John J. Farrell, O.S.A.

1861 – 1939 (March 26)

John James Farrell was born on November 2, 1861, to Peter Farrell and Mary McGlensy, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was baptized on November 10, 1861, in the Church of St. John the Evangelist. He received his early education in the public schools, and in 1890, entered the Order as a novice at Villanova, Pa. He professed simple vows on May 4, 1891, and solemn vows on May 4, 1894. John was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1895, by Most Reverend Patrick J. Ryan, Archbishop of Philadelphia.

Father Farrell was first assigned to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Atlantic City, New Jersey. While there he invented the coin-counting machine, which became very popular in many parishes. In June, 1906, he was appointed pastor of St. Denis Parish in Admore, Pa. In 1917, he was assigned to St. Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts, and, as a member of the Mission Band, preached many spiritual retreats and parish missions. He was also known for his fine singing voice which he loved to put to good use at parish liturgies and later in the Villanova Monastery.

In 1925, he was called upon to found the Parish of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. In 1929, he was appointed prior of St. Thomas Monastery at Villanova, Pa., and in 1936, he was assigned as prior of St. Mary’s Hall, Villanova, Pa.

Father Farrell died at St. Mary’s Hall, on March 26, 1939, at age 78. He is buried in the Monastery Cemetery at Villanova, Pa.