Rev. Donald W. Harkabus, O.S.A. (1931 - 2005)

Rev. Donald W. Harkabus, O.S.A. entered eternal life on February 5, 2005.

Donald Wendell Harkabus was born on September 22, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Wendell F. and Catherine (Miecznikowski) Harkabus. He was baptized on October 18, 1931 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Chicago. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 2, 1944 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Chicago.

Donald attended St. Rita High School, Chicago, for one year before transferring to the Augustinian Minor Seminary program at St. Monica Seminary, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. After two years at St. Monica, he completed his high school education at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which granted him a diploma in 1949.

He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 7, 1949. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 9, 1950 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 9, 1953.

Donald earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1954. He pursued theological studies from 1954 to 1958 at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest on February 9, 1958. He earned an M.S. in Physics from Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1958 and an Ed. D. in Administration from Tulsa University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1967.

Between 1958 and 1971, Father Harkabus taught at St. Rita High School, Chicago, and Cascia Hall School, Tulsa. He served as President of Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, from 1971 to 1972. He was President of Environmental Dynamics, Inc., Tulsa, from 1972 to 1973. Environmental Dynamics designed and produced educational materials and operated a small college.

Father Harkabus worked in the Admissions Department of Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, from 1973 to 1979. In addition to his duties there, he was Director of Vocations for the Augustinian Midwest Province from 1977 to 1979. He was elected to the Province Council in 1977 and served until 1981.

Father Harkabus was named Prior (local superior) at St. Rita Monastery, Chicago, in 1979. He held this office until 1981.

In 1981, he began a long career as professor and chaplain at Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois. Father Harkabus remained there until 1994. During many of these years, he resided at St. Patrick Parish and at St. Joseph Parish, both in Lemont, Illinois.

He retired in 2002 and resided at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields.  In the summer of 2004, health difficulties necessitated his move to Manor Health Care, where he died on February 5, 2005.

Father Harkabus is remembered for his creativity, far-sightedness and generosity. A strong supporter of the Augustinian Missions in Peru, Father Harkabus studied Spanish with the intention of learning enough to be able to do pastoral work in Peru after his retirement from university work. Although he was never assigned to Peru, he did go there on several occasions and spent a considerable time ministering to the people of Northern Peru.

Father Harkbus is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.

Memorial gifts may be made to Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel, 5401 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615-5664, or via our Online Giving Page.