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Rev. Moses J. Marsile

Nov. 17, 1846 - Mar. 10, 1933

Rev. Moses J. (Moises-Joseph) Marsile, CSV, died March 10, 1933 in the infirmary of St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, the institution he had helped to start. He was 87.

Fr. Marsile was born Nov. 17, 1846 in Longueuil, in the Province of Quebec, Canada.

He entered the Viatorian novitiate in 1862 in Canada, and professed his first vows on Aug. 2, 1864. Five years later, on Aug. 19, 1869, he professed his perpetual vows.

Fr. Marsile arrived on Feb. 10, 1871 at newly founded St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, and he immediately began his study of theology. Within four years, he was ordained to the priesthood on Oct. 30, 1875 by Bishop Thomas Foley of Chicago.

Just four years later, in Sept. 1879, he was appointed president of St. Viator College, succeeding the Rev. Thomas Roy, CSV. Fr. Marsile remained president for the next 36 years.

Under his artistic guidance, the beautiful Roy Memorial Chapel was constructed in 1889, and the gymnasium in 1902. However, in 1906, the old buildings of St. Viator College were destroyed by fire and Fr. Marsile supervised the construction of the new St. Viator College.

Fr. Marsile gave every measure of his energy and every impulse of his heart to the college. Not to diminish his great work as a priest, pastor, poet, author, playwright and orator, but his students of the college were his greatest works, for he was widely known and much loved by the students and alumni.

After completing his last term as president in June of 1907, Fr. Marsile spent a short time as chaplain in a Chicago hospital. In 1908, he then was appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Beaverville, where under his direction one of the most beautiful churches in Illinois was built. By 1913, he resigned his pastorship, due to increasing age.

He did not resign from active ministry, however. From St. Mary’s, he went on to assume the chaplaincy at Oak Park Hospital in Illinois, a position he held until 1930, when he finally retired.

After a brief time at the provincial residence in Chicago, Fr. Marsile returned to his beloved St. Viator College, where once again his stately and venerable figure became familiar on campus. Until the end, he was interested in the welfare of the students and their varied activities.

The funeral took place March 14 at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bourbonnais. The Rev. Joseph P. Lynch, DD, Bishop of Dallas, one of Fr. Marsile’s former students celebrated the solemn pontifical requiem Mass, while the Rev. P.C. Conway, pastor of Nativity Church in Chicago preached the sermon, and another of his beloved students, Bishop A. J. McGavick, DD, gave the last absolution.

Fr. Marsile was buried in the Viatorian Community plot at Maternity BVM Cemetery, where services were conducted by the pastor, the Rev. Walter J. Surprenant, CSV.

 

Taken from the 1933 Annuaire, a publication of the Viatorian General Direction, pp. 134-146