Joseph A. Coleman, O.S.A.
Rev. Joseph A. Coleman, O.S.A., was a native of
Ireland. He did his early studies with the Augustinian Fathers in his native
land, completing his education for the priesthood at Ghent, Belgium. Very
Rev. John J. Fedigan, O.S.A., was his classmate. After his ordination he
returned to Ireland and was for a time prior at St. Augustine's and St.
John's churches, Dublin. In 1875 he came to America and was engaged in
mission work for two years, and then returned to his native land. He came
back to America and became affiliated with the American province. At St.
Augustine's parish, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he served for about
three years, he reorganized the Sacred Heart Society, succeeding so well
that its membership under his direction approached nearly one thousand.
From July, 1880, to July, 1886, he was president of Villanova College and
prior of the monastery there. During this time the Church of St. Thomas of
Villanova was erected. At the close of his term as president he went to
Australia as a missionary and, while there, met with an accident, a fall
from a horse, which left lasting damage and was eventually the cause of his
While in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on his way home to Ireland from
Australia, he received instructions from the prior general of his order to
remain there and engage in the collection of funds for the newly established
Italian Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel. This involvement was successful
in great measure because of his efforts. He died while there at Good Counsel
and was buried in the priests vault at St. Augustine's. Archbishop Ryan of
Philadelphia performed the final funeral rite preceding interment of the
Source: The above account was taken in part from The
Catholic Standard & Times of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, 5 July 1902. A
Death of a Noted Augustinian. Rev. Joseph A. Coleman Passes Away at St.
Nicholas, Atlantic City, New Jersey.@