Richard A. Maher, O.S.A.

1880 – 1959 (August 19)

Richard Augustine Maher was born in Eggleston, Scotland, on January 10, 1880, to Richard Maher and Mary Keenan, and later immigrated to the United States with his family who eventually settled in Mechanicville, New York. He entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania on September 28, 1899, and professed simple vows on September 30, 1900. He was solemnly professed on the same day in 1903, and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Patrick Ryan on January 14, 1904 in Philadelphia.

Very soon after, Father Maher was assigned to Saint Denis Parish, Ardmore, Pennsylvania. In July of the same year he was apponinted to Saint James Parish, Carthage, New York, and in 1906 to Saint Rita’s in Chicago, Illinois. In 1907 he was appointed to Saint Augustine’s in Troy, New York and then to El Christo in Havana, Cuba. In 1913 he was sent to Saint Augustine Parish, Troy, New York, and soon after to Staten Island, N.Y.

It was in 1913 that Father Maher left the community for Denver, Colorado, and treatment for tuberculosis. In 1916, he returned to New York and taught at Dewitt Clinton High School. Two years later he entered the U.S. Service and, at his discharge, became a banker. Beginning in 1927 he was a teacher in Long Beach, Long Island, a high school principal, and finally Superintendent of the Long Beach School System until 1951. Both before and after his departure from the community, he authored novels including: “Shepherd of the North”, “The Heart of a Man”, and “Gold Must Be Tried By Fire” which won wide acceptance among Catholic readers of his day. While away from the Province he obtained an M.A. and a PhD from Columbia University in New York.

After many years, Richard Maher sought re-admittance to the Order and was received formally on Janauary 3, 1957. He became a member of the Villanova Monastery Community where he remained until his death at the age of 79 on August 19, 1959. His Funeral Mass was offered by his cousin, Bishop Maginn, Auxiliary Bishop of Albany. Father John Fagan, O.S.A. was the homilist. Father Maher was buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.