George Francis Riley, O.S.A.

1935 – 2022 (September 16)

George Francis Riley, was born on November 2, 1935, at Winchester, Massachusetts, the son of George E. and Teresa (Barry) Riley. He had one brother and one sister. He was baptized on November 15, 1935, at St. Laurence O’Toole Catholic Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts. He attended St. Laurence O’Toole Parochial School, (1941-1949), and Central Catholic High School, (1949-1953), Lawrence, Massachusetts, and then Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, for two years, (1953-1955).

He was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1955, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1956. He then went to Villanova University where he received his BA in Philosophy, graduating in 1958. He went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for his theological studies, (1958-1962) and also received an MA from the Catholic University of America, and from Villanova University. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1959. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Chapel of Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, on February 3, 1962.

Fr. George was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery and Villanova University in 1962. From 1962 to 1972, he taught religious studies and ethics. From 1965 to 1968, he also served as the Province’s Vocation Director. He received his PhD in Education from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, in 1969. From 1969 to 1971, he served as the Province Secretary and Archivist. From 1972 to 1991 he was the Vice President for University Relations, and from 1991 to 2016 he was Special Assistant to the President of Villanova University and also worked in Alumni Relations. Fr. George served on various boards, among them the Board of Trustees of Merrimack College.

He also served on the board of the American Catholic Historical Society, wrote a number of historical publications, as well as compilations of his sermons. He began the “Villanova Magazine” in 1984 and served on many of the fund-raising Capital Campaigns for Villanova University. During the weekends, Fr. George ministered to different parishes in South Jersey for 50 years. He was known for his sense of humor and friendliness.

His dedication to the Augustinian community, to Villanova University and the parishes where he ministered was an inspiration to many. Fr. George passed away in the early morning of September 16, 2022 at the St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery.

Funeral arrangements for
Fr. George F. Riley, O.S.A. are as follows:

Viewing and Funeral Mass:

Monday, September 26, 2022
St. Thomas of Villanova Church
Villanova University Campus
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA
3:00 -7:00 PM (Viewing)
7:00 PM (Mass)

 If you are unable to join on the first link above, please use this  backup livestream link to be able to watch the ceremony online.



Burial will be at the Augustinian plot at
St. Mary’s in Lawrence, MA
at a later date.