John J. Fitzmaurice, O.S.A.

Fitzmaurice John 2-17.jpeg

1901 – 1954 (December 13)

John Joseph Fitzmaurice was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on October 6, 1901, to John Fitzmaurice and Ann Dwyer, and was baptized there in Saint Mary’s Church. He received his early education at Saint Mary’s Grammar School and Lawrence High School, and did post-graduate studies at Villanova Prep, Villanova, Pennsylvania. He entered the novitiate at Villanova in 1922, and professed simple vows on June 23, 1923. He earned a B.A. degree from Villanova College in 1926 and was solemnly professed on June 24 of that same year. After completing his first year of theology at Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova, he was sent to the University of Fribourg, Switzerland to complete his studies. He was ordained to the priesthood in Fribourg by Bishop Marius Besson on July 7, 1929.

Father Fitzmaurice returned to the United States after ordination and was assigned to Cascia Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1932 he was transferred to Villanova Prep, Ojai, California, and in 1935 to Villanova College. He then was appointed an associate at Saint Augustine Parish, Lawrence from 1936 to 1938, and to Saint Mary’s Waterford, New York, from 1938 to 1943.

In 1943 he was affiliated to the Midwest Province and assigned to Saint Mary’s Parish, Rockford, Illinois. In 1948 he became assistant rector of Saint Rita High School, Chicago, and in 1952 was named the first rector of Austin Catholic High School, Detroit, Michigan. He resigned in 1954 due to poor health and died there in the monastery on December 13, 1954 at the age of 53 from heart failure.

Father Fitzmaurice’s Funeral Mass was offered at Saint Clare of Montefalco Church, Detroit, after which his body was taken to Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence for burial.