1911 – 2007 (August 21)
Joseph Leonard Shannon, was born on January 8, 1911, in Brookville, Pennsylvania, the son of Leonard B. Shannon and Marie C. O'Loughlin. He had 5 sisters and 4 brothers, one of whom, Albert, was also a member of our Province. Joseph was baptized on January 8, 1911, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Brookville, PA. He attended Immaculate Conception Parochial School, and three years at Saint Vincent Prep School, Latrobe, PA between 1925 and 1928. He completed his last year of high school as a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. He entered the Order as a novice at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y., on September 10, 1929, and made his simple profession on September 11, 1930, after which and Solemn Vows on September 11, 1933. Following the novitiate, he attended Villanova College, Villanova, PA, from 1930 to 1934, where he received his B.A. in Philosophy. He was solemnly professed on September 11, 1933, and did his theological sudies in Rome, Italy, while a member of Saint Monica’s International College. He received an STD degree in 1940 from the Gregorian University, and was ordained in Rome at the Church of the Twelve Apostles, by Bishop Lucas Pasetto, OFM. Cap., on July 25, 1937.
Father Shannon returned to the United States in 1940, and after a summer assignment to Saint Rita's Parish, Philadelphia, he was assigned to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, as sub-master and professor of theology. From 1943 to 1946, he served as a US Army Chaplain at various sites in the US, then on board ship from California to Calcutta, India, via Australia, and at the US Air Force Headquarters, Hoogly, Bengal, near Calcutta. Honorably discharged as a Major, he returned to Augustinian College in 1946 as professor. From 1947 to 1948, he was professor of Moral Theology at Saint Monica International College, Rome, and from 1948 to 1959 he was again professor at Augustinian College, and prior of the community from 1956 to 1959. In that latter year he was appointed prior of Saint Monica, Rome. In 1965, he named Pastor of Assumption Parish, Lawrence, MA. From 1968 to 1973, he was Pastor at Saint Laurence O'Toole Parish in Lawrence, and from 1973 to 1978, Prior and Pastor at Saint Joseph's Parish, Greenwich, N.Y., where he remained in residence until 1979. From 1979 to 1981 he was assigned to Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY, after the novitiate was relocated to another site. In 1981 he was transferred to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, PA.
Father Shannon died on the night of August 21, 2007 in the Health Care facility of the Monastery after a long illness, at the age of 96. Throughout his life, Father Shannon was an avid student of theology, a researcher and chronicler of history, especially of the Province, and he served as the Province Archivist from 1982 to 1986. His funeral Mass was held at Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery Church, Villanova, on August 25, 2007. Father Shannon is buried at Saint Mary's Church Cemetery, Brookville, PA.