Francis J. Cerullo, O.S.A.


1940 – 2020 (September 28)

Francis J. (Fritz) Cerullo was born on May 24, 1940, in Minersville, Pennsylvania, one of three sons and one daughter of Anthony J. Cerullo and Elizabeth Brennan. He was baptized on June 16, 1940 at Saint Vincent DePaul Church, Minersville, and attended Saint Patrick School and Nativity BVM High School, both in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. From 1958 to 1961 he worked at Necho Allen Hotel, Pottsville, and from 1962 to 1963, he attended Brown Prep, Philadelphia. He also worked for the AFL-CIO, Hotel and Restaurant Union in Philadelphia. In 1962 he became a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, and was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1963. After completing his novitiate in New Hamburg, New York, he professed simple vows on September 10, 1964. He then attended Villanova University from 1964 to 1968 and received his BA in Philosophy. Fritz then pursued theological studies at the Washington Theological Union while a member of Augustinian College and received an MA degree. He also did graduate work in sociology and psychology at Villanova University. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1968 and was ordained to the priesthood on August 28, 1971, at Saint Denis Church, Havertown, Pennsylvania, by Bishop Peter Van Diepen, O.S.A., Bishop of Manokwari, Indonesia.

Father Fritz was assigned to Saint Rita of Cascia Parish, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1971, where he founded the Saint Rita Community Center, an inter-generational program for elderly and youth. In 1977 he was transferred to Our Mother of Consolation Parish, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, and in 1978 he was assigned to Saint Augustine Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts. His next assignment took him to Merrimack College, Andover, where he served as Director of Development from 1982 to 1994. During that time, he was a member of Holy Rosary Friary, Lawrence, and later of Saint Augustine Friary, North Andover. Beginning in 1994 he was assigned to Saint Augustine Friary, Andover, while engaged in parochial ministry and offering consultation for development to various parishes, schools, and agencies. Beginning in 2000 he served as Administrator at Saint Pius X Parish, Manchester, New Hampshire, and then as Pastor of Saint Mary Parish, Dover, New Hampshire. In October 2012 he was assigned to St. Augustine Parish, Troy, New York until declining health brought him to St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, PA. 

In his final months he became a resident of Providence Place, Pottsville, near to his sister and members of his family. Father Fritz passed over to the Lord on Monday, September 28, 2020.

The skills which Father Fritz developed in business prior to his entry into the community became assets which he brought to ministry, particularly in his organizational and social work throughout his nearly 50 years of service.