John J. Curran, O.S.A.

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1917 – 1992 (April 14)

John Joseph Curran was born on September 10, 1917, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John J. Curran and Catherine Burke. He had one brother. Baptized on September 23, 1917, in Our Lady of Victory Church, Philadelphia, the family moved to Wildwood, New Jersey, where John attended Saint Ann’s Parish School and Wildwood High School. In 1939 he graduated from Villanova College with a B.S. in Biology. He entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a postulant in February of 1940. Upon completion of his novitiate at Our Mother of Good Counsel, New Hamburg, N.Y., John professed simple vows September 10, 1941, and three years later, September 10, 1944, he made solemn profession. His theological studies were at Augustinian College in Washington, DC, where on May 22, 1945, John was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John McNamara at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In 1946 having completed his studies at Catholic University he was awarded a Master’s degree in Speech and Drama. 

Father Curran’s first assignment was to the parish of Saint Augustine in Marianao, Cuba, where he also taught at the University of Santo Tomas. In 1951 he was transferred to Villanova College where he served as treasurer and purchasing agent and later as vice president for financial affairs from 1958-1967. In 1967 Father Curran entered the U.S. Veteran Administration Chaplaincy under the auspices of the Military Ordinate of the United States. After studying clinical pastoral education at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC, and serving with the Veterans Administration at Canandaigua, N.Y., he was assigned to San Juan Hospital in Puerto Rico. For the next 21 years Father served as hospital chaplain in San Juan and Bay Pines, Florida. When he began at Bay Pines the chaplain’s service was composed of rotating chaplains. Father Curran was eventually put in charge of the operation and at the same time of his retirement in late 1988, he was directing a staff of four full-time and four part-time chaplains, meeting the religious needs of a parish of patients, staff members, and volunteers. Since 1988 Father Curran resided in St. Petersburg, Fla., and was assigned to the Augustinian Community at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Parish in Golden Gate, Fla. Two months before his death at Bayfront Medical Center, Father underwent open heart surgery. 

During his lifetime Father Curran contributed greatly to the post World War II growth of Villanova University and served on the University’s Board of Trustees. He also served on the Advisory Board of Gwynedd-Mercy College and on the Main Line advisory board of the Girard Bank. Prior Provincial, John Hagen, was the celebrant at a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated April 21 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Cape May, N.J. A memorial Mass was celebrated at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bay Pines, Fla., by Bishop John Favalora of the diocese of Saint Petersburg and a similar Mass was celebrated at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Father Curran is buried in the family plot at Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Cold Spring, N.J.