John P. Mahon, OFM
1948 – 2011
Br. John Mahon, OFM, was born Sept. 28, 1948 in New York City. His family joined the Province’s St. Stephen of Hungary Parish on the Upper East Side and Br. John attended the parish elementary school. After graduating from Immaculata High School in 1966, he began studying for the diocesan priesthood at Cathedral College in New York, but withdrew after a year and a half of study.
Discerning a call to Franciscan life, Br. John entered the brothers’ training school at St. Francis Friary in Rye Beach, N.H., in 1968. While there, he also studied at McIntosh Junior College in Dover, N.H., where he received an associate’s degree in business administration in 1971.
Later that year, he was received into the Order at St. Francis Friary in Brookline, Mass., a member of the first class to make novitiate there. He professed temporary vows one year later. During his post-novitiate formation at Holy Name College in Washington, he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Strayer College. In 1976, he was asked to move to New York City to assist with preparations for the Provincial Chapter that summer. In September, he professed solemn vows at St. Stephen’s in New York.
He resided at Holy Cross Friary in the Bronx, N.Y., obtaining a teaching position at his alma mater, Immaculata High School. In 1977, he was named vicar of the friary community. Two years later, he was assigned to St. Joseph Friary, Winsted, Conn., where he served as member of the parish staff, as well as assistant principal of St. Anthony School there.
In 1982, Br. John was assigned to St. Anne’s Friary, Fair Lawn, N.J., working at F.A.M.E. (Franciscan Advertising and Media). He also began handling the parish’s administrative responsibilities in 1985. From 1987 to 1989, he served as procurator of the novitiate at St. Francis Friary, Brookline, Mass., while pursuing graduate studies at Boston College, receiving a master’s degree in church leadership and management.
Br. John was assigned to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., in 1989, first as assistant director from 1989 to 1992, and then director of student activities from 1992 to 1994. He became special assistant to the president and was quickly asked to assume leadership positions in the Siena friary, becoming vicar in 1990 and guardian in 1993. During those years, Br. John suffered a severe heart attack, but made a good recovery.
In 1999, Br. John moved to Boston, where he served as a member of the administrative staff of St. Anthony Shrine. He was appointed guardian of St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., in 2006 and oversaw an extensive renovation of the building. He did much of the work himself, refinishing old pieces of furniture to give the house a “homey” touch. Besides his dedicated work for the community there, Br. John also ministered with the friars at St. Mary’s Parish in nearby Pompton Lakes, N.J. He was always ready to assist with various projects for the Province. His reputation as a cheerful and practical-minded “host with the most” made him a valued member of planning committee for chapters and other events.
He died on March 6, 2011 at St. Anthony Friary, Butler. Br. John was 62 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 38 years.