Touched by God

CONFESSIONS OF A PRISON CHAPLAIN–A MEMOIR

Holding a newborn lamb in Ireland

Fr. Paul Morrissey, O.S.A.

Father Paul was born in Philadelphia, the second oldest of 14 siblings. He attended Villanova University and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. After briefly working for Sikorsky Aircraft, Father Paul entered the Augustinians. He has an S.T.L. from Catholic University and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Direction from Boston College.

Fr. Paul’s ministries from his ordination in 1967 to the present include: Theology teacher at Villanova University, Biscayne and Merrimack Colleges; Co-founder of Dignity/Philadelphia, a ministry to LGBT Catholics; Founder of Austin Center for Counseling in the Bronx/New Rochelle, NY; and serving as the Spiritual Care Coordinator for The Visiting Nurse Service in New York City. In 2006, he became a prison chaplain at the Philadelphia Prison (thru 2019), and founded Adeodatus Prison Ministry which conducts a support group at St. Rita’s parish from 2007 to the present. 

In addition, Fr. Paul has authored Let Someone Hold You: The Journey of a Hospice Priest, The Black Wall of Silence (a novel), and numerous magazine articles and op eds. He tends The Healing Garden (next to the church), and enjoys bicycling, offering spiritual direction, hiking and chilling out with family members and friends.

Father Paul’s favorite part about St. Augustine’s Parish is that it is the historical root of the Augustinians in the United States. ” (1796). “And we need roots, because …Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” (Confessions, 1:1)

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