John M. Quinn, O.S.A.

1922 – 2008 (October 3)

John Michael Quinn was born on November 27, 1922, in Donaghmore, County Tyrone, Ireland, one of three sons and three daughters of Andrew Quinn and Rose Hughes. He was baptized in Saint John Catholic Church, Donaghmore, on the day of his birth. His family immigrated to the United States and the city of Philadelphia, where John attended Corpus Christi Parish School, from 1928 to 1936, and Northeast Catholic High School, from 1936 to 1940. From 1940 to 1942, he was a student at Villanova College, and then was accepted as a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. He began his novitiate in New Hamburg, N. Y. on November 12, 1942, and made his profession of simple vows on November 13, 1943. He then returned to Villanova College where he received his BA in Philosophy in 1945. He pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., professed solemn vows on November 13, 1946, and was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, on February 10, 1949. While in Washington, DC, he completed an MA in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America.

Father Quinn was assigned to Saint Mary’s Parish in Lawrence, MA, and taught at the newly-founded Merrimack College in North Andover until 1954. He then was assigned to Saint Joseph Friary, Drexel Hill, PA and taught at Archbishop Prendergast High School and then at Msgr. Bonner High School, until 1958, when he returned to Washington, and was assigned to Saint John of Sahagun Friary. There he taught at Archbishop Carroll High School and completed his studies for a PhD in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. From 1960 to 1963, he was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery and taught at Villanova University. In 1963 he was assigned to Casa San Lorenzo, Miami, FL, and taught at Biscayne College. In 1973 he returned to Villanova University until his retirement from the classroom. During his time at Villanova he was also the Associate Director of the Augustinian Historical Institute. Fr. Quinn authored many books and articles on philosophy and on Saint Augustine, and in 2002 he published A Companion to the Confessions of Saint Augustine, of which a reviewer wrote, “This brilliant and sensitive interpretation of the subtleties of Augustine’s text will find an unequalled place not only in the study of the Confessions but also in the much wider range of Augustinian scholarship.”

Father Quinn passed over to the Lord on Friday, October 3, 2008, at the Health Care Center of Saint Thomas Monastery, after a long illness. He was 86 years old. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at Villanova on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 and the following day burial took place in the Augustinian Section of Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken.