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Carol Fisher

Frather Albert Joseph Mary Shamon

• A priest of the Rochester, NY Diocese, Fr. Albert J M Shamon most recently served as administrator of St. Isaac Jogues' Church, assuming those duties upon his retirement from full time pastoral work in 1985 from St. Mary's in Waterloo. Prior to that Fr. Shamon was pastor of St. Patrick's in Victor and St. Thomas the Apostle at Irondequoit.

• Probably Father is best known, however, for the wide range of writings he produced following his first book, Behind the Mass, in 1949. Since then he has written over 36 books and pamphlets on scripture, catechetics, spirituality and Marian theology. In 1967, at the request of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, then bishop of Rochester, Fr. Shamon began a weekly column for clergy and laity in the Catholic Courier, the newspaper of the Rochester diocese. These columns sought to explain in layman's terms the scripture readings for the week. Modeling his instructions on Christ's use of parables, Fr. Shamon found homely anecdotes and simple illustrations to make clearer the Sunday readings. From the beginning his column was vastly popular with readers, lasting from its inception until October 2003 when advancing bone cancer forced him to retire from writing.

• Fr. Shamon's extensive writings, his deepening prayer life and increasing devotion to Mary, the mother of God, along with his growing ability to speak to people where they were, created a demand for him as a lecturer, retreat master, and radio host. Until recently he was speaking at conferences all around the country, often on Marian themes, or in formal retreat settings. From the early 1970's until recent years, he had a weekly radio broadcast, modeled after Archbishop Sheen's work in the 1950’s, which was carried by 4 area radio stations. The show sought to bring gospel values to contemporary issues and was followed by people of all faiths. These shows can now be heard Monday through Friday as "Timeless Truths" segments on the Carol Fisher Network.

• Fr. Shamon's greatest passion, however, was for education and Catholic education in particular. Attending St. Aloysius school through eighth grade taught him the worth of an education that supported and reinforced parents efforts to raise their children in the faith. Later as a teacher and pastor he came to appreciate first hand the moral bulwark that Catholic schools provided to our increasingly secular society. After graduating from Auburn Academic High School in 1932, he went on to St. Andrew's and then to St. Bernard's Seminary, culminating with ordination to the priesthood in 1940. Later he received a M. A. in history from Canisius College of Buffalo, with further study at the Dominican House of Studies in Chicago, Biblical Theology at Glenn Ellyn, the Maryknoll House of Studies in Chicago, and a sabbatical year at the Louvain in Belgium.

• With this extensive background Fr. Shamon taught at Aquinas Institute of Rochester, St. Andrew's Seminary, and McAully College of the Sisters of Mercy in Rochester. In May of 1967 Archbishop Sheen appointed him Episcopal Vicar of Education, and three years later he was named Director of Education for the Diocese of Rochester. As pastor of St. Mary's in Waterloo, he created a permanent endowment fund that put their elementary school on a sound financial basis, and led the fight to keep open St. Francis de Sales High School in Geneva, personally raising many thousands of dollars for this purpose

• Since his formal retirement in 1985 and his return to Auburn, however, Fr. Shamon became increasingly concerned with the absence of a Catholic high school for the people of the Auburn area. After Mount Carmel High School closed in 1970, a new Catholic high school had become his dream. Faith formation must not end in eighth grade, Fr. Shamon felt, or it risked being left behind, like a little sister, while the full person went off to college. Rather, it must be a handmaiden, that accompanies our increasingly sophisticated learning in the humanities and sciences through graduate school if need be. For that to happen, though, the schools have to be there. In September of 1993, therefore, with a group of concerned parents, Fr. Shamon opened Tyburn Academy with a ninth grade of 3 students. Since that small, hopeful beginning, the school has grown to its present location on Wallace Ave. in Auburn, where it now offers a full four-year regents program in the Catholic tradition to many young people of the area. Since its inception, Father has served as a spiritual guide to the students, mentor to the staff, and vital spirit to everyone connected to the school. Tyburn Academy is the final and perhaps most enduring gift of Fr. Shamon to the Catholic educational tradition.

• Father Albert J M Shamon, noted local priest, pastor, writer, and educator and friend of the Carol Fisher Network died Friday, November 2, 2003, after a long struggle with cancer. Father was 88 years old.

• Fr. Shamon has been a regular weekly guest on the Carol Fisher Show and has generously given the Carol Fisher Institute the recordings of his weekly show that was broadcast in Auburn and Waterloo, so we will continue to have Fr. Shamon presenting the truths of faith as no one else can. We will miss Fr. Shamon, but he has earned his rest and we will strive to continue on.

• More about Tyburn Academy

• More about "Timeless Truths"

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