Hugh P. O’Neill, O.S.A.

1893 – 1965 (January 4)

Hugh Patrick O’Neill, son of Hugh O’Neill and Rose Ann Hughes, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, on September 16, 1893. He attended Lisburn National School for five years and Saint Malachy College in Belfast for three years before immigrating to the United States. From Old Saint Augustine parish in Philadelphia he enrolled in the Augustinian Preparatory Scholasticate, Saint Rita Hall, Villanova, as a postulant in September 1911. He was received as a novice on June 19, 1913, pronounced simple vows on June 19, 1914 and solemn vows on June 24, 1917. All of his formal philosophical and theological training he obtained at Villanova where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1917 and a Master of Arts degree in 1920. After completing his studies for the priesthood, he was ordained by Archbishop Dougherty at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul May 29, 1920.

In 1921 Father O’Neill was assigned to Saint Augustine parish, Havana, Cuba, and the following year he was named procurator of the community. On returning to the States he was stationed at Saint Rita Parish, Philadelphia from 1923 to 1924, Our Mother of Good Counsel parish, Bryn Mawr, from 1924 to 1932, and Saint Thomas of Villanova parish, Rosemont, from 1932 to 1933. Father O’Neill was then transferred to Saint Mary’s parish, Lawrence, MA, where he remained until 1962. During these many years at Saint Mary’s he served the parish and the Augustinian Community in a number of capacities. His specific assignment was responsibility for the west end district of the parish, and was in charge of editing Our Parish Calendar, a monthly parish publication.

A gentle, unassuming friar, Father O’Neill quietly went about his labors in the Lord’s vineyards bringing God’s counsel and solace to a generation of grateful Lawrencians. Beset by prolonged illness in his later years, he was cared for by the Grey Nuns at the Mary Immaculate Nursing Home in Lawrence from 1962 until his death on January 4, 1965. The Funeral Mass was celebrated by Prior Provincial, James Donnellon, O.S.A., at Saint Mary’s Church, Lawrence, on January 8, 1965, with burial in the Augustinian plot in Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Lawrence.