Dennis J. Harten, O.S.A.

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1949 – 2020 (November 14)

Dennis J. Harten was born on January 19, 1949, in the Bronx, New York, one of three sons and a daughter of James Harten and Josephine O’Connell. He was baptized on February 19, 1949 at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church, the Bronx. Dennis attended Saint John’s Elementary School, the Bronx, from 1954 until 1962 and continued there at Saint John High School for one year before transferring to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine High School, from which he graduated in 1966. He then enrolled as a postulant at Augustinian Academy for the 1966 – 1967 school year. He was received into the Order as a novice on September 2, 1967, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed simple vows on September 3, 1968. He attended Villanova University from 1968 until 1972 and received a BA degree in Philosophy. He went on to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, where he attended the Washington Theological Coalition for theological studies. He made his profession of solemn vows on July 30, 1972 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1975 at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Jamaica, New York, by Bishop Francis Mugavero of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Father Dennis was assigned to Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Bryn Mawr, PA. as parochial vicar from July 1975 until July 1978. He then served as parochial vicar at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, the Bronx. In 1979, he was assigned to Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts, serving again as parochial vicar until 1983. In June 1983 he was transferred to Saint Augustine Parish, Casselberry, Florida, as parochial vicar and a year later, in June of 1984, he was named pastor. In July 1994, he was appointed pastor of Saint Thomas of Villanova Parish, Rosemont, PA, where he oversaw a major renovation of the Rosemont Chapel. In January 2002, Father Dennis was assigned to Saint Elizabeth Seton Parish, Naples, Florida, as parochial vicar and in 2006 was appointed pastor where he remained until August 2015. That latter year, he was transferred to Saint Augustine Preparatory School, Richland, New Jersey where he was completing a D. Min. degree and served the school community in the Office of Campus Ministry and taught theology. During this time, a long-term bout with diabetes caused severe circulation problems which eventually required the amputation of his left leg. In June 2018 he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, PA. His talents and experience were put to good use in the University’s Campus Ministry Office and later as chaplain of the University Law School.

Father Dennis had a great gift for bringing laughter into the lives of those around him, sometimes in unconventional ways and unexpected situations. He was perceptive and insightful, and despite various health issues in the last years of his life, including lengthy chemotherapy treatments, never lost his hopeful spirit or his sense of humor.

Father Dennis Harten died on Saturday morning, November 14, 2020, in Bryn Mawr Hospital where he had been taken days earlier. On admittance, he was found to have tested positive for Covid-19.