Michael J. Collins, O.S.A.

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1834 – 1887 (March 7)

Michael Joseph Collins, son of Patrick Collins and Catherine Lee, was born on September 25, 1834, in Dublin, Ireland. In December 1847, the Collins family immigrated to the United States and resided in Baltimore, Maryland. Michael attended the Christian Brothers’ School, and then, in 1850, entered St. Charles’ Seminary, Ellicott City, Maryland, and in September, 1856, continued his studies in St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Md. On September 18, 1858, Michael entered the Augustinian Novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, made his first profession on September 19, 1859, and was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1859, by Bishop John Neumann, C.SS.R., in the Cathedral Chapel in Philadelphia, Pa., just two weeks before the bishop died on January 5, 1860. On September 19, 1862, Father Collins professed solemn vows.

In May, 1861, Father Michael Collins was assigned to Lansingburgh, New York, and was made pastor of the neighboring mission of Waterford. In 1861, while pastor, he purchased a house for a rectory. From 1862 to 1864, he had acquired additional properties and provided a parish meeting hall by renovating the church basement. In 1868, he purchased land for a cemetery, and in 1874, had a tower erected and a bell installed. Father Collins was a member of Bishop Francis McNeirny’s council of Albany, New York. On October 11, 1876, Father Collins was appointed pastor and treasurer of Saint Augustine Parish, Lansingburgh, and after 1877, is also listed as prior of the community.

Father Collins died at Saint Augustine’s at the age of fifty-three on March 7, 1887. Rt. Rev. Francis McNeirny was celebrant of the funeral Mass on March 10, and burial was in the cemetery of Saint John in North Troy, N.Y.