Father William T. Garland, O.S.A., former  director of Fall River diocesan Education Office

BOSTON — Augustinian William Townley Garland, the director of the Fall River diocesan Education Department from 1996 until 2002, died June 12 at Kindred Hospital in Boston.

Father Garland was born Nov. 3, 1935, in Arlington, the son of William T. Garland and Mary C. Caldwell. He had one sister who pre-deceased him. 

He attended the Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, N.Y., from 1949 to 1953. He was received into the Order of St. Augustine as a novice on Sept. 9, 1953, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y., he professed first vows on Sept. 10, 1954. He matriculated at Villanova University from 1954 to 1958, and received a BA in Philosophy. He attended Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., from which he obtained his masters in theology, and, in 1961, a masters in counseling from the Catholic University of America. 

He professed solemn vows on Sept. 10, 1957, and was ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 3, 1962, at the Chapel of Christ the Teacher, Merrimack College, North Andover, by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston.

Father Garland was first assigned, from 1962 through 1966, to Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Penn., as a teacher and guidance counselor. He was then transferred to Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery, North Andover, while enrolled in graduate studies from 1966 to 1970, at Harvard University. Here he was awarded a doctorate in educational administration. 

From 1970 to 1974 he was a doctoral intern for educational projects at Arthur D. Little, Inc., a management services consulting firm. From 1974 to 1977, Father Garland directed a federal project in teacher training for Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties in New York. 

From 1977 to 1987, he served in the Archdiocese of Boston as the principal of the newly-consolidated East Boston Central Catholic School, and from 1987 to 1991 as principal of St. Peter’s School in Cambridge. From 1991 to 1995 he was superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Manchester, N.H. From 1995 to 1996 he pursued sabbatical studies at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium. 

Upon his return to the United States, then-Fall River Bishop Sean P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap., appointed Father Garland as director of the Fall River diocesan Education Office.

In 2002, he was appointed prior of Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery at Merrimack College, North Andover, and was elected a counselor of the province, serving for 12 years, with special oversight for the province’s secondary and higher education efforts. In that appointment he served on the boards of trustees of Villanova University and Merrimack College, and of Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Penn. and St. Augustine Preparatory School, Richland, N.J. From 2003 to 2005, he was the director of Education for the California Province. When the Villanova Province withdrew from the monastery building on the campus of Merrimack College in 2004, he became prior and treasurer of the community at Austin House, the Augustinian residence in North Andover.

Father Garland became seriously ill in May and was admitted to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Brighton. With some improvement he was transferred after several weeks, to Kindred Hospital in Boston, where he died on June 12 in the 60th year of his religious profession and 53rd of priestly ordination.

© 2017 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing  †  Fall River, Massachusetts