Arthur B. Maxwell, O.S.A.


1890 – 1983 (October 6)

Arthur B. Maxwell was born in Manchester, England, on January 22, 1890, the son of James J. Maxwell and Ada Serpell. His parents immigrated to Lawrence, Massachusetts. It was there that the young Maxwell became acquainted with the Augustinians. OnJune 24, 1914 Arthur Maxwell was received into the Order. After novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, he professed first vows on July 2, 1915. Three years and a day later, July 3, 1918, he professed final vows. After theological studies at Villanova he was ordained to the priesthood in Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Philadelphia, by Cardinal Dennis Dougherty on June 10, 1922. During his years at Villanova Father Maxwell was an outstanding member of the choir. With Father Greenlee he was prefect of the resident students in Alumni Hall.

Father’s first assignments (1923-1938) were in the new undertakings of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova: Saint Augustine High School, San Diego, California, and later Saint Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. In San Diego, his first assignment, he was a founding member of the faculty of Saint Augustine High School From 1923 on, he taught English there with notable success and continued to teach the same subject with equal success when transferred to Saint Rita High School in Chicago. On returning to   the East in 1938 he taught English for one year at Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pennsylvania, before transferring to parish work at Saint Augustine Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts. With the opening of Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, Father Maxwell returned to the teaching of English there in September of 1948, though his place of residence with accompanying pastoral assistance was for a short time at Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence. Upon completion of the faculty residence, Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery, at Merrimack College, Father Maxwell took up residence there in December 1948. He became prior of the monastery in 1956 and after serving for two successive terms, he retired in 1962.

In retirement he continued to live in the monastery at Merrimack College for many years but in a state of poor health. Crippling arthritis confined him to a wheelchair, but he insisted on doing whatever he could for himself. On October 6, 1983 Father Maxwell died. At the time of his death he was being cared for by the sisters of Mary Immaculate Nursing Home, Lawrence.
Father Maxwell’s inner serenity, quiet affability, and continued interest in literature and in sports made him an agreeable companion to those with whom he lived. He was an exemplary priest and religious throughout his sixty-eight years as a member of the Province. After retirement from teaching he still continued to be available to many priest and laypersons for confession.

Father Maxwell is buried in the Augustinian plot at Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts.