomas University, Villanova University, Merion Mercy Academy, Waldron Mercy Academy, and Saint Augustine’s Preparatory School. During the 32 years of his dedicated ministry at Malvern, he is credited with helping resolve the school’s financial difficulties and growing the enrollment from 250 to nearly 600 students. Under his leadership, assisted by a dedicated Board of Trustees, qualified faculty and active alumni, Malvern grew to be one of the top college preparatory schools in the region. In appreciation for his commitment and achievements, The Rev. David J. Duffy, OSA Center for the Arts, was named in his honor. 

James H. Stewart, Head of School at the time of Father Duffy’s death, remarked, “This School that exists today is directly a result of his vision and leadership. We are all grateful to him for that commitment, but more than anything we will all remember him for his friendship, his fellowship and his faithfulness.”  

Known for his warmth, gentleness and kindness, his zeal in priestly ministry, and his Augustinian spirit of fraternity, he passed away suddenly on January 9, 2006, at the age of 74. The Funeral Mass was held at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, Villanova, on January 12, 2006, after which he was buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.