Death Notice: Augustinian Served at Villanova

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Contact:Michael Dolan Director of Communications Augustinian Friars, Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova P.O. Box 340 Villanova, PA 19085-0340

Phone: 610-527-3330 ext. 248 Fax: 610-520-0618 E-mail: [email protected]:

Obituary: Rev. Edwin Grimes, O.S.A.,Augustinian had a Lifetime of Service to the Philadelphia Region FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFebruary 2, 2005

Villanova, PA – Rev. Edwin T. Grimes, O.S.A., died at Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery in Villanova, PA, on April 12, 2005, at the age of 96. Father Grimes was born on April 14, 1908, in Philadelphia, PA, the son of Edwin T. Grimes and Elizabeth M. Vipond. His primary education was at Saint Aloysius Academy, West Chester, PA. High School education was at Mount St. Mary Preparatory School, Emmitsburg, MD, and Augustinian Academy, Staten Island (1923-1928).

Fr. Ed was received into the Augustinian Novitiate in September 1928 and professed first vows in the Augustinian Order on September 10, 1929. He attended Villanova College and graduated in 1933. From 1933 to 1937 he completed his theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, and at the same time pursued graduate studies in history and received his MA degree from Catholic University. He was ordained on June 9, 1936. In 1937, he went to teach at St. Mary’s Hall, Villanova University. In 1938, he was sent to Greyfriars, Oxford University for graduate studies in history, but had to interrupt his studies and return to the United States in October 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. Fr. Grimes returned to St. Mary’s Hall, Villanova College, as a teacher and was enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania to continue his studies.

From 1941 to 1956, Fr. Grimes ministered at Villanova College as professor, as dormitory prefect and as chaplain. From 1956 to 1958, he was stationed at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY. In 1958 he served at St. Rita’s Parish in Philadelphia, PA, and then in late 1958 he went to St. Augustine’s Parish, Philadelphia, PA where he served from 1958 to 1968. From 1968 to 1997, Fr. Grimes served at St. Denis’ Parish, Havertown, PA, and beginning in 1986 he brought his skills as an historian to the Provincial Archives. In 1997, Fr. Grimes came to reside at St. Thomas Monastery, Villanova, PA. After a long illness, Fr. Grimes passed over to the Lord on Monday, April 11, 2005, just three days shy of his 97th birthday. He was the oldest living member of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova. Fr. Grimes was part of Villanova College, mainly in the 1940s and 1950s, where he was close to the students as teacher and chaplain. Many of these years were during World War II, and he corresponded with many students who served in the war. He also traveled to any part of the nation to attend funerals of a student’s relative, no small accomplishment in an era of train travel. He was deeply committed to the welfare of the students and alumni. Fr. Grimes served for almost 40 years in parish ministry in the Philadelphia area, 29 of those years at St. Denis Parish, Havertown PA. He worked especially with families and with youth. His warmth, understanding and compassion resulted in a long line of people visiting the rectory for counseling and advice. Due to his lifelong residence in the Philadelphia and keen interest in history, he was a fountain of information about the history of the area, its people, its communities and its institutions. Along with the other Augustinians of his era he was part of the little known work of the Province in helping the early days of such institutions as Rosemont College and Cabrini College, and along with the friars who worked all week at Villanova and then, before leaving for Sunday work in parishes, would spend Saturdays at Hallahan High School teaching the Sisters so that they could become accredited teachers. He always recounted with pride the work of the friars that he knew and the sacrifices they made to keep the Province and Villanova College flourishing, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia well served by the Order.

Visitation will be held April 13, from 4:30-5:30 P.M. at Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery Chapel, and from 6:00-8:00 P.M. at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church on the campus of Villanova University. The funeral liturgy will follow at 8:00 P.M. on April 13 at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church. Burial will be held at 10:30 A.M. on April 14 at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, PA.

Friends and family may post reflections on Fr. Grimes on the Augustinian website at

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The Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova are Roman Catholic priests and brothers following the Rule of Saint Augustine. They serve in a variety of ministries along the East Coast, including work in parishes and schools, and have missions in Peru, South Africa, and Japan.

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