William J. Wynne, O.S.A.

1917 – 2005 (February 2)

William Joseph Wynne, was born to William Wynne and Elizabeth Donovan, on December 31, 1917, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was baptized on January 20, 1918 at the Church of The Sacred Heart and received his early education at Our Lady of Hope Elementary School and Saint Michael Cathedral High School. In 1936, he became a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, and on September 9, 1937, was received as a novice at Our Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1938 and made solemn profession on September 10, 1941. In June 1941, he received his A.B. degree from Villanova College and then continued studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1944 at Trinity College Chapel, Washington. In 1945, he completed his B.S. degree in Library Science at nearby Catholic University.

Father Wynne was assigned to teach at Villanova Preparatory School, Ojai, California in September 1945. The following year, he was appointed assistant Librarian at Villanova College, and a member of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery. In 1947, he was assigned as one of the first members who formed the Augustinian community at the newly founded Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. His particular assignment was within his field of library science and teaching. Over the years Father Wynne studied music literature, music theory and chorus directing at institutions such as Boston University, Newton College and Catholic University. From 1958 to 1962, Father Wynne served in Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish and school in the Bronx, N.Y. While there, he studied at the Manhattan School of Music, where he majored in piano with a minor in voice training, and, in 1961, received his Master of Music degree.

In 1962, he was assigned to teach at Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, PA. From 1963 to 1974, he exercised parochial ministry at Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, Mass., Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Jamaica, N.Y., and Saint Patrick Parish, Cambridge, N.Y. From 1974 to 1981, he assisted at Mount Augustine Retreat House, Staten Island. From 1981-1987, while a member of the community at Austin Preparatory School, Reading, Mass., he taught private lessons in piano and voice. In 1987 he was assigned as sacristan and librarian of Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery, Merrimack College, where he also offered piano and voice lessons. 

In January 2005, due to failing health, Father Wynne was transferred to the Healthcare Unit at Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, PA. He passed away peacefully on February 2, 2005, after a long bout with cancer. At his request he was buried in his family’s plot in Saint Michael’s Cemetery, Springfield, MA.

In addition to his music skills, Father Wynne had a keen interest in architecture and building construction and had developed a talent for evaluating antiques. He was also noted for his quick wit, humorous story- telling and interest in the history of the Province.