Rev. William M. O'Rourke, O.S.A. (1922 - 1988)

Rev. William M. O'Rourke, O.S.A. entered eternal life on May 21, 1988.

William Michael O'Rourke was born on February 2, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to William and Helen (Conroy) O'Rourke.

Upon graduation in 1935 from St. Basil Catholic Elementary School, Chicago, William enrolled in St. Rita High School, Chicago, from which he graduated in 1939. He then worked in Chicago before entering the Augustinian program of formation at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York.

Following a year of post-graduate studies at Augustinian Academy, William was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 10, 1941. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1942 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 10, 1945.

William earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1946. He then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., from 1946 to 1950. During these years, he also did graduate studies at Catholic University of America, Washington. He was ordained a priest on June 7, 1949.

Father O'Rourke was assigned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, in 1950 as a teacher.  In 1951, he joined the faculty of Mendel Catholic High School when it opened on the campus of the former Pullman Free School of Manual Training, Chicago.

In 1960, Father O'Rourke became part of the Augustinian Mission Band, headquartered at St. Joseph Mission House, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Mission Band led spiritual retreats and preached parish missions throughout the United States.  He returned to teaching at St. Rita High School in 1969.

Ill health made Father O'Rourke's retirement necessary in 1984. Even in his own illness, he was concerned about the care of his sister, who was quite sick.

Father O'Rourke died of heart disease on May 21, 1988. He is noted for his congeniality and his ability to spark excitement in community gatherings. He was a gifted and down-to-earth preacher who was able to touch people's hearts.

Father O'Rourke 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.