Rev. John J. Peck, O.S.A. (1933 - 1988)
Rev. John J. Peck, O.S.A. entered eternal life on June 27, 1988.
John Joseph Peck was born on March 20, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois to Merlin Floyd and Margaret (Gruskiericz) Peck. He was baptized on April 2, 1933 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Chicago. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 14, 1943 at St. Rita Catholic Church, Chicago.
In 1947, John graduated from St. Rita Catholic Elementary School, Chicago. He then attended St. Rita High School, Chicago, where he graduated in 1951. He did post-graduate studies in 1951 and 1952 at St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan.
On September 9, 1952, John was received into the Augustinian Novitiate. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1953 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 10, 1956. In 1957, he earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania. He then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., until 1961. He was ordained a priest on June 8, 1960.
Father Peck earned an M.A. in Religion from Villanova University in 1961. He was also awarded an M.Ed. in 1968 from DePaul University, Chicago.
Father Peck 1961 was assigned to his alma mater, St. Rita High School, Chicago, in 1961. There he served as a teacher and Vice-Principal for Activities. In 1966, he was one of the founders of Camp Villanova, a summer camp for boys which used the facilities of St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan. He was transferred in 1968 to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, where he was a teacher and Vice-Principal for Discipline.
In 1969, Father Peck was named Director of Novices at St. Monica Novitiate, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He then became Principal of St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan, in 1971. At this time, he was also appointed Rector of Postulants. He was named Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian community there in 1975.
After this, Father Peck was transferred in 1976 to Cascia Hall School, Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he served as a teacher and Prior. He was named Headmaster in 1979. In that year, he was also elected to the Province Council. Father Peck became Personnel Director of the Province and Superintendent of Schools in 1985. During this time, he resided at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois, where he served as Prior.
On the afternoon of June 27, 1988, Father Peck became ill at Tolentine Monastery. He was taken to Olympia Fields Osteopathic Hospital, Olympia Fields, where he died from a massive heart attack on that same day.
Father Peck was a quiet but gracious man who was interested in others.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.