BRISTOL — John Quinn Wanaurny was born July 3, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois to John Patrick Wanaurny and Lauretta (Barthelmes) Wanaurny. He was baptized at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Chicago and attended Our Lady Help of Christians and Queen of Angels Catholic Grade School. In September 1948 he left for St. Columban’s Seminary, Silver Creek, N.Y., and then onto the college in Milton, Mass, in 1952. He went to Bristol, R.I. for the Spiritual Year in 1953 and began his studies at the major seminary in Milton, MA in 1954. He was ordained, December 19, 1959, by Bishop Harold Henry, the Bishop of Kwangju.
In February of 1960, he was appointed to the Philippines and in November 1960, he went to Ozamis in Mindanao. After language school studying the Cebuano language he became bursar for the pro-Region of Mindanao. Later assignments saw him in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, and in Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur.
Father Wanaurny returned to the United States in November 1967 for home leave. While there he studied linguistics at Georgetown University. He returned to the Philippines in February 1969 and took charge of the language school in Ozamis. In 1977 he returned to parish ministry in Sapang Dalaga and for a short time in Tangub.
In 1978, Father Wanaurny led renewal programs during home leave: a 30-day retreat at Manresa, Dublin, a course at the Jesuit School of Theology in Weston, MA and one quarter of Clinical Pastoral Education at Mercy Health Center, Aurora, Il. In 1979, he was back in Ozamis City giving spiritual direction and retreats. In 1982, He went to the parish of Margosatubig in the Diocese of Ipil.
In August of 1985, Father Wanaurny arrived in Brazil with the first Columban group missioned there. He served in the Diocese of Barreras in Wanderlei, then in Barreras at the Sanctuary and the parish of Nossa Senhora de Perpetuo Socrro. In December 1989, Father Wanaurny went to the new parish of Sao Jose located in an urban barrio of the city of Barreras. Father Wanaurny became the first Vicar General of the diocese in 1991. He went on to serve as the Overseas Training Program director in Brazil, and in the parishes of Santa Regina and Sao Sebatao.
In 1996, Father Wanaurny was appointed to the US region. In August, he went to Cuernavaca in Mexico to study Spanish and culture for work later in Texas. He served in El Paso and Fabens, Texas and in Anapra, Juarez, Mexico until the end of 2005. In 2001, Father Wanaurny was elected as a member of the Board of Reconciliation. In February 2006, he began the Hesburgh sabbatical program at Chicago Theological Union. After the sabbatical, Father Wanaurny went to the Los Angeles house as Vicar and in 2007 was acting pastor in St. Columban’s Filipino parish in downtown LA. In 2009, he was assigned to the N Magnolia Avenue house in Chicago. From 2012 to 2014, Father Wanaurny was in St. Mary’s Parish in Fontana, CA. He then went to Omaha. Health problems caused him to seek to go to the Bristol retirement home in the Fall of 2015. Further health difficulties led to his going to the Dawn Hill Home for Rehab and Healthcare in Bristol.
Father Wanaurny was known in all his assignments for his good humor and dedication. He was justifiably proud that he could celebrate Mass in four Languages-English, Cebuano, Portuguese and Spanish.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on August 31 at Columban Fathers Chapel with burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery.