Albert C. Shannon, O.S.A.

1918 – 2001 (November 25)

Albert Clement Shannon, son of Leonard B. Shannon and Marie O’Loughlin, was born in Brookville, Pennsylvania, on March 19, 1918, and was baptized there the same day in the Church of The Immaculate Conception. He attended the parochial school from 1924 to 1932, and then entered Saint Vincent Latrobe in 1932. His senior year was spent as a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, from which he graduated in June, 1936. On September 9, 1936, he entered Our Lady of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, and professed simple vows on September 10, 1937. He then studied at Villanova University, made solemn profession in 1940, and, in 1941, received his B.A. degree in philosophy. He studied theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., from 1941 to 1945, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1944, by Bishop John McNamara. He continued studies in medieval history at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where, in 1945, he obtained the master’s degree.

In the summer of 1945, Father Shannon taught an eight weeks session at Villanova University and, in September 1945, he received his first assignment to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine parish in Jamaica, New York, continuing his studies in medieval history at Columbia University in New York. In February, he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Medieval History from Columbia. In the Spring of 1949, he taught philosophy at Villanova University, and in August that year, was appointed Chairman of the Department of Social Sciences, and Professor of History at Merrimack College, N. Andover, Massachusetts. In 1949, he published The Popes and Heresy in the Thirteenth Century. In June, 1962, he became a member of the community at Saint Denis Parish, Havertown, Pa., and became President of the Augustinian Educational Association and Director of Graduate Studies for the friars.

In September, 1965, Father Shannon was assigned to Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova, as regent of studies and an Advisory Editor of The Catholic Historical Review. In 1968, he was transferred to St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery and became Professor of History, Archivist and Censor of Books for the Province.

In August, 1970, he was assigned as prior and pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, Dania, Florida, and, in 1975 as treasurer at Saint Joseph Parish, Greenwich, New York. In 1979, he was stationed at the former novitiate at New Hamburg, New York, where he continued to write and do research. In March of 1980, he was assigned to Austin Friars Hall, Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. where he completed his book, “The Medieval Inquisition.”

On September 1, 1986, due to failing health, Father Albert was assigned to the Augustinian Health Care Unit at St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, Pa., where he died on November 25, 2001. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in the Church of St. Mary, Brookville, Pa., with interment at St. Mary Parish Cemetery.

Father Shannon was a scholar who loved to teach, write and research. In addition to book publications he authored many articles for The New Catholic Encyclopedia and The Catholic Education Review. He was a dedicated Augustinian who was attentive to the needs of students, parishioners and fellow scholars.