Paul M. Judson, O.S.A.

Judson Paul 2-17.jpeg

1897 – 1967 (December 9)

Paul Mary Judson was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on August 17, 1897, one of four sons of Leo Judson and Grace Cunningham. He received his primary education in Norfolk, and his secondary education at Villanova Preparatory School from 1912 to 1916. He was received into the novitiate at Villanova on June 23, 1916, and made his profession of vows on June 24, 1917. In June, 1920, he received an A.B. degree from Villanova, and pursued theological studies. He was ordained to the priesthood by Michael J. Crane, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, on September 22, 1923. He completed his Master’s degree work in history in June, 1924, and received his degree from Catholic University.

Father Judson was assigned to Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova, as sub-master of professed clerics from 1924 to 1931, except for a year’s assignment to the parish of Saint Thomas of Villanova, Rosemont, Pa., in 1925, because of poor health. In 1931 he was appointed master of clerics at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and the following year returned to Saint Mary’s Hall as Master of Clerics and remained in that position until 1936. From 1936 to 1947 he was Master of Novices at Good Counsel Novitiate, new Hamburg, New York, and served also as sub-prior from 1941 to 1947. He was elected prior at the novitiate in June 1947 and served two terms in that office until June 1953.

In June 1953 he was appointed prior and procurator at the parish of Saint Rita of Cascia in Philadelphia, and served there until appointed prior and pastor of the Church of Saint Augustine, Lawrence, Massachusetts. Father Judson remained at Saint Augustine’s until June, 1962, when he was appointed prior and pastor of Saint Mary’s Church, Lawrence.

At the Provincial Chapter of 1965, he was elected first definitor, and attached to the new Saint Mary’s Collegiate Seminary, Villanova. On December 10, 1966, he was assigned “in residence” to Saint Denis Church, Havertown, Pa., where he assisted in the work of the parish when not engaged in preaching parish missions or giving spiritual retreats and conferences to Sisters and other religious groups. It was during this year that Father Judson, under the direction of the prior provincial, laid out and planned the new Saint Mary’s Hall Cemetery for the friars.

Father Judson died on Saturday morning, December 9, 1967, while attending a meeting of the Augustinian Seminary Renewal Committee at Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova, and had just finished addressing the members of the Committee when he collapsed in his chair. The prior provincial administered the sacraments to him and the assembled friars joined in the recitation of the prayers for the dying. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Bryn Mawr Hospital, the victim of a heart attack.

Father Judson’s funeral Mass was celebrated for the Saint Denis parish community on December 12, and the following day with his brother Augustinians and family and friends at Saint Mary’s Hall Chapel, with Prior Provincial, James Sherman, O.S.A. as principal celebrant, and his classmate and good friend, Father Henry Caffrey, O.S.A., as homilist.

Father Judson was buried in the community cemetery adjoining Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova, until all the graves were eventually removed to the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery in West Conshohocken, PA.