Florentino Garcia Villar, O.S.A.

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1908 – 1974 (December 7)

Florentino Garcia Villar, the son of Nicholas Garcia and Maria Villar, was born on June 10, 1908 in Santa Croya de Tera, (Zamora), Spain, and was professed on July 23, 1924 as a member of the Philippine Province of Spain. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 19, 1931 in the Philippine Islands.

Father Garcia spent almost 25 years in the Philippine Province’s missions in China, 10 years in the mission in Iquitos, Peru, and seven years in the Philadelphia Vice Province. He spent two years in prison in China and was expelled from the country in 1955. He was appointed associate pastor at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Philadelphia, in Septmber, 1956, but was transferred three months later to Saint Mary’s Parish, East Vineland. The following April the Camden Diocese requested his help in ministering to Puerto Ricans in and around the East Vineland and Camden, New Jersey area. Together with Father Angelo Allegrini, Vice Provincial, Father Garcia opened the Augustinian endeavor in the inner-city Holy Name Parish in Camden. Father Florentino remained there and served under the pastorates of Fathers Vincent Altimare and Laurence Clark until his fatal illness. 

After a long illness and several operations, passed away on December 7, 1974, in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, NJ. His tireless work was greatly appreciated by all of the people he served and by the local diocesan clergy. This love was manifested by the overflowing attendance at the three services held for the repose of his soul. The Prior General, Father Theodore Tack, O.S.A., and Assistant General, Charles Pickar, O.S.A. concelebrated the funeral Mass at which Vice Provincial Joseph Toscani was principal celebrant and preached. The Ordinary of Camden, Bishop George Guilfoyle presided along with his Auxiliary, Bishop James Schad. Father Garcia was interred in Saint Mary’s Parish Cemetery, in East Vineland on December 11, 1974 after committal ceremonies at which Father Vincent Altimare was celebrant.