Edward G. Grace, O.S.A.

1915 – 2004 (July 31)

Edward George Grace was born February 22, 1915, in Chicago, Illinois, one of three sons and two daughters of James Grace and Maria Josephine Judge. He was baptized March 14, 1915 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Chicago. He attended parish elementary schools at Visitation and St. Rita, both in Chicago, and upon completion of his elementary education, entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, in September, 1929 as a postulant. He received his high school diploma there in 1933. Edward was received into the novitiate on September 9, 1933. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1934 and solemn vows on September 10, 1937. He received a B. A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in June, 1938, studied theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. until 1942, and was ordained to the priesthood June 10, 1941 in Washington. While Father Grace studied theology, he also did graduate studies at Catholic University of America, Washington, where he was awarded an M.A. in Sociology in 1942. Father Grace also took graduate courses in Education at DePaul University, Chicago, from 1957 to 1960.

His first assignment was to St. Rita High School, Chicago, as a teacher in June, 1942. In June, 1943, he was transferred to St. Augustine Parish, Detroit, Michigan, as Assistant Pastor. In 1948, he returned to teaching when he was assigned to Cascia Hall Preparatory School, Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1951 he was transferred to St. Mary Parish, Rockford, Illinois, as Assistant Pastor. In 1953 he was assigned to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, as Vice-Principal, teacher and procurator.

In 1967 Father Grace was transferred to the new parish of St. Gregory, Galt now Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, as its Pastor. He held this position until 1980. In 1981 Father Grace retired to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois. Later that same year he returned to the active ministry by resuming parish work in the Diocese of Hamilton. Shortly afterwards he was appointed the first resident Pastor of St. John Brebeuf Church, Erin, Ontario.

In 1985 Father Grace was elected by his fellow Senior Friars to the Province Commission on Senior Status. He served as secretary to this Commission.

Father Grace was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the early 1980s. Declining physical capabilities necessitated his resignation as Pastor of St. John Brebeuf in 1986. In January, 1988, in order to receive needed care, he moved to St. Joseph’s Villa, Dundas, Ontario.

He will be remembered as the gentlest of gentle people, yet as a determined person who would quickly take the necessary steps to attain his goals. As his body gradually grew weaker, he always maintained a positive attitude and a sense of humor. Father Grace developed pneumonia in July, 2004, and died July 31, 2004, at St. Joseph’s Villa. He is buried at Marymount Cemetery, Guelph, Ontario.