John Joseph Ferrence, O.S.A.

1926 – 2023 (February 26)

John Joseph Ferrence, O.S.A., was born on May 8, 1926, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Andrew and Margaret (Kalavsky) Ferrence. He had two brothers, William and Andrew. He was baptized on May 16, 1926, at Saint Agnes Catholic Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Saint Augustine Parish School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1932 to 1940 and Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York from 1940 to 1944.

He was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1944, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1945. He then attended Villanova College from 1945 to 1949 and received his BA in Philosophy. He then went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for his theological studies from 1949 to 1953. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1952, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, by Bishop John McNamara. He completed MS degrees at Villanova University in Chemistry and Biology.

Fr. Ferrence was first assigned to Saint John of Sahagun Friary and Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, DC, where he taught from 1953 to 1956. He then was assigned to Augustinian Academy, first as Vice Rector and then Rector of Postulants as well as Principal of the school from 1956 to 1962. He then was assigned to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Bronx, New York, where he worked in the parish and taught in the high school from 1962 to 1964.

In 1964, he was assigned to Saint Joseph Friary and Msgr. Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. There he was to spend the next 38 years teaching Chemistry and moderating school activities, as well as assisting on weekends at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Coatesville, Pennsylvania. He retired from teaching in 2002, but continued to reside in the friary, to help out when needed in the school, and to remain connected with many of his former students and their families. He officiated at the weddings of many of these former students. He said that his success in teaching was credited to his “way of making sure that the students are treated as young adults”.

Fr. Ferrence moved to St. Thomas Monastery in 2009 and continued to assist on weekends for a few more years. Due to illness these past few days, he was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital and he passed away peacefully February 26, 2023.

Funeral arrangements for
Fr. John J. Ferrence, O.S.A. are as follows:

Viewing and Funeral Mass:

Friday, March 3, 2023
St. Thomas of Villanova Church
Villanova University Campus
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA

9:00 -10:30 AM (Viewing)
10:30 AM (Mass)


Following the Funeral Mass

Friday, March 3, 2023
Calvary Cemetery
West Conshohocken, PA