Biographies

Father Joseph M. Glynn, MM

Born: April 2, 1919
Ordained: June 15, 1947
Died: September 13, 1990

Father Joseph M. Glynn died peacefully in the Nairobi Hospital on September 13, 1990. He was 71 years of age and a Maryknoll priest for 43 years.

Joseph Michael Glynn was born in Dorchester, Ma. on April 2, 1919, son of Michael and Delia Naughton Glynn. He had one brother,Robert. He studied at the Venard for two years before moving on to the Novitiate and the Center. He was ordained in 1947.

After ordination Father Glynn was assigned to Africa with the second group of missioners to work in Musoma, As an Associate Pastor in the Kowak Mission with the White Fathers, he learned the Luo language quite well. He proved to be a zealous hard worker and a good companion. In 1952 he became the Pastor of the Masonga Mission where he built several buildings. About this time a hearing disorder began to develop which afflicted him the rest of his life. His superior wrote of him: “he is a very fine missioner who likes the people and is liked by them. He knows add handles all mission problems well. He has zeal and good judgment – one of our best men in Africa.” After home furlough in 1954 he returned to Kenya and built up the newly established parish of Nyaromba. He was also appointed Vicar General of the Musoma Vicariate as well as 2nd Consultor to the Regional Superior.

In 1962 he began a new phase in his mission career. He was appointed Regional Superior, serving about 100 Maryknollers in Africa. He established the Language School in Musoma in 1965. As Regional Superior he took part in the 1966 General Chapter in New York. In August of 1967 he was elected Chairman of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in East Africa and in October of that year was reappointed Regional Superior. At the end of that term the Superior General wrote to him: “I want, in the name of the Society, to extend to you deep appreciation and sincere thanks, plus quiet admiration from afar, for the eminently successful way in which you carried out your role as Regional Superior in Africa during the last 10 years, in a period which has probably been one of the most difficult and arduous in the history of the Church, and certainly of Maryknoll.. .You have the unanimous esteem and approval of the men of the Africa Region, the largest region in the Society.” One of his fellow priests wrote to him, saying, “You have been a real human being who is a priest. You have an unlimited amount of time for any problem and a great understanding. You have succeeded in every single facet as a superior even to supplying confidence and initiative back into men who have felt it evaporating.”

At the 1972 Chapter Father Glynn was elected Vicar General of the Society and he served in that position in his quiet exemplary manner for six years. After the 1978 Chapter he returned to Africa and work in the Archdiocese of Juba in southern Sudan. There he was a member of the Sudan Society Mission Unit and, together with the Maryknoll Sisters, established the Pastoral Liturgical Catechetical Center (PALICA). In 1981 the General Council terminated the Society’s commitment there but Fr. Glynn remained in Juba for another year. After furlough in 1982 he was assigned to Kenya.

In 1983 he was elected Regional Superior of the Kenya Region. As such he took part in the 1984 Chapter. However, in June of 1984 in Nairobi he suffered an illness. He made a good recovery he continued his work as Superior and Chapter Delegate. In 1985 he again fell ill. After receiving medical care at St. Teresa’s he returned and completed his term as R.S. In 1987, after furlough, he returned to the Sudan and became a member of the Sudan Pastoral Group in El Obeid, involved in relief work for the people in the famine area and for the refugees from Uganda. He also supervised construction projects in the diocese such as a convent for the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, and the renovation of the minor seminary and Diocesan Communications and Pastoral Training Center. In 1989 he took up residence in the Umoja Parish, Kenya.

Concelebrated Mass and Burial in St. Austin Cemetery, Nairobi. A memorial Mass offered at the Center in New York.