Fr John Hannon SMA

Press Release

SMA PRIEST KILLED IN KENYA

Tragic Death of Fr John Hannon sma

Fr John Hannon SMA 1939-2004

With deep regret the Society of African Missions, Irish Province, announces the tragic death of Father John Hannon SMA. Father Hannon died in a robbery at his parish house at Matasia, Ngong about 25 km from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Fr Hannon comes from Killulla, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare where he was born on 24 April 1939. He was ordained priest on 18 December 1967. From 1968 until 1993 he ministered in the Archdiocese of Lagos, Nigeria where he earned a reputation for opening and developing parish centres in the growing suburbs of the city.

Father Hannon has been in Kenya since 1994 and was based in Matasia in the diocese of Ngong for the past four years. He worked previously at St Monica’s Parish, Kitengela (also in Ngong Diocese) and at St Joseph’s Parish, Jericho in the Archdiocese of Nairobi.

Fr Hannon was an earnest helper of the less well-off. Building of centres for non-formal education and skills training was a constant feature of Fr Hannon’s missionary apostolate.

He was in the process of completing a Parish Hall at Matasia and had initiated a €14,000 project to equip the hall as a Training Centre. He had a long and proven record in the building of centres for training and education of young people in practical skills. His work in recent times was among the Maasai people. Fr John saw the need for skills training of young women in areas like domestic economy, secretarial work, hair dressing, sewing and knitting as crucial for their dignity and livelihood.

Fr Hannon is survived by two sisters and five brothers, including Fr Tim based at Miami, Florida.

As details come to hand and for further information see SMA website: http://www.sma.ie/

Press Release issued by Fr Tom Curran SMA, Provincial Communications Director e-mail: communciations@sma.ie.

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