John J. Hagen, O.S.A.

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1930 – 2017 (December 18)

John Joseph Hagen was born on March 21, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of five sons and three daughters of Lawrence Hagen and Marie V. Schilling. He was baptized on April 13, 1930 at Saint Edmond Church, Philadelphia, and attended Saint Monica Parochial School. Upon graduation, he entered LaSalle High School in 1945 and then, in 1948, enrolled as a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, where he completed his senior year. He was received into the Order on September 9, 1949 and following his year as a novice at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, professed simple vows on September 10, 1950. He began college studies at Villanova College in 1950 and obtained a BA in Philosophy in 1954. That year he was sent to the Collegio Santa Monica, Rome, Italy, where he attended the Gregorian University and received an STL degree in 1958. He professed solemn vows in Rome on September 10, 1953, and was ordained to the priesthood at the Church of the Twelve Apostles on December 21, 1957, by the Papal Sacristan, Bishop Peter Canisius Van Lierde, O.S.A.

Father Hagen was assigned to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, in 1958. There he taught English, Greek, Latin, Biology and Religion, and was Vice-Principal. He also completed studies for an MA in English at Fordham University in 1962. From 1963 to 1970, he was assigned to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine High School, Bronx, New York, where he taught English, and was Vice-Principal for three years. From 1969 to 1972 Father Hagen studied at New York University, obtaining a PhD in Medieval English. In 1970 he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, and served the community at various times as treasurer and as prior, while teaching English at the University. He also served the Province as a counselor to the Prior Provincial, Regent of Studies, and a member of the Board of Merrimack College. In 1990, he was elected Prior Provincial and served the Province until 1994. Though nominated for a second term, Father Hagen declined his candidacy, and returned to teaching at the University. 

Father Hagen had a great love for ministry in the field of education, and spent his free time enjoying opera, classical music and reading medieval history and world literature. He served in parochial ministry on weekends for many years, particularly at Visitation Parish, Trooper. He was known as a gentleman and devoted priest, and to his confreres as an invested member of the community.

Due to the limitations incurred from declining health, Father Hagen retired from teaching, but continued to live at Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery. There he passed away peacefully on the morning of December 18, 2017, at the age of 87. His Funeral Mass was celebrated by Prior Provincial Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A. on December 21, 2017, the 60th anniversary of Father Hagan’s ordination. Father Thomas Pohto, O.S.A., who was Provincial Secretary during Father Hagen’s provincialate, preached the homily. Burial took place the following day in the Augustinian Plot of Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, PA.