Requiescat in pace, John Meehan

Requiescat in pace, John Meehan

April 26, 2017

Today, Northeast Catholic College mourns the death of one of its founders, John D. Meehan.


In 1973, Meehan, a former student of Dr. Peter Sampo at St. Anselm’s College, joined Sampo [President Emeritus of Northeast Catholic College and in his mid 80s still teaching] and Mr. Francis Boucher [R.i.P.] in founding the college to renew the Catholic liberal arts tradition and form lay Catholics to live out their vocation. Serving first as the Dean of Students and then as the second president, Meehan decisively shaped the development of the college.

Meehan’s unflagging commitment and labors brought the college to its present campus in Warner, New Hampshire, shaped its commitment to the study of the human person within a robust theological context, and firmly established the college’s liturgical traditions, especially the cultivation of sacred music.

Speaking of Meehan’s legacy, college president Dr. George Harne observed: “Meehan’s no-nonsense devotion to pursuing the truth of things, even when it meant overcoming the obstacles of unexamined opinion, his belief that the universals of reality were accessible through diligent and fearless enquiry, and his commitment to preparing students to live well, inspired students throughout the years of his service. Fundamentally Augustinian in his spiritual orientation, love motivated him in all his works for the Church, a Church to which he was unabashedly devoted.”

In the final weeks of his illness, members of the faculty, including president Harne, had the opportunity to visit Meehan. During these visits, he enquired about the news from campus and expressed appreciation for recordings of the recent Holy Week liturgies. He also exhorted the college’s leaders to cultivate a devotion to Christ in the Eucharist, a spirit of prayer, and an unwavering commitment to the college’s liturgical and sacramental life.

Beginning on April 25, the day of his death, the college began offering a series of Masses for the repose of his soul. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, April 29th at 10:30 am at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 145 Lowell Street, Manchester. Interment will take place on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 10:30am at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, Boscawen.

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