Brother Urban Gonnoud, O.S.F.
Brother Urban (James E. Gonnoud), the son of Walter and Florence (nee Greer) was born in Brooklyn February 17, 1920. He resided at St. Teresa, Little Flower Parish in Woodside, Queens when he entered the Congregation on February 3, 1938. He was received September 8, 1938; Professed September 14, 1939. Brother Urban was devoted to his parents, to his brothers and sisters, to his nieces and nephews and to his twenty three grandnieces and nephews. He had an uncanny ability to know exactly what was happening in each family household and was usually the first person to arrive at a sick bed to offer comfort and prayers. Brother Urban exemplified the true Franciscan Spirit. His life was devoted to his fellow brothers, his family, friends and students. His love for education came through to all he met, students, colleagues, friends and family. He attended and graduated from St. Anthony's Juniorate in 1938. He received his B.A. Degree from St. Francis College in 1942; his M.A. from St. John's University in 1945; his Ph.D. from St. John's University in 1950. He also received an M.B.A. from N.Y.U. in 1958 as well as Honorary LL.D. from St. John's in 1959 and an Honorary Litt.D. from St. Francis College in 1969. Add to this additional studies at St. Bonaventure's, University College in Dublin and the profile of a very educated leader emerges. Brother Urban taught at St. Francis Xavier Elementary School and at St. Francis Prep but the majority of his career was devoted to St. Francis College where he distinguished himself as a professor and served as the President of the College from 1958 to 1969. He also served the Congregation well and held the positions of Director of St. Bonaventure's Postulate (1949-1951), Master of Brothers in Temporary Vows (1953-1955), General Councillor (1958-1965), Treasurer General (1955-1958) and Assistant Superior General (1964-1970). Brother Urban was a quiet, modest man. He did not speak of his achievements and did not want attention drawn to his many contributions. He loved the Franciscan Brothers very deeply and dedicated his life to the ideals stated in our rule and constitutions, until his death on March 4, 1990.