Filippo Pambianco, O.S.A.


1879 – 1952 (December 30)

Francesco Pambianco was born on July 2, 1879, in Costacciari, Perugia, Italy. He was received into the Order on November 6, 1894, followed soon after by his brother, and professed his vows as a member of the Province of Umbria on November 7, 1895, taking the name Filippo. He did his studies at Collegio Santa Monica, Rome, and was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1901. Having obtained the title of Lector, he taught in Viterbo and later at Borgo a Buggiano. On December 30, 1911, he was awarded the title of Regent by the Prior General. At the Chapter of the Province of Umbria in October 1913, he was elected a definitor in the term of Prior Provincial, Pio Santolini, and was elected to this same position at the Chapter of 1919. He joined the Italian Mission to the United States in 1920 or 1921 and served both at Our Lady of Good Counsel and Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Churches in South Philadelphia, and was named pastor of the latter parish in February 1926. He relinquished this post in 1927 but in the interval purchased two houses next to the church on Watkins Street to make room for a new friary. He also converted the basement of the church into a lower chapel to accommodate the growing numbers of parishioners. On November 14, 1926, in the Church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, he was awarded the ring of a Doctor of Theology from Father Charles M. Driscoll, O.S.A.

Accused by Cardinal Dougherty of writing an anonymous letter critical of several priests, including the Cardinal himself, – which he strenuously denied – he was forced to leave the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and went to Augustinian Academy on Staten Island, from where he served as chaplain to a community of Italian sisters and occasionally travelled preaching missions and retreats. He was a scholarly man and wrote poems in Latin with great ease. A manuscript he was writing in his later years, “Letters to Jesus”, has been lost.

Father Pambianco remained a member of the Vice Province until his death which occurred on December 30, 1952 in Staten Island. He was buried on January 2, 1953 at Villanova.