Main content

James H. Griffin, O.S.A., records, 1926-1972


Held at: Villanova University Archives [Contact Us]Falvey Library, 800 E Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Villanova University Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Father James Griffin was born 11 December 1891 in the Bronx, New York. He entered the Augustinian novitiate in 1909 and was professed a year later. In September 1912, after graduating from Villanova College, he was sent to Saint Monica's International College in Rome, to study theology. The onset of World War I called him home in 1915. He was ordained at Villanova.

From 1915 to 1926 Father Griffin served the parish of Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In June 1926 he was appointed President of Villanova College.

It was during his presidency that Villanova, in 1928, suffered the first of two fires separated by only a few years.

In 1932 Father Griffin began a series of pastorates in New York Ate: at Waterford, Jamaica, Staten Island and Greenwich. He gained a widespread reputation throughout New York State as an organizer working with the Saint Vincent De Paul Society and as a chaplain of Queens General Hospital, New York. He was also noted for his work with alcoholics and drug addicts.

In 1968 he was appointed Prior at the Augustinian Community at Saint Augustine's, Lauwrence, Massachusetts. With health failing him, he was transferred a year later to Saint Augustine's, Troy, New York, where he died at the age of 81. He is buried in the Augustinian community cemetery on the Villanova campus.

Works consulted: *Necrology of the Augustinian Provinces of the United States of America (revised, May 2000)

The James H. Griffin records consist of correspondence and press mentions. Correspondence deals with academic accreditation, Extension School (Diocesan Controversy), rules for students and freshman hazing (signed by faculty and administration in opposition). The press mention is an obituary. It was during his presidency that Villanova, in 1928, suffered the first of two fires separated by only a few years.

Villanova University Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA and Beaudry Allen
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact Distinctive Collections staff.

Collection Inventory

Academic Accreditation, 1926-1931.
Box 1 Folder 20
Extension School- Diocesan controversy, 1931.
Box 1 Folder 21
Student regulations , undated.
Box 1 Folder 23
Freshman Hazing, 1930.
Box 1 Folder 24

Newspaper clippings, 1972.
Box 1 Folder 22

Print, Suggest