Aloysius Patrick Begley (1905-1978) was born July 19, 1905, one of four brothers and two sisters, to Thomas J. and Bernadette (Murphy) Begley of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. After his primary education, he entered the Lindsay Collegiate Institute in Lindsay, Ontario, and then was transferred to Providence College in 1927 as a pre-ecclesiastic student, before his entrance into the Dominican priesthood at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, Kentucky.
Ordained in June,1936 by Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, apostolic delegate, at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C., he then went on to complete a Master of Arts degree from Catholic University in 1938. Assigned to Providence College as an instructor of English from 1938 until his death in 1978, he also was appointed athletic director in the fall of 1940.
Providence College athletics expanded under his leadership. When Father Begley was first assigned, PC had only three major sports teams: football, basketball, and baseball. Father Begley then introduced hockey, indoor and outdoor track, cross-country, tennis, soccer, golf, and rifle to the intercollegiate line-up. He was also instrumental in the building of Alumni Hall, which served as the institution’s indoor athletic complex.
Under Father Begley, the PC Friars gained national notice, especially after the team won the N.I.T. in 1961 and 1963. Also, the hockey team was victorious at the Eastern Regionals and went on to the Nationals in 1964. The PC cross-country team won the New England championship for three consecutive years, and the golf team earned kudos for its victories in the New England tournament, , reaching the national championship competition three times.
Retiring as athletic director in 1971, Father Begley continued to serve as chaplain to the Alumni Association, and was elected prior of St. Thomas Aquinas Priory in 1977, a year before his death on September 27, 1978.
Father Begley was recognized for his diverse service during his tenure at Providence College. Noting his contribution to Rhode Island sports’ world, he received the Frank Lanning Award for outstanding service in 1968.
Among his many awards, Father Begley was honored by the Mal Brown Club of Providence College in 1969, and the Rhode Island’s General Assembly honored Father Begley in 1971 for his unselfish contributions to the well- being of the youth of Rhode Island. He was also the beneficiary of the Brotherhood Temple Beth El “Youth Service Award.” In 1974, Father Begley was inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame in recognition of his many accomplishments.
Debra A. Mulligan