1902 – 1948 (April 25)
Matthew Michael Cunningham, son of Thomas Cunningham and Ellen Ellis, was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1902. He entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, on August 15, 1926, and made his profession of simple vows on August 16, 1927. He was solemnly professed on the same day in 1930. He received his A.B. degree that same year from Villanova College and pursued theological studies in Washington, D.C. He received his Master’s degree in 1934. Matthew was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, on June 13, 1933.
Father Cunningham was first assigned, in 1934, to teach at Saint Augustine's High School in San Diego, California. He also served there as an assistant in Saint Patrick's Parish. In 1942, he was transferred to Saint Thomas of Villanova Parish in Rosemont, Pa., where he was active in scouts, youth activities, and was chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.
He died suddenly of a heart attack, on Sunday morning, April 25, 1948, in the parish house of Rosemont, at the age of 46. His mother had died just one month previously. Following the Requiem Mass, at which Father Mortimer Sullivan, Prior Provincial, presided, and Father Thomas E. Rogers, O.S.A., was homilist, Father Cunningham was buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.