1910 – 2000 (July 7)
Laurence Joseph Conneen, one of nine children of Michael L. Conneen and Gertrude Woodside, was born on May 17, 1910, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Saint Clement Parochial School in Philadelphia and later, Saint Denis Parochial School, Ardmore, Pa. He entered the minor seminary of the Province in 1926, and on September 10, 1929, was received into the novitiate. He professed simple vows on September 11, 1930, and solemn vows three years later. Upon graduation from Villanova College in 1934 with a B.A. in philosophy, he pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, where he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Michael Curley of Baltimore, on June 15, 1937.
Father Conneen's first assignment was to Saint Mary's Hall, the seminary at Villanova. In 1941 he was assigned to Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pa., where he taught for more than 20 years. In 1962 Father Conneen was appointed pastor of Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, Bryn Mawr, Pa. In 1971 he was named prior and pastor of Saint Mary's Parish in Lawrence, Mass. In 1979 he was assigned to senior ministry at Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova University, Villanova, PA.
At Malvern Preparatory School, in addition to his teaching schedule, he was often seen working on the grounds or driving the school bus on weekends for the boarders. When ministering in the parishes, with his breviary in hand he would be seen speaking to parishioners, consoling them in their grief, counseling them, or just interacting. Father Conneen was especially devoted to the support and growth of the parish Catholic school. He tried to spend time each day with the students and teachers. He was beloved by both groups, especially the youth. When Father retired at Saint Thomas Monastery, he remained active as possible. He was often seen in the classrooms auditing courses in theology, scripture, and Saint Augustine. He helped out at the hospitals and in neighboring parishes. He enjoyed being present at campus events, especially sports. When he could no longer walk for long distances, he operated a mechanical cart. He was a faithful attendant at the Villanova basketball games.
Father Conneen passed away on July 7, 2000. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, July 11, 2000, at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, with burial following at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken.