NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. — Father Albert Anthony Croce, C.S.C., 95, died February 22 at the Holy Cross Community House in North Dartmouth.
He was born on July 15, 1918, in Brockton, to Amato and Vincenza (Dantuono) Croce. He was the sixth of eight children. Following six years of employment as a tool designer for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, Conn., Father Croce was received into the Congregation of Holy Cross on Aug. 15, 1943; and made his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 16, 1944. Father Croce received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1946. He made his Final Profession on June 3, 1948; and was ordained to the priesthood on June 6, 1950 after receiving a master’s in theology from Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C. Father Croce also later received a master’s in English literature from Notre Dame in 1952.
From 1952 to 1958, Father Croce was vice president of Notre Dame College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he also served as an English professor. From 1959 to 1961, he pioneered Scuola Media in Santa Croce, Italy. In 1961, he raised funds for Notre Dame College while continuing his education at Boston University. From 1962 to 1963, Father Croce was chaplain for the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Rutland, Mass. In 1963-1964, he co-pioneered Holy Cross’ missions in Peru. The following year, he taught English at St. George’s College in Chile. From 1965 to 1972, Father Croce was assigned to teach English at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he also served as director of student activities. In 1974, he became assistant to the president in development at Stonehill College in Easton. Father Croce was campus minister and director of Roncalli Hall at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt. from 1977 to 1979.
He then was assigned as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Brandon, Vt., and St. Monica Parish in Forestdale, Vt.; he served as pastor for nine years.
Father Croce retired to the Holy Cross Community at North Easton in 1988 and was appointed superior of the community house in June 1989. In 1998, Father Croce moved to the Holy Cross Community at North Dartmouth, where he continued to assist parishes in the Diocese of Fall River.
Father Croce’s parents, four sisters: Rose (Croce) Keough, Terese (Croce) Meaney, Olga (Croce) Barile, Dahlia (Croce) Perrotta; and his three brothers: Angelo, John and Edmund Croce are all deceased. Surviving family members include his nieces and nephews: Raymond Keough, Maurene Keough, Edward Meaney, Kathie Still, Paul Croce, Edmund Croce, John Croce, Carol Croce, Paula Croce, Lorraine Perrotta and Elaine Happnie. He is also survived by numerous first and second cousins.
A Funeral Mass was held February 27 at the Chapel of Mary, with burial at the Holy Cross community cemetery on Stonehill’s campus.
Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556-0765 or online at donate.holycrossusa.org.