Agostino Cogliani, O.S.A.

Cogliani Agostino-17.jpeg

1874 – 1904 (November 4)

Agostino Cogliani was born in Grottominarda, in the Province of Avellino, Italy, on March 4, 1874. He entered the Order in August, 1887, completed his studies in Rome, and was ordained on May 28, 1899. He arrived in the United States on September 20th of that year, with an assignment to minister in the Italian Mission at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in South Philadelphia. His arrival followed by only a few weeks the sudden death of the pastor, Father Guglielmo Repetti. 

During his brief assignment, Father Cogliani was very involved in the parish school and in the preparation of the children for First Communion and Confirmation. After a little more than five years of intense work there he became ill and was rushed to Saint Joseph’s Hospital where he was operated on for appendicitis. He collapsed following the operation and passed away on Friday, November 4, 1904, at the age of thirty.

His funeral took place on Tuesday, November 8. Thousands came to pay their respects in the church where his body lay in state. Auxiliary Bishop Edmond Prendergast presided at Divine Office and at the Mass. Father Angelo Caruso sang the Solemn Requiem while the Provincial, Father Martin Geraghty, preached in English, and Father Antonio Isoleri, pastor of Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi Church, in Italian. Present were the Italian Consul and Mr. Francis Cogliani, Father Agostino’s brother, of Boston.

Father Cogliani’s body was laid to rest in the vault at Olde Saint Augustine Church, and was later transferred to the vault in front of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church together with the remains of Father Repetti. Even after the church was closed in 1933, the vault remained untouched until May 3, 1956 when the remains of Fathers Cogliani and Repetti, and a third member of the Italian Mission, Father John Cerruti, were transferred to Saint Mary’s Cemetery in East Vineland.