In Memoriam: Rev. William A. Guerin, OSFS

Rev. William A. Guerin, OSFS, 87, a priest with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, died on March 3, 2017, at the home of his religious community in Childs, Maryland. 

Fr. Guerin, son of the late Charles and Alice Jones Guerin was born in Philadelphia in 1929.  He attended St. Martin of Tours School in Philadelphia, and after graduating from Northeast Catholic High School for Boys in 1947, he entered the Oblate novitiate and made his first profession of vows in 1948.  Fr. Guerin earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Niagara University and a master of arts in education from the Catholic University of America.  He completed his studies for the priesthood at De Sales Hall in Washington, DC.  He was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1957 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, DE, by Bishop Hubert J. Cartwright.

“We have lost a talented and treasured Oblate,” Rev. Jim Greenfield, OSFS, provincial, said.  “Fr. Guerin was a tireless supporter of all of our ministries.  He never stopped raising friends and funds to aid our efforts to advance our mission.  We acclaim his near-60 years of work as a priest, especially in his later years offering mentorship to so many friends and former students.  He was loved tremendously.”

Following ordination, Fr. Guerin taught at Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt High School and Northeast Catholic High School, where he also served as principal from 1968-1974.  Upon the completion of his term as principal, Fr. Guerin was appointed treasurer of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, now DeSales University, a post he held until 1981.  From 1981-1986, as the Assistant to the Vicar for Education, Fr. Guerin worked with newly appointed high school principals, oversaw the daily operations of the BLOCS (Business Leaders for Catholic Schools) Office, coordinated communications with archdiocesan lawyers and auditors, and taught classes for future lay grammar school principals.  He served on the Board of Education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Executive Board of Secondary School Department of the National Catholic Educational Association, Board of Directors of Junior Achievement, and on the Boards of Trustees of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, Neumann College, and De Sales School of Theology.  From 1986-1999, he was the director of development for the De Sales Theological Center in Washington, DC.

Fr. Guerin retired in 1999 with residence at Villa De Sales Oblate Community in Wyndmoor, PA, until he recent transfer to the Oblates’ retirement center.

In addition to his Oblate religious community, Fr. Guerin is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, March 9, at 7:00 PM at Our Mother of Consolation Church, 9 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19118.  Beginning at 4:30 PM, a viewing will precede the Mass.  Interment will be at noon on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the Oblate Cemetery, 1120 Blue Ball Road, Elkton, Maryland, 21921. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to aid retired and infirm Oblate priests and brothers: Oblate Development Fund, 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE, 19806.