Patrick J. Rice, O.S.A.

1919 – 2003 (October 21)

Patrick Joseph Rice, son of Patrick Rice and Catherine Callan, was born in New York on July 12, 1919, and baptized in the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Bronx. He attended Good Shepherd Parochial School, Manhattan College High School and Manhattan College from which he graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1941. He then entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y., where he was a post graduate postulant. In 1943, Patrick was accepted at Our Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y., and professed simple vows on September 10, 1944. After one year of philosophy at Villanova College he studied theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and  professed solemn vows in 1947. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop McNamara, on June 8, 1948, in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington. 

In 1949, after having received an MA in Economics from the Catholic University, Washington, D.C., Father Rice spent the summer as an assistant at San Agustin, Miramar, Havana, Cuba. Then, while a member of St. Nicholas of Tolentine community, Jamaica, N.Y., he became a Ph.D candidate in economics at Columbia University, N.Y. In 1953, he was assigned as an associate pastor at St. Nicholas Parish.

For the academic year 1955-1956, he was assigned as a faculty member at Archbishop Prendergast High School, Drexel Hill, Pa. He then was appointed to Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova, Pa., as faculty member, sub-master and treasurer, and assistant director of the Augustinian Seminary Guild, positions he held into 1958. In 1959, Father Rice was assigned to Merrimack College, North Andover, Ma., where he was appointed treasurer of the college, treasurer of the Augustinian community and a member of the Board of Trustees. In August, 1965, he was transferred to Villanova University, and, for the next thirty-four years served in various capacities: faculty member, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Executive Vice President. Among honors he received were: Alumni Honors Committee of Manhattan College, Advisory Committee to Assist Secretary of Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and member of the executive committee for the Association of N.R.O.T.C. Colleges.

Father Rice retired from the university on May 1, 1998. He was recognized as a quiet gentleman, a dedicated priest, a gracious brother, a keen administrator, and a faithful confessor for the Villanova students. He assisted on weekends at various parishes in Pomona, N.J. and later at St. Mary Magdalen in Rose Tree, Pa. His love for Villanova University and for the campus led him to oversee in detail the maintenance of the campus.

Father Patrick Rice died peacefully on Tuesday, October 21, 2003. Funeral liturgies were conducted at the Villanova church and at St. Elizabeth Church, Wyckoff, New Jersey. Interment took place in his family’s plot in Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah, N.J.