Joseph A. Smith, O.S.A.

1906 – 1974 (December 31)

Joseph Augustine Smith was born December 21, 1906 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Martin Smith and Julia Horahan. He was baptized January 6, 1907, and was confirmed on April 15, 1914, at the Church of the Visitation, Philadelphia. After postulancy, he was received into the novitiate on June 25, 1924, professed simple vows on June 26, 1925 and solemn vows on June 26, 1928. He earned a B. A. in Philosophy and an M. A. in French from Villanova College, Villanova, Pa., and did theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained a Priest June 9, 1931.

Father Smith was assigned in 1932 to teach at Cascia Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma. When the new Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel was established in 1941, he became affiliated to that Province and was appointed prior of Cascia Hall Monastery. From 1944 to 1947 he was assistant pastor of Saint Clare of Montefalco Church, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, and prior of the Augustinian Community there. He taught from 1947 to 1952 at Saint Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois, and when Austin Catholic High School, in Detroit opened its doors in 1952, he was transferred there as a member of the first faculty. He also served as the first prior there.

Father Smith returned in 1959 to Saint Thomas High School, Rockford, as teacher and prior. He was again assigned in 1962 to Saint Clare of Montefalco Catholic Parish, where he was assistant pastor and prior. From 1968 to 1971 he was prior at Austin Catholic High School, Detroit. He retired in 1971 and continued to reside in the friary at Austin.

While visiting his family in Rochester, New York, Father Smith suffered a heart attack. He died there December 31, 1974. Father Smith is remembered as a man of peace, a quiet man who was comfortable with himself and with others. He was a peacemaker who gave support and encouragement to all, particularly to his fellow Augustinian friars.

He was buried in the Community Plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.