November 23, 2005

Lewisburg priest loved his parishioners

LEWISBURG (PA)
The Daily Item

November 23, 2005

By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG The Rev. Patrick Shannon loved his parishioners and would want them to persevere in faith, the Most Rev. Kevin Rhoades, bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese, said during a healing Mass Tuesday evening in Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

The Rev. Shannon was recently removed as priest of Sacred Heart and of St. George's Mission in Mifflinburg after letters were received by the Harrisburg Diocese and the Oblates about an alleged sexual incident involving the priest and a juvenile about 32 years ago or when the priest would have been about 33.

"We need to pray for Father Shannon, his accuser and the Oblate superior," the Rev. Rhoades told a crowded church where many parishoners stood. "We need to support one another in faith, hope and charity."

Before the Mass, Jo Odronic of Lewisburg echoed the mood of many in the congregation about their priest of the past 12 years.

When the announcement came after Mass about two weeks ago of the Rev. Shannon's removal, she said "My heart went right to my throat and my whole body went stiff. I could feel my face drop and the rest of the day was ruined. I couldn't get a grip on myself. I felt we had lost a leader. I was a sheep without a shepherd. We didn't have a chance to say goodbye to him."

Posted by kshaw at November 23, 2005 07:14 AM