The Rev. Linus DeSantis, former principal of Archbishop Curley High School, dies

The Rev. Linus DeSantis, former principal of Archbishop Curley High School, dies
Father Linus DeSantis (Baltimore Sun)

The Rev. Linus DeSantis, a member of the Conventual Franciscans and a former principal of Archbishop Curley High School, died of a heart attack Tuesday at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y. He was 72.

The son of Louis DeSantis, a business manager, and Alice Stankowski DeSantis, a homemaker, Bernard Lee DeSantis was born in Baltimore and raised in Fells Point.


After graduating from St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, N.Y., he entered St. Joseph Cupertino Novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in 1961 in Ellicott City. He professed his vows the next year.

He took the religious name of Linus and was ordained into the priesthood in 1971 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, N.Y.

Father DeSantis earned a bachelor's degree in 1967 from St. Hyacinth College and Seminary in Granby, Mass., a master's degree in divinity in 1971 from St. Anthony-on-Hudson in Rensselaer, N.Y., and a second master's degree in English in 1972 from the University of Dayton in Ohio.

In 1976, he was assigned as assistant principal at Archbishop Curley High School and was named principal in 1979. He served in that position until 1982.

From 1982 to 1989, he was registrar at St. Hyacinth College and Seminary, and from 1989 to 1991, Father DeSantis was assigned as a campus minister at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

He served as guardian of St. Joseph Cupertino Friary in Ellicott City from 1991 to 1994, when he was named registrar and director of admissions of Washington Theological Union in Silver Spring.

In 1994, Father DeSantis was assigned as parochial vicar at St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Lithia Springs, Ga.

"While ministering at this parish, he made a great impression on the young-adult ministry within the parish as well as the Secular Franciscans of the southern region," said the Rev. Richard Forcer, who is the province secretary of St. Joseph Cupertino Novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans.

From 1996 to 2006, Father DeSantis was active in campus ministry at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., and from 2007 until his death, he held a similar position at Alibrandi Catholic Center at Syracuse University.

"He enjoyed working with young people," said Father Forcer.

A memorial Mass for Father DeSantis will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church, 2736 O'Donnell St., Baltimore.

He is survived by a sister-in-law and several cousins.

—Frederick N. Rasmussen