Founder, Philip A. Guarino

Father Philip believed that together, we could change the world for the better. We carry on his dream, and with God’s help, we will fulfill it.

Philip Guarino Best Small

Philip Guarino

Father Philip A. Guarino was a former Roman Catholic Priest who founded the U.S. Grand Priory of the Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem (OSMTJ), which he called the Supreme Military Order of the Jerusalem Temple.  In 1973, Philip obtained the blessings and permission of  Grand Master General Antoine Zdrojewski and Swiss Grand Prior Alfred Zappelli (4)(9).  Philip worked tirelessly to grow this new Priory and became its first Grand Prior.  Father Guarino was an Italian-American Priest, born in 1907 in West Winfield, Pa., and raised in Framingham, M.A.   He was trained by the Jesuits at Boston College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1931.  He went on to Italy for Seminary where he was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest.

In 1945, Philip moved to Washington DC where he was very active in politics. In all, he knew and served four Presidents in various capacities: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush (1)(2)(3).  He was hard working and committed to his causes, pursuing them with unthinkable energy.  Philip lived a daily life that was generous and devoted to God.  He truly embodied the principles of The Knights Templar in throughout his life.  He latter found the love of his life, his soulmate Sarah, and made the great sacrifice of leaving the Priesthood to marry her.  He did not take that decision lightly, but believed this was the will of God.

Guarino passed away in 1993 and is greatly missed. His Obituary read: November 10th, 1993 – Philip A. Guarino, 86, the former owner of Phil’s Italian Restaurant (303 Georgia Ave, NW in Washington DC) in Washington and a local Republican Party activist, died of cardiac arrest Nov. 10 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. Mr. Guarino opened his restaurant here in 1945 shortly after moving to Washington, and he operated the business until 1970. From 1970 until 1973, he was a partner in the Villa Rosa Restaurant in Silver Spring. (Rosa Dellenoci Location: Olney, MD) (6).  

Listed below are Father Guarino’s many accomplishments:

*Vice-chairman of the Ethnic Outreach Committee for the George H.W. Bush Campaign.

*Appointed as “Member-At-Large” for the United States Commission for UNESCO.

*He was the Director of the Senior Citizens Division of the National Republican Committee, which was a paid position.

*He was appointed to John Connally’s Committee on the Defense of the Mediterranean.

* From 1968 until September of 1981 Philip served as the Director of the National Republicans of Italian Descent.

*In 1964 he was one of the Campaign Directors for Barry Goldwater’s Presidential bid.

* Selected as a Republican National Committee Advisor.

* Philip was chosen as a Delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1956, 1960 (alternate), 1964, 1968, 1972 (alternate), and 1976 .

*Starting in 1968 and for many years after, Father Guarino was active on the DC Republican Committee. He was later chosen to serve on the DC Republican Central Committee.

*Finished Theology School in Italy and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest.

*He was the Co-Founder and a Director of the District of Columbia National Bank, which now is called “NationsBank”.

*He was the Co-Founder and former President of the D.C. Restaurant Beverage Association.

*Philip was the Treasurer of the National Licensed Beverage Association.

*Chairman of the Washington DC Italian Historical Society.

*Served on the Board of Directors of the National Italian-American Foundation

* Served as President of the National Republican Committee of Italian Descent.

*He was a member of the Washington DC Board of Trade

*Elected to the Vice Chairmanship of the Republican Heritage groups from 1971-1975

*Deputy Directory of the Speaker’s Bureau, Washington DC.

*Established and ran two restaurants, The Villa Rosa, and Phil’s Italian Restaurant.

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