1881 – 1956 (January 25)
John Thomas Sheehan was born in Philadelphia, PA on June 9, 1881, to Daniel Sheehan and Catherine O’Brien, parishioners of Old Saint Augustine Parish. John entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1898, made his simple profession on February 2, 1899 and solemn profession on April 20, 1902. That Fall he was sent to Rome to complete his studies, where he was ordained to the priesthood in the chapel of the Appolinare on July 25, 1903. He received his Doctorate in Canon Law there in June, 1905.
Father Sheehan began teaching at Villanova College in the Fall of 1905, and remained there until 1914, when he became definitor of the province and, in October of that year, was appointed assistant at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was prior and pastor at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine from 1918 to 1926, from 1932 to 1938, and again from 1944 to 1949. He also served as prior and pastor at St. Laurence Parish in Lawrence, Massachusetts, from 1926 to 1932.
Father Sheehan was elected Prior Provincial of the Province of Saint Thomas in 1938, an office he held until 1944. Following the death of Father Mortimer A. Sullivan, in July 1949, he was Rector Provincial until the Chapter of 1950. In 1950, he was again named prior and pastor of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine in Atlantic City. As conference moderator, he presided at the monthly clergy conference of the Diocese of Camden, NJ.
Father Sheehan died on January 25, 1958 at the age of 75. He is buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.
Sheehan Hall, a dormitory on the Villanova University Campus, is named in his honor.