Father Cherubin Kerr dies, served in diocese 25 years


kerrcherubin-webFather Cherubin Formosa Kerr, an Augustinian priest who served in the Diocese of Camden for 25 years, died July 26 in his room at the Villanova Monastery. He was 93.
In 1967 he came to the United States to minister in the Italian Vice Province and served at Our Lady of Pompeii Catholic Church, East Vineland, 1967-70, and at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Church, Philadelphia, 1970-81.
In 1981 he was named pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church, East Vineland, and in 1990 he was assigned to the community of St. Augustine Preparatory School, Richland, and continued to minister at area parishes in Southern New Jersey.
He was ascribed to the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova in 2002, while remaining a member of the Province of Malta. On March 16, 2009, due to diminishing eyesight and other ailments he retired to St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery on the campus of Villanova University.
Father Kerr was born in Valetta, Malta, and entered the Order of St. Augustine as a novice on Sept. 22, 1936. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 25, 1944, at St. John Co-Cathedral, Valetta.
He was first assigned to St. Augustine College, Malta, where he taught for 13 years. He then served as chaplain at the civil prison in Malta for nine years.
Father Kerr was an avid cook, stamp collector and woodworker who delighted in fashioning clocks, ships and furniture, which he gave away to others. Despite almost total blindness in his later years he continued, with the help of special equipment, to keep in contact with his many friends, especially in South Jersey, and with his relatives overseas.
“Father was a dedicated and faithful religious and priest, exemplary in his participation in the life of the community, in his faithfulness to prayer and to the daily celebration of Mass,” the Augustinians said when announcing his death.
He had been an Augustinian for 76 years and a priest for 70.
The funeral liturgy was celebrated July 30 in the Villanova Monastery Chapel. Interment was held July 31 at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Vineland.