Howard A. Grelis, O.S.A.

1892 – 1970 (August 8)

Howard A. Grelis was born in Philadelphia on December 24, 1892, to John Grelis and Mary Byrne. He graduated as valedictorian of Roman Catholic High School, Philadelphia in June, 1911, and entered the novitiate on June 20, 1912. He professed simple vows as an Augustinian on June 20, 1913, and solemn vows on June 22, 1916. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1918 at the Passionist Church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Hoboken, New Jersey, by Bishop John J. O’Connor of Newark.

Father Grelis served the Church at Villanova University for 52 years, as professor of Latin and Greek, Prefect of studies and director of the School of Arts and Sciences. Father gained a wide reputation in the Philadelphia Archdiocese for his zealous work as spiritual director for several congregations of Sisters.

After several years of failing health Father Grelis died at Rosemont Manor on August 8. 1970, at the age of 78. He is buried in the community cemetery at Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova. One of Father Grelis’ sisters was a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Austin Marie, S.S.J., and two of his nieces belonged to the same congregation, Sr. John Elizabeth, S.S.J. and Sr. William Augustine, S.S.J.