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Rev. John A. Acri

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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.

7 comments on “Rev. John A. Acri”

  1. Father John Acri was the very epitome of what a Catholic priest should be. He was devout, learned, kind and compassionate with a wonderful sense of humor. When you attended mass at Our Lady’s, you would look forward to hearing his homilies which were always accompanied by a joke and a report on Norte Dame and Penn State during football season. This genuinely good man strengthened my faith and, by his example, showed me the way, the truth and the light. He will be sorely missed.

  2. I’ll never forget how kind Father Acri was when we joined our Lady of Lourdes church. He came to our house to meet us in person even though we lived somewhat far away in Shermans Dale. His masses and homilies were very heartfelt!

  3. Fr. Acri was a true Bishop McDevitt Crusader in every sense of the word. When our 3 sons attended the high school, particularly during sporting events, you could always feel Father Acri’s presence around. He loved the students and truly lived his vocation as a priest serving others and helping others to get to know and love Christ. He was a great man!

  4. I attended mass several times at St Francis when Fr Acri was the priest. His kindness to everyone was very special. May his memory be a blessing.

  5. When I was a little girl I would visit my Nana’s sister, Aunt Gertie and her husband Uncle Fritz, but they were not Catholic, so they would take me to Father John’s parents’ house, and I would go to Mass with them at Good Shepherd. Afterwards we would go back to their home, and Mrs. Acri would make us the most delicious brunch!
    Mr. Acri was Aunt Gertie’s manager at Miller’s Auto Supply Store in downtown Harrisburg, and many times I went to the store to meet Aunt Gertie, and take the bus to her home in Summerdale, so I was well acquainted with Mr. Acri!
    What a wonder couple!
    No wonder Father John was such a great person!
    I know our Heavenly Father welcomed him with outstretched arms, and said”Well done good and faithful servant!” Rest in peace Father Acri!

  6. Father Acri led his flock with true passion. He will be missed by Many. Rest in Peace gentle soul.

  7. May the priestly soul of FR Acri rest with the Gid whom he loved and served so well in this life.

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