Patrick Eugene Moriarty, O.S.A.
Father Patrick Eugene
Moriarty was born in Ireland in 1805. He studied there at Carlow College and
later in Italy, where he was ordained in Rome in 1828.
Father Moriarty spent a short time in Ireland following ordination,
after which he went to the newly established Vicariate of Madras, India.
There he served as Chaplain to the General Hospital Garrison at Fort St.
George. Between 1832 and 1834, Father Moriarty served as a military chaplain
in Lisbon, Portugal.
After refusing an Indian Bishopric, he volunteered for assignments in
the United States, where he arrived in 1839. He served as Prior and Pastor
of Saint Augustine's Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and also as
Commissary General of the American Augustinians three times.
Before beginning his missionary activities in the United States, he had
been granted a Doctorate of Divinity by Pope Gregory XVI. During his first
assignment in the United States, he attended the IV and V Baltimore
Councils. He also earned widespread fame as an orator and a lecturer. He
spoke at the corner-stone laying, dedication and blessing of such churches
as Saint Mary's in Lawrence, Massachusetts; at the Cathedral in Charlestown,
South Carolina; and, in Pennsylvania at St. Mary's in Phoenixville, Saint
Michael's in Chester, and Saint Philip Neri's in Philadelphia.
In 1841, he and
Father Thomas Kyle negotiated the purchase of the Belle-Air Estate. In 1847,
Father Moriarty went to Rome where he was appointed Assistant General. He
returned to the United States in 1850 to continue his activities for the new
Commissary Province. He served as President of Villanova College from 1851
to 1855. Later he served as the first Pastor of Saint Augustine's parish in
Lansingburg (Troy), New York. He wrote a "Life of St. Augustine," and
delivered his last lecture in the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on 17
Father Moriarty was seventy when he
died, 10 July 1875, at Villanova, Pennsylvania. He is buried at Saint
Augustine's in Philadelphia. Bishop John Quinlan of Mobile, Alabama,
preached the eulogy. In a biographical sketch of Father Moriarty, the
Catholic Annual stated: "There is not a man, woman or child, where Dr.
Moriarty is known, who does not venerate his name and deplore his loss."
Moriarty Hall, a
residence building on the Villanova University campus, is named in his
Source: Necrology of the Augustinian Provinces of the United States
(Revised, May 2000).