Fr. Paul Matthew Hannon, MAfr

Paul was born on 6th November 1947 to a Catholic family in South Shields in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and after a career as a teacher in Qatar and Algeria came to the Missionaries of Africa. He studied in London (MIL), Fribourg (Switzerland), and Toulouse (France) where he took his Missionary Oath on 15th December1990 and then was ordained in his own parish on 6th July 1991.

His career as a Missionary of Africa was very much one of willing service, which means that he answered Yes to any call from the Society. He studied in PISAI (Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies) in Rome and at times taught there also. He worked in the parish of Khartoum in Sudan at various times, on occasion getting stranded there because of visa difficulties. He accepted to be Provincial Delegate in UK for 3 years, and was part of the small Formation group in Nairobi, Kenya.

His easy, yet efficient, manner and his facility with languages meant that he was frequently called upon to chair or facilitate International meetings of the Missionaries of Africa.

For the last few years of his life, his health began to cause concern, beginning with a heart by-pass then latterly with Emphysema. Throughout it all, even when he was confined to a wheelchair and permanently on oxygen, he remained cheerful and calm, trusting and sure in his Faith.

His family (particularly his brothers and sister) came down regularly from the North-East to visit him and they all kept in close touch. The day of his death he had sent an email to his sister, then a confrere had looked in to make sure he was OK.  A short time later, the same confrere came back to check on him and found him dead.  A quiet and discrete man who died quietly and discretely, no fuss and no trouble to anyone. 

His body was received in Little Ealing Lane (his final community) in the evening of Thursday 4th April. The Requiem Mass took place at St. John the Evangelist, Brentford the next day, and his body was laid to rest in the plot of the Missionaries of Africa in Kensal Rise Cemetery. He was accompanied to his final resting place and commended to the Lord by his confreres and family. May he Rest in Peace.