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William Terence O’Shaughnessy, O.P.

William Terence O’Shaughnessy, O.P.

Birth: February 21, 1922

Profession: August 16, 1943

Ordination: June 9, 1949

Died: June 27, 1998

William O’Shaughnessy, the son of Jeremiah A. and Ellen R. (Fahy) O’Shaughnessy, was born in Columbus, OH where he attended St. Francis of Assisi Grammar School and Aquinas High School. He attended Providence College (1940-42) before entering the novitiate of St. Joseph Province, taking the religious name Terence. A year later he made his simple profession there.

Br. Terence studied philosophy at St. Joseph Priory, Somerset, OH and his theological studies at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC. He was ordained in that city at St. Dominic Church by the Most Rev. Edward C. Daly, O.P. Bishop of Des Moines, IA.

Fr. O’Shaughnessy’s first assignment was at Notre Dame University (1950-52). In 1952 he went to the University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome for graduate studies culminating in a Doctorate in Sacred Theology in 1954. Returning to the US he had the following assignments: St. Joseph Priory, Somerset, OH (1954-55); Dunbarton College, Washington, DC, while serving as assistant student master, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC (1955-1957); Provincial Director of Vocations (1956-58); chaplain of The Catholic University of America (1958-63). 1963-67 he was rector and superior of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa.  Returning to the US he taught at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI and Providence College, Providence, RI (1967). From 1967 to 1969 he served as Chancellor of the Pro Deo University, Rome. He returned to the US and was Provincial Secretary for Education (1969-71). He returned to Rome in 1971 to work in the Vatican Secretary of State (1971-76). Starting in 1976 he held the following positions: Dean of Men at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, OH (1976-77); pastor and superior at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (1977-79); Director of Development, Pontifical College Josephinum (1979-80); Director of the Deserving Poor Boys Priesthood Association (1980-82); prior and pastor at St. Pius V parish, Providence, RI (1982-85); Executive Vice President, Providence College (1985-89).

Failing health, in 1989, caused him to be assigned first to the province’s Center for Assisted Living, St. Dominic Priory, Washington, DC, and then Heritage Hills Nursing Centre, North Smithfield, RI where he died peacefully. He was buried in the Dominican Friars’ Cemetery, Providence College.

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