James Andrew Wenzel, O.SA,

1930 – 2024 (April 24)

James Andrew Wenzel was born on April 1, 1930, in Wakefield, Massachusetts, the son of William and Gertrude (McFadden) Wenzel. He had one brother and two sisters. He was baptized on April 20, 1930, at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Wakefield, Massachusetts. He attended Saint Joseph Parish School from 1936 to 1944, and Wakefield High School from 1944 to 1948. He then attended the newly opened Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts from 1948 to 1950, and was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1950. After a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1951. He went to Villanova University to complete his college education from 1951 to 1953 and earned a BA in Philosophy. He then went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for his theological studies, from 1953 to 1957. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1954. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1956, at the Christ the Teacher Chapel of Merrimack College by Richard Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston.

Fr. Jim was first assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery and taught at Villanova University from 1957 to 1958. From 1958 to 1968 he served as associate pastor at Saint Augustine Parish, Andover, Massachusetts. From 1968 to 1974 he was appointed pastor of Saint Augustine Parish, (Tower Hill), Lawrence, Massachusetts. In 1974 he was named pastor of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Jamaica, Long Island, New York from 1974 to 1979. From 1979 to 1986, he was pastor of Saint Mary Immaculate Conception Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts. In 1986 he was appointed prior of Augustinian College (1986-1995), and during this time he completed an MA in theology at the Washington Theological Union, Washington, DC in 1989, and a DMin at the Catholic University of America. From 1995 to 1999, he was assigned to the international Augustinian community at the Convento San Agostino, San Gimignano, Italy, where he served as retreat director. In 1999 he returned to the United States and was assigned briefly to Saint Katharine Drexel Parish, Cape Coral, Florida, as associate pastor, and he also helped at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish, Bokeelia, (Pine Island), Florida. From 1999 to 2015, he was assigned to Saint Ambrose Friary, Andover, Massachusetts, and worked in Campus Ministry at Merrimack College and served as the College’s Director of the Center for Augustinian Study and Legacy. There, he was an impetus to the education of the faculty, staff and students about Saint Augustine and the Augustinian way of life. He participated in the “Pellegrinaggio” program, which brought members of the Merrimack College community to visit Augustinian historical sites in Italy and in Europe. In August of 2015, he was assigned to the Augustinian Novitiate, Racine, Wisconsin, where he was part of the formation team. In September 2018, Fr. Jim was assigned to Bellesini Friary, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and then to St. Thomas Monastery the following year due to health issues.

He will be remembered for his encouragement and support for students in every level of Augustinian formation. His boundless energy engaged and involved many people to serve the church in a variety of ministries. After a prolonged period of declining health, he passed over to the Lord on April 24, 2024, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Augustine.

Funeral arrangements for
Fr. James Andrew Wenzel, O.S.A. are as follows:

Pennsylvania Viewing and Funeral Mass:

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

St. Thomas of Villanova Church
Villanova University Campus
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA

9:30-10:30 AM (Viewing)
10:30 AM (Mass)

Massachusetts Viewing and Funeral Mass:

Thursday, May 1, 2024
Collegiate Chapel of Christ the Teacher
Merrimack College, North Andover, MA

4:00-6:30 PM (Viewing)
7:00 PM (Mass)


Friday, March 15, 2024
St. Mary’s Cemetery
Lawrence, MA