Charles L. Knapp, O.S.A.

1918 – 1980 (May 12)

Charles Lucien Knapp, son of Charles L. Knapp and Mary Schmidt, was born on August 24, 1918, in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, and was baptized on September 1, 1918, in the German Catholic parish of Holy Family, Shenandoah, where he also received his parochial school education. After graduating from J.W. Cooper High School, where he performed in the dramatic club, wrote for the school paper, and participated in debating, he entered St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, receiving part of his seminary training at St. Charles College, Catonsville, Md. On February 24, 1945, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Father Knapp served as assistant pastor of St. Helena Parish in Center Square, and in St. John the Baptist Parish in Pottsville. He also taught at Southeast Catholic High School. He earned his MA from Villanova University, majoring in French with a minor in other Modern Languages, including Russian Literature, and Philosophy.

Father Knapp sought entrance into our community, and with leave of the Archbishop of Philadelphia, he began his novitiate on September 9, 1952, and professed first vows on September 10, 1953. He was then assigned to the faculty of Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pa., where he made his solemn profession on September 10, 1956. Father Knapp was a member of the Augustinian community at Malvern Prep for twenty seven years. He taught modern and classical language, religion and logic. For a time he served as assistant Headmaster, but his first love was teaching. During his Malvern days he published a book on Logic. In 1962, he was chosen to be a councilor and sacristan, and in 1975, he was appointed prior of the community. 

Father Knapp followed the careers of the graduates, and witnessed more than 300 of their weddings. He died on May 12, 1980 at the age of 61. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Thomas Church on the campus of Villanova University and interment was held at the Augustinian Plot at Calvary Cemetery, in West Conshohocken, Pa.