Francis L. Dennis, O.S.A.

Dennis Francis 3 (2)-17.jpeg

1907 – 1962 (March 27)

Francis Leo Dennis, son of Francis L. Dennis, Sr., and Winifred Spellman, was born on October 11, 1907, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and was baptized in Saint Mary’s Church there. After graduating from Saint Mary’s Parochial School, he attended Saint John’s Preparatory School, Danvers, Mass., and from 1922 to 1924, he continued his studies at Villanova Preparatory School, Villanova, Pennsylvania. On June 25, 1924, he entered the novitiate at Villanova, professed simple vows on June 26, 1925, and made solemn profession on October 11, 1928. He received his A.B. degree from Villanova College in June, 1928, and then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College in Washington, D.C. In June, 1931, received his M.A. degree in History from The Catholic University, Washington, D.C. On June 9, 1931, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Thomas Shahan, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington. 

On June 17, 1932, Father Dennis was assigned to teach at Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pa., where he remained for twenty-five years. At different periods during those years he held the offices of sub-prior, prior, Dean of Studies and, for sixteen years, from 1941 to 1957, he served as Headmaster. He also supervised the school’s expansion program. In a letter of June 20, 1947, to Father Philip L. Colgan, O.S.A. of Grosse Point Park, Michigan, Father Dennis wrote,”Humanly speaking, you know how much I love Malvern, but, whatever I can do in any way for the province, is the only desire that I have.” On June 9, 1957, he was assigned to Saint Augustine Parish, Andover, Mass, and in January, 1960, he was appointed Prior of Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., where he was also assigned as examiner of the students who were preparing for ordination to Sacred Orders. 

Father Dennis died on March 27th in Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., after a short illness. He was 55.

On March 29, a Requiem Mass was celebrated at Augustinian College by Father John E. Bresnahan, O.S.A., his cousin, and on March 31, Father James A. Donnellon, O.S.A., Prior Provincial, offered the funeral Mass at Saint Mary’s Church, Lawrence, Mass. Interment took place in the Augustinian plot of St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence.