Michael A. Hopkins, O.S.A.

1892 – 1977 (November 16)

Michael Augustine Hopkins, son of Thomas Hopkins and Mary Reilly, was born in Lawrence, MA, on November 15, 1892. He attended Saint Mary’s Parish School and Villanova Prep. He entered the novitiate on June 20, 1912, and made his first profession of vows on the same day in 1913. He was solemnly professed on June 23, 1916. He attended Villanova College where he was awarded his A.B. degree in 1916, and continued his theological studies in Washington, DC. Ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Denis Dougherty at Saint Charles Seminary, Overbrook, PA on June 8, 1919, he also completed his studies in Biology at Villanova and received his M.S. that same year.

Returning to Villanova after his seminary studies, Father Hopkins headed the Biology Department and the School of Science from 1919-1926, during which period he formed the pre-medical school. During this time he continued his professional studies at Harvard Medical School, where he also taught, and at the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1926 to 1933 he served in our parishes in Hoosick Falls, Andover, and Atlantic City, in the last place he chaplained the Policemen, Firemen, and Coast Guard, forming the League of the Sacred Heart for them. He also formed a Welfare Organization for the area.
In 1934 he was assigned as prior and headmaster at Malvern Preparatory School, where he taught science, and undertook many renovations and introduced the first “bus” system.

In 1941 he was appointed prior and pastor of Saint Paul’s, Mechanicville where, again, he undertook renovations in the church, school, rectory, convent, and cemeteries. In 1947 he was reassigned to Saint Laurence O’Toole Parish.

From 1953 to 1956 he served the church of Our Mother of Good Counsel, Staten Island as prior and pastor, and in 1959 he returned to Saint Paul’s, Mechanicville.
In 1965 he returned to the Lawrence area as prior of the community at Assumption parish. He served in this capacity until his retirement in July, 1971, at the age of 79.

Father Hopkins remained with the community at Assumption and it was here that he died in his sleep in the early morning of November 16, 1977, having just celebrated his 85th birthday the evening before.

His life came full circle, as he lay in state in the Church of Saint Mary, Lawrence where he had been baptized, participated in the sacramental life of the Church in his youth, and had celebrated his first Solemn Mass as a priest.

Father Hopkins is buried in the cemetery at Saint Mary’s, Lawrence.