John P. Hennessy, O.S.A.

1918 – 2003 (May 21)

John Patrick Hennessy, son of James Hennessy and Mary Ellen Kane, was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania., on December 18, 1918. He was baptized at Saint Katharine Church in Wayne, Pa., attended Saint Thomas of Villanova School in Rosemont, and later entered the Augustinian Academy on Staten Island, N.Y. as a postulant. He entered the novitiate in 1936 and professed simple vows on September 10, 1937. He made solemn profession on September 10, 1940. In 1941, he graduated from Villanova College with a BA degree in Philosophy and then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. John Hennessy was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1944, at Trinity College Chapel in Washington, D.C. by Bishop John McNamara. He earned a Masters degree in Sacred Theology/Pastoral Ministry from New York Theological Seminary in 1972.

Following ordination to the priesthood, Father Hennessy was assigned to Good Counsel Novitiate in New Hamburg, N.Y. One year later he was assigned to Saint Mary’s Parish in Waterford, N.Y., where he served until 1954. While there he was instrumental in the construction of a parochial school. From 1954 to 1965 Father Hennessy served at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church in Rosemont, Pa. In 1962, he was elected a counselor of the Province. From 1965 to 1969, he served as pastor of Saint Genevieve Parish in Flourtown, Pa., where he aided in the growth of the parish, supporting the construction of a parish school, convent and friary. In 1969, Father Hennessy was named pastor of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in the Bronx, N.Y. From 1972 to 1973 he was assistant pastor at Saint Denis, Havertown, Pa., and then appointed pastor of Saint James Parish in Carthage, N.Y., until 1975 when he became pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Staten Island, N.Y

Father Hennessy returned to Saint Genevieve in 1992 and served there for the next six years. In 1998, after a brief stay at Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery at Villanova University, Father Hennessy returned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish on Staten Island where he remained until January of 2003. He then joined the community at Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery and was living at Saint Joseph Friary in Drexel Hill, during the monastery’s reconstrution, when he died on May 21, 2003 of esophageal cancer. A man of patience and compassion, Father Hennessy quietly and gently touched the lives of those he served and loved – his family, his parishioners, and his Augustinian brothers. His simple tastes, calm nature, and gentleness made others quickly feel at ease in his presence. He loved walking, often times with a 9 iron in hand, and befriended all those he encountered along his journey.Father Hennessy was buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.