Charles J. Baker, O.S.A.


1879 – 1959 (June 24)

Charles James Baker was born on Staten Island, New York, on May 24, 1879, to Charles Baker and Angelina Fulton. He attended Augustinian Academy, after which he was employed for several years as a clerk. Charles entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1904, and professed simple vows on July 4, 1905. He was solemnly professed on July 6, 1908, and on Thanksgiving Day of that same year, was ordained a subdeacon by Augustinian Bishop William Jones of Puerto Rico at Villanova. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Philadelphia Cathedral by Bishop Edmund Prendergast on May 14, 1910.

For four years after his ordination, Father Baker served at Our Mother of Good Counsel in Bryn Mawr, Pa. In 1914, he was appointed Procurator of Villanova College. His next assignment came in 1918 when he was named as assistant at Our Mother of Consolation Church in Chestnut Hill, Pa. The following year he entered the military service as a chaplain in the United States Army, from which he later retired with the rank of First Lieutenant.

From 1922 to 1924, he was a Definitor of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova. During this period he also became prior and pastor of Saint Joseph’s in Greenwich, New York. In 1931, he was appointed prior and pastor at Chestnut Hill, a post he held until 1947. He also served again as a Definitor from 1941 to 1947.

In 1947, because of poor health and advanced age, Father Baker retired to the Monastery at Villanova. He died there on June 24, 1959 at the age of 80. He is buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.