J. Owen Barry, O.S.A.


1907 – 1978 (July 27)

James Owen Barry, the son of Joseph Barry and Louis Cunningham, was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on February 12, 1907, and was baptized at Saint Laurence O’Toole Church there five days later. He received his initial education at the Daniel Saunders and the Emily G. Whetherbee Schools, Lawrence High School, and Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. He entered the novitiate in 1930, was simply professed on September 12, 1931, made solemn profession of September 12, 1934, and received his A.B. degree from Villanova College in 1935. After pursuing theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., he was ordained by Bishop McNamara at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C. on June 7, 1938. In 1939 he was awarded his Master’s degree in Architecture from Catholic University, having won the national award for design that year.

Father Barry was first assigned to Saint Rita High School, Chicago, then to Saint Matthew Parish, Flint, Michigan. Illness brought him back east in 1940, and he was assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, and then to Waterford, N.Y. In 1941 he was appointed teacher and procurator of Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y., and in 1945 he was assigned to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Bronx, N.Y., where he served for 14 years in several roles – assistant pastor, sub-prior, and principal of the high school. 

From 1959 to 1970 he served the parish of Saint Paul in Mechanicville, N.Y. and from 1970-1975 as prior and pastor of Saint James, Carthage, N.Y. In 1975 he retired to the Merrimack Monastery. During his ministry he served as chaplain to many organizations, and was affiliated to the Congregation of Little Sisters of the Poor.

Father Barry died on July 27, 1978, His funeral Mass was celebrated on July 31st at Saint Patrick Church, Lawrence, after which he was buried in the Augustinian plot of Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Lawrence, Ma.