Henry J. Eagan, O.S.A.

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1914 – 1999 (March 16)

Henry James Eagan, son of Daniel Eagan and Mary Power, was born on February 1, 1914, and was baptized on February 8, 1914 in St. Agatha’s Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His early education began at St. Leonard Academy and at St. Joseph Preparatory School in Philadelphia. He graduated from West Catholic High School in 1934, and entered the novitiate on September 16th of the same year. Henry professed simple vows on November 17, 1935, and made solemn profession on November 17, 1938. He attended Villanova College from 1935 to 1939, graduating with a bachelor’s degree, and pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. From 1939 to 1942 he studied mathematics and physics at The Catholic University of America, Washington. In 1958, he earned a master’s degree in education from Villanova University. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1942, at Trinity College Chapel in Washington, DC.

Father Eagan’s first assignment was to Villanova College where, from 1943 to 1952, he taught physics, mathematics and religion. During the summer of 1950, he taught religion and mathematics in Cuba. He served on the Mission Band from 1952 to 1954 and then returned to teaching at Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, Pa. From 1957 to 1965, Father Eagan served as associate pastor at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, the Bronx, New York, after which he was assigned to the Assumption Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts, until 1966. From 1966 to 1971, he was an associate pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Staten Island, N. Y.

In 1971, Father Eagan was appointed pastor of Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, Bryn Mawr, Pa. Four years later, he was named associate pastor at Saint Augustine Church, Troy, N. Y., and from 1979 to 1989, as associate pastor at Saint Augustine Church, Philadelphia. In October, 1989, he retired to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova.

Father Eagan was a dedicated teacher who had a positive influence on the lives of his students, administrators and staff members, both at Villanova and Malvern Preparatory School. While in parochial ministry he was director of twelve groups of the Legion of Mary. Although he was gifted with exceptional teaching and preaching skills, when asked about extra-curricular assignments, he is quoted as saying, “Believe it or not – Driver’s Ed, for four years.” One of the special interests that Father Eagan shared with other friars is the need to learn more about the life, times and philosophy of Saint Augustine. “… to have a deepened sense, knowledge, mind, spirit and love of Saint Augustine and his works.”

A Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, Villanova, on Thursday, March 18, 1999, followed the next day by interment in Calvary Cemetery, Conshohocken, Pa.