Philip A. Holland, O.S.A.

1897 – 1961 (April 12)

Philip Anthony Holland was born to Philip and Julia Holland, on November 23, 1897, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In 1921, he entered Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and received his A.B. degree in June, 1925. On August 15, of that same year, he was received as a member and dean of the first novitiate class at Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York. On August 16, 1926, he professed first vows, and on April 9, 1929, he made solemn profession in Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood by Thomas J. Shahan, D.D., on June 10, 1929, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, and on June 16, celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Mary’s Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts.

From 1929 to 1930, Father Holland was a student-priest at Villanova, before receiving his first assignment to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Bronx, New York. On June 16, 1933, he was assigned to the parish of St. Clare in Chicago, Illinois, and in 1935, to St. Rita Parish in Chicago. In 1937, Father Philip was transferred to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish on Staten Island, New York. Shortly after the beginning of World War II, on September 29, 1942, he applied for a chaplaincy in the U.S. Army and studied at the Chaplains’ School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received citations for serving in the European African Middle Eastern Service, including the American Service Medal and World War II Victory Medal. During the war he had been stationed in Germany, England, France and Belgium. On March 3, 1946, he returned to the United States, and on June 13, 1946, was separated from military service with the grade of Major. He then became associate pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Lawrence, Mass. In 1950, he was assigned as pastor of St. Thomas parish in Ojai, California, where he remained until January 3, 1961, when poor health required that he be sent to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, Pa. 

In March 1961, Father Holland moved to Merrimack College, North. Andover, Mass., where he remained until his death, one month later.

On April 12, 1961, at the age of 63, Father Holland collapsed and died while walking in Andover, Mass. His funeral Mass was celebrated in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher, at Merrimack College, by Prior Provincial James Donnellon, followed by interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence, Mass.