Placid Hennessey, OFM
1897 – 1959
Fr. Placid Hennessey, OFM, was born May 20, 1897 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He attended St. Bonaventure’s College and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1922. Fr. Placid professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1926 and was ordained in 1929.
After brief assignments to East Rutherford and Beach Haven, N.J., and Bronx, N.Y., Fr. Placid returned to Paterson, where he ministered for 14 years. He developed the perpetual novena to St. Anthony, and his popular preaching resulted in busloads of devotees from North Jersey making their way to the Paterson church for the novena.
In 1947, Fr. Placid transferred to St. Joseph Parish, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he developed an active Secular Franciscan group and again popularized the novena to St. Anthony. He was well known throughout Wilkes-Barre for the social and charitable works his people did.
He died on April 5, 1959 in St. Joseph Friary. Fr. Placid was 61 years old, a professed friar for 35 years and a priest for 29 years.