Charles M. Driscoll, O.S.A.

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1859 – 1934 (December 19)

Charles Mary Driscoll was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on June 18, 1859, the son of Timothy Driscoll and Bridget Foley. He was educated at St. Patrick Parochial School and Lawrence High School, before enrolling at Villanova College. He entered the novitiate at Villanova, on December 8 1879, and made his profession of simple vows on December 8, 1880. In 1881 he was sent to Italy to continue his studies, where he made his solemn profession at Collegio Santa Monica on December 9, 1883, and where he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Sepiacci on December 23, 1883.

Father Driscoll returned to the United States the year following his ordination and served at Villanova as master of novices and professed until 1890. From 1890 to 1892, he was rector of Saint John’s in Schaghticoke, New York. He then served for the next two years at Genazzano, Italy, at the direct request of the Prior General. Shortly after he returned to the United States in 1894, he was elected Prior Provincial at the Chapter of 1894. On his trip from Rome, he was accompanied by the Prior General, Sabastiano Martinelli. In 1897, Father Driscoll was selected to act as judge in the cause of Bishop John Neumann. In 1898, he served at Saint Mary’s in Lawrence, Mass., and then rector of our parishes of Saint Laurence, Lawrence, Mass.; Saint Nicholas in the Bronx, N.Y.; Saint Joseph’s in Greenwich, N.Y., and Saint Rita’s in Philadelphia. He introduced the Chapter of Faults in the United States in 1896.

When Father Nicholas Murphy died in February, 1917, Father Driscoll succeeded him as Prior Provincial according to the Constitutions. At the General Chapter of 1920, he was elected Assistant-General a position he held until 1925. On December 19, 1934, after an illness of six weeks, Father Driscoll died in Philadelphia’s Misericordia Hospital at the age of 75. 

Mass was celebrated at Villanova by Father Driscoll’s good friend, Bishop Michael Gallagher of Detroit, with Bishop Kiley of Trenton, New Jersey, in the sanctuary. His body was then accompanied to Lawrence by train by Father’s cousins, Fathers Charles and Leo Hart, both of our Province. A Requiem Mass was celebrated on December 24, 1934 by Prior Provincial Mortimer Sullivan with Auxiliary Bishop Francis Spellman in attendance. At Father Driscoll’s request, there was no eulogy. He was buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence.