Rev Fr David Gannon

Rev Fr David Gannon

Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 10 Nov 1966 (aged 62)
Peekskill, Westchester County, New York, USA
Burial Garrison, Putnam County, New York, USA
Plot Tier 1 Row 4 Grave 17
Memorial ID 161355963 · View Source
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William Gannon was born in New York City on September 16, 1904, son of Sabina Diskin Gannon and Patrick Gannon; both parents were born in Ireland. William was the only son, but had two sisters.
Prior to entering Graymoor in September 1931, William received his elementary and high school education at St. Agnes School on 44th Street, New York City. College education was pursued at Fordham University and St. John's University in Brooklyn. He also held managerial positions at the Waldorf-Astoria, St. Regis and National Hotels before beginning his studies in preparation for the priesthood. William continued his studies at St. John's Minor Seminary. He entered the novitiate in August of 1933, receiving the religious name of David. He pronounced his first vows on August 29, 1934 and began his studies in philosophy at Graymoor. His theological studies were taken at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. On August 30, 1937 he pronounced his final vows. During his years as a student in Washington, David was active in social work among Negroes at the Martin de Porres Social Center.
David was ordained to the priesthood at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on Feb. 24, 1939 by Bishop McNamara. His first mass was celebrated at his home parish of St. Agnes on 43rd Street in NYC. At David's first mass, Samuel Cummings, S.A. was Deacon; Thomas Condon, S.A served Sub-Deacon. Raphael Grande, S.A. served as Arch-Priest; and the homilist was the Father Founder.
Following ordination, David was in charge of the Administration Building at Graymoor until 1940 at which time he was assigned to Our Lady of The Atonement Negro Mission in Kinston, NC. He built a beautiful parish complex during his eight years at the parish. In 1948 the community purchased Cooke Academy at Montour Falls, NY for the Minor Seminary. David was in charge of renovating the entire building and did an outstanding job.
David was the author of "Father Paul of Graymoor", the biography of the Founder. He completed the biography in 1950. In response to his writing, he received the Mark Twain Literary Award and the Franciscan Historical Society Award. For the next four years he was Director of St. Christopher's Inn
From 1957-62 he served as chaplain to the Religious of Jesus and Mary at Highland Mills, NY. Due to ill health, he returned to Graymoor and took up residence in the infirmary on the 8th floor. He gave spiritual conferences to the friars and sisters. He said the 10 AM Sunday Mass almost every Sunday at St. John's at the foot of the hill and was an excellent preacher even though he had a slight speech defect. He followed the Second Vatican Council very closely and was very enthusiastic about the changes in the liturgy. David was well read and had great devotion to St. John of the Cross. He had a large statue of St. John of the Cross in his room.
He died suddenly at Peekskill hospital on November 10, 1966, he was 62 years old.

Credit: Franciscan Friars of the Atonement Newsletter.


Father David Gannon was Ordained on February 24th 1939.

Author of "Father Paul of Graymoor".
Published by Macmillan, New York, 1951.

This is a full length portrait of one who was a most interesting and controversial figure in American church life during the fore part of this century. Born into the Episcopal Church, Lewis Wattson became one of the outstanding leaders in the ""high church"" or Anglican wing of that body. His agitation for reunion with Rome created a great disturbance and no doubt many of his fellow churchmen were relieved when he finally went over to Rome. Since that step he has been widely known and greatly beloved as ""Father Paul"". But large as his theological battles loomed in his life, when he died in 1940 he was mourned principally because of his efforts in the field of Catholic social welfare. Even as an Anglican he made of Graymoor not only a monastery for the Society of the Atonement, but a centre of welfare and educational work. He was the originator of the Church Unity Octave which, today, as a movement for concentrated prayer for the reunion of Christendom, is one of the most powerful instruments used by the Catholic Church for the conversion of non-Catholics. He also founded the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and was a great champion of the cause of foreign missions. He was greatly interested in the poor and homeless and made of Graymoor a haven for the destitute and the friendless. It is a vivid story of a vivid personality. Both Catholics and Anglicans will find it absorbing.

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  • Created by: Timothy F MacDonald
  • Added: 19 Apr 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 161355963
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Fr David Gannon (6 Oct 1904–10 Nov 1966), Find a Grave Memorial no. 161355963, citing Friars Cemetery at Graymoor, Garrison, Putnam County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Timothy F MacDonald (contributor 46808750) .