Francis T. Starrs, O.S.A.

1912 – 1982 (March 22)

Francis Thomas Starrs, son of Francis J. Starrs and Katherine Gillooly, was born in Philadelphia, PA, on August 23, 1912. From a family of three boys and one girl, Francis and his older brother, John, became Augustinians. After his early education at Saint Rita Grammar School in South Philadelphia, Francis entered Augustinian Academy, Grymes Hill, Staten Island, in 1927. Received as a novice on September 12, 1931, he pronounced simple vows on September 13, 1932 and solemn vows on June 10, 1935. He graduated from Villanova College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1936, and pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood in the crypt of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on May 30, 1939.

In the early years of his priesthood Father Starrs taught high school, first at Saint Rita in Chicago, from 1940 to 1942, and then at Saint Augustine High School, San Diego, CA, from 1942 until 1953. The remaining years of his apostolate were spent in parochial ministry as an assistant pastor in Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Bronx, N.Y., from 1954 to 1956, Saint Augustine Parish, Troy, N.Y., from 1956 to 1958, and Saint Denis, Havertown, PA, in 1958. In 1959 he was stationed in the Vice-province of California as an assistant at Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Los Angeles, and was elected econome of the Vice-province in 1962. Returning to the east coast in 1963, Father Starrs was an assistant at Saint Laurence O’Toole Parish, Lawrence, MA, and in 1965 was assigned to Immaculate Conception Parish, Hoosick Falls, N.Y. In 1965, he was transferred to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Atlantic City, N.J, and then to the parish of the Resurrection, Dania FL from 1967 to 1969. He returned to California for his health, but later returned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, PA, where he died after an extended illness on March 22, 1982. 

Father Frank Starrs was friendly and companionable. He was particularly effective in counseling parishioners with his soft, easy-going conversation and spiritual direction. He particularly liked to work with machines on the parish property. Father Starrs is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, PA.