1947 – 2019 (August 6)
Richard Gerald Cannuli, was born on February 2, 1947, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the only child of Anthony Cannuli and Marianna Naimoli. He was baptized on March 23, 1947 at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church, Philadelphia, attended the parish grade school and Bishop Neumann High School. He entered the Augustinian Program for Lay Brothers in New Hamburg, New York, on September 8, 1967, and was received as a novice on August 27, 1969. He professed simple vows on August 28, 1970 after which he attended Villanova University, which awarded him a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1973. He professed solemn vows on October 28, 1973 at Saint Rita Shrine, Philadelphia.
Brother Richard was assigned in 1973 to Monsignor Bonner High School. In 1978, he was transferred to Mount Augustine Apostolic Center, Staten Island, New York, and pursued graduate studies at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree. He returned to Saint Joseph Friary, Drexel Hill, and taught at Villanova University. In 1981, he was transferred to the Villanova Monastery, and in 1990, to Saint Thomas of Villanova Friary, Villanova.
As he continued his religious journey, Brother Richard discerned a call to the priesthood. He was ordained on October 30, 1999 at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church, Villanova, by Louis A. DeSimone, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. In 2010, he was granted faculties to minister also within the Maronite Rite of the Church.
In 1985, he began formal training with a Master Iconographer and his icons were commissioned by parishes, communities and private individuals. One of these was presented to Pope Francis at the opening Mass of the Augustinian General Chapter of 2013 in Saint Augustine Church, Rome, Italy. Father Richard exhibited his works in foreign countries as well as throughout the United States, designing and working with a variety of media. One of his last projects was the design of a series of windows for Corr Chapel at Villanova. He generously enriched and enhanced the world for others through his artistry, lectures and workshops.
Father Richard was taken ill during the summer of 2019. His disease progressed very rapidly, resulting in his death at Saint Thomas Monastery in the early hours of Tuesday, August 6, 2019, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Father Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A., Prior Provincial celebrated the Funeral Liturgy at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church on Saturday, August 10, 2019 with Father Donald Reilly, O.S.A. as homilist. Father Richard is buried in Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, PA.