Rev. John A. Acri (88) of Harrisburg, PA, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, October 2, 2023, at Bethany Village, Mechanicsburg, PA.
He was predeceased by his parents, Leanore and Michael Acri, and is survived by several cousins: Joseph Merlina (wife Shirley), David Merlina (wife Cherly), Bonnie Houtz (husband Robert), and Kathleen Rust (husband William).
Father Acri attended Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Schools in Harrisburg, PA, and Bishop McDevitt High School, Harrisburg, from which he graduated in 1952. After completing college and seminary studies, he was ordained a Catholic priest on May 15,1965 at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA, by Bishop George L. Leech. During his priesthood he served in several parishes in the Diocese of Harrisburg: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Lancaster; St. Joseph Church, Coal Township; St. Patrick Church, Carlisle; St. Anne Church, Lancaster; St. Francis of Assisi Church, Harrisburg; Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Enola; and St. Anthony Church, Lancaster.
At Bishop McDevitt High School, he participated in many activities and is particularly remembered as a competitive football player. He was a staunch Crusader alumnus who supported the school and its programs. His academic career also included studies at Villanova University in Philadelphia. Before entering the seminary, he was drafted in the Army and, while assigned to duty in Europe visited the Shrine of Our Lady at Fatima in Portugal, where he felt a strong call to study for the priesthood, which eventually led him to seminary studies at Resurrection Seminary in Kitchener, Ontario, and Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD — and over 60 years of service to God and the Catholic Church as a dedicated priest. May he rest in God’s peace for his faithful service.
A Vigil Service will be held on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 225 Salt Road, in Enola, PA 17025 with visitation from 5:00-7:00p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, October 13, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church with visitation prior to the Mass beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Father Acri may be made to the Father John A. Acri ’52 Scholarship Fund of Bishop McDevitt High School for the education of students from St. Francis Parish at McDevitt HS. Checks should be made payable to the Foundation of Catholics United in Service (FOCUS) with Father Acri Fund on the memo line and sent to the Diocese of Harrisburg, Office of Stewardship and Development, 4800 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111.
The Sullivan Funeral Home is honored to serve the Acri family.