Benedictine Father Corwin John Collins, 89, died July 25 in the retirement center at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, July 31, at 3:30 p.m. in St. John’s Abbey and University Church with interment in the St. John’s Cemetery.
John Collins was born in Port Chester, New York, on Oct. 3, 1930, to John Peter and Mary Ann (Tarpey) Collins. His family included seven children — five boys and two girls. He attended grade school at St. Anselm’s Catholic School in the Bronx, New York, and then at St. John’s Preparatory School, Collegeville.
He continued his education at St. John’s University, Collegeville, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1953. That year he also began priesthood studies at St. John’s Seminary. Following solemn vows in 1954, Brother Corwin (his monastic name) was ordained to the priesthood in 1957.
Father Collins later attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and was awarded a master’s degree in sociology from there in 1964. He continued his education at Fordham University in New York, where he pursued coursework in counseling and film studies.
Early on he taught religion, Spanish and social studies and served as hockey coach at St. John’s Preparatory School and was also prefect and dean of students there. Following those positions, he served as headmaster, and later co-principal, at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School, St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Father Collins’ pastoral assignments included serving as associate pastor at Holy Rosary Parish, Detroit Lakes; pastor of St. Joseph Parish, St. Joseph; Seven Dolors Parish, Albany; St. Martin Parish, St. Martin; St. Catherine Parish, Farming; and Mother of Mercy Nursing Home, Albany. He also served as the dean of the Benedictine parishes in the St. Cloud Diocese and as a member of the Presbyteral Council of the diocese.
He is survived by a sister, Maureen Collins, Washingtonville, New York, and the community at St. John’s Abbey.