James H. Griffin, O.S.A.

1891 – 1972 (July 28)

James H. Griffin, the son of James Griffin and Margaret O’Connor, was born on December 11, 1891 in the Bronx, New York. He entered the novitiate on June 25, 1909 and was professed on the same day in 1910. In September, 1912, after graduating from Villanova College, he was sent to Saint Monica’s International College in Rome to study theology. The onset of World War I called him home in 1915. He was ordained on July 1, 1915 at Villanova by Bishop John McCort, Auxiliary of Philadelphia. 

From 1915 to 1926 Father served the parish of Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. In June, 1926, he was appointed President of Villanova College. It was during his presidency that Villanova suffered the first of two disastrous fires in 1928.

In 1932 Father Griffin began a series of pastorates including Saint Mary’s, Waterford; Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica, New York, in 1938 and again in 1950; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Staten Island, in 1944 and in 1956; and Saint Joseph, Greenwich, New York in 1962. He gained a wide-spread reputation throughout New York States as an organizer, working with the saint Vincent DePaul Society and chaplain of Queens General Hospital. He was also noticed for his work with alcoholics and drug addicts.

In 1968 he was appointed prior of the Augustinian community at Saint Augustine’s Lawrence, MA. With failing health he was transferred a year later to Saint Augustine’s Troy, NY, where he died at age 81. He is buried in the community cemetery at Villanova.