Michael A. White, O.S.A.

1849 – 1900 (April 5)

Michael Augustine White, was born on February 5, 1849, to Thomas White and Joanne Garrihy White, in Islandbawn, County Clare, Ireland. On February 2, 1881, he entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pa., professed first vows on February 2, 1882, and solemn vows on February 3, 1885. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1885, by Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan, in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, in Philadelphia, Pa.

On September 7, 1885, Father White received as assignment that was to be his only one – to St. Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, Ma., where he assisted in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, a mission of St. Mary’s. Father White, who had developed superior writing skills, was chosen to contribute the introduction to The Catholic Church Alone, The One True Church of Christ, published on July 24, 1889 by the Catholic Educational Company of New York and Philadelphia. The publication, comprising 1,224 pages, was the work of six leading authors of the day. In the Preface, Father White stated, “What hopes can we entertain of a person to whom the science of virtue and eternal salvation doth not seem interesting or worth his application?” Reflecting upon the need for spiritual reading, Father White quoted Saint John Chrysostom who wrote, “It is impossible that a man should be saved, who neglects assiduous pious reading.” Father White emphasized the absolute obligation for pastors to preach the word of God and for all to realize that, “studying the Catechism is only the groundwork – the foundation stone; but we must finish the structure.” On April 5, 1900, Father White, at the age of fifty-one, died in St. Mary’s rectory, and was buried in the Augustinian plot of Saint Mary-Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts.