Monsignor Francis X. Meehan

Monsignor Francis X. Meehan was a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Before entering Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, he was a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes parochial school and Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School. He was ordained by the Most Reverend Martin J. O'Connor on December 20, 1961, at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. After ordination, he received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1962 and a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Pontifical Alphonsian Academy in 1965. Father Meehan began his post-doctoral career in academia, teaching at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Immaculata College, La Salle University, and The Catholic University of America.

Father Meehan was not the only child called to serve the Lord. Two of his brothers, James and Joseph, entered the priesthood before him. James was ordained in 1950 and held positions at Saint Patrick's in Pottsville, Saint James's Catholic High School for Boys in Chester, and Bishop McDevitt High School in Wyncote. He passed away in 2009 while stationed at Saint John Neumann in Bryn Mawr. Joseph was ordained in 1961 in Philadelphia, serving the parishes of Saint Agnes in West Chester, Saint Thomas Aquinas in Croydon, Most Blessed Sacrament and Saint Anthony of Padua in Philadelphia, and Saint Eugene in Primos. Like his brothers, Joseph also entered the world of teaching and taught Religion at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield.

In June of 1987, Father Meehan switched to the life of a parish priest, beginning with Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Doylestown. He was then named administrator of Saint Justin Martyr in Narberth in the first half of 1989 before being named Pastor of Saints Simon and Jude in West Chester. During his time as pastor, a new parish center was built in 1991, followed by a new church in 2005. Additionally, Monsignor Meehan expanded lay ministries and groups, establishing a Men’s Bible Study and Evangelization Committee, to name a few. Monsignor Meehan would remain here until 2007, when he retired. During his time at Simon and Jude, Meehan was named Honorary Prelate of His Holiness Pope John Paul II on March 24, 2003. Monsignor Meehan passed away on July 2, 2011.

Aside from being a teacher and parish priest, Monsignor Meehan was also an author of both books and journal articles, as well as a regular contributor to the Catholic Standard and Times. The majority of the articles concern peace and moral theology. At the time when most of the articles were written, the Cold War was raging and the threat of nuclear fallout was always looming. Msgr. Meehan, already an accomplished writer in the world of academia, wanted to bring his work to the masses. In his unpublished book Peacemaking: Reflections on a Spirituality, Msgr. Meehan explains that the work “attempts to utilize theological insights…. to apply them to contemporary issues of justice and peace and to do this in a manner that addresses a wider circle of readers.” He was also on the Board of Directors of Pax Christi, an organization founded in 1945 that promotes peace, respect of human rights, justice and reconciliation throughout the world.

The collection housed at the Catholic Historical Research Center contains many of the writings Monsignor Francis Meehan penned for different journals, such as Catholic Mind and Linarce Quarterly. Also included are his sermons for Holy Days, liturgical celebrations, and Sundays:

Collection processed and blog created by Richard Girkin


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