Christopher A. McEvoy, O.S.A.

1840 – 1914 (December 14)

Christopher Augustine McEvoy was born in Queens County, Ireland, on Decembeer 20, 1840. In 1849 he arrived with his family at Waterbury, Connecticut, and in 1864 entered the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels at Niagara, New York. Two years later he arrived at Villanova, and in January 1868, he entered the novitiate there. He made his simple profession on January 8, 1868, and was ordained to the priesthood, with a dispensation by Bishop Wood in the Philadelphia Cathedral on April 3, 1871. He celebrated his first mass on Easter Sunday in Saint Augustine Church, Philadelphia. He was solemnly professed on January 22, 1872.

After ordination, Father McEvoy was assigned to Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill, Pa., and after only a few months at the failing health of the pastor, he assumed charge. In 1881 he opened the first parochial school there in the basement of the church which he had also enlarged. In 1882 he was elected Prior Provincial and, when the acts of the next Chapter of 1886 were ruled invalid by the Prior General, Father McEvoy was appointed to continue in office. In 1889 he resigned while attending the General Chapter that elected the successor to Prior General, Father Pacifico Neno. As provincial, Father McEvoy attended the Third Plenary Council in Baltimore, Maryland in 1884.
The Provincial Chapter of July 1890, elected Father McEvoy president, prior, and pastor of Villanova. In 1894, he was appointed rector at Saint Denis’ in Ardmore, Pa.; in 1899 rector of Saint Augustine’s, Philadelphia, and in 1902 again at Our Mother of Consolation, Chestnut Hill. IN 1908 he was assigned to at Saint Mary’s in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In September 1913, Father McEvoy left for Villanova, where he died on December 14, 1914, at the age of 74.

The Funeral Mass was offered by Prior Provincial, Father Nicholas Murphy, O.S.A. at Villanova on December 17. The eulogy was given by Father McShane, O.S.A. Archbishop Prendergast gave the final absolution. He was buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.

Father McEvoy was a champion of two great causes of his time: that of total abstinence and the promotion of devotion to Our Mother of Good Counsel. As a preacher he was eloquent, as an advocate of Augustinian devotion to Mary under the title of Genazzano he was vigorous.