The Augustinian Academy

The Augustinian Academy

In 2016, the Augustinian friars informed Our Lady of Good Counsel that owing to a dwindling population of clergy they were leaving Staten Island, a location they had served for 117 years.

It was in 1899, that the Augustinians agreed to establish a school for boys on the island. The original school was in the vicinity of Austin Place in Tompkinsville. It was named Catholic High School of Richmond Borough. Seeking expansion, ground was broken in 1923, off Howard Avenue on Grymes Hill, for a new school to be named Augustinian Academy.

Augustinian Academy welcomed both students and postulants. Hence it was also considered a “minor seminary” that assisted young men to join the order. The population of students was always small. Between 1899 and 1969, when the last class departed, 1,450 students had graduated. Of these graduates, 245 men went on to become Augustinian priests.

Former chapel at the Augustinian Academy.

Much of the information in this post comes from a “Staten Island Advance” commentary by Daniel Leddy that was printed on April 18, 2016. Mr. Leddy noted that the school’s coursework was difficult, so much so that when the men continued their studies after graduation, college seemed easy. He also noted that there was a strong school spirit. That must be why we often see posts on Facebook and elsewhere regarding the school.

Today, there is a monument in honor of the Academy at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church. The “Augustinian Academy Hall of Memories” also showcases memorabilia and articles from the school. Yes, the spirit endures. As of 2016 an annual reunion was still being held by students from a school that closed 49 years ago!

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