By Liz Sullivan
The life of Father Larry Mann, S.M., stretches so far back that the order he has dedicated his life to was less than 100 years old when he was born.
On August 1, Mann will celebrate his 100th birthday. In October of 2017, the Society of Mary, the order in which he was ordained, commemorates its bicentennial – 200 years.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mann professed Vows as a Marianist Religious in August, 1933, along with his older brother, Leonard, and was ordained a priest in August, 1945. That’s 83 years of Marianist living.
Father Mann is spending his final days at the Marianist Health Care Community in Cupertino. Relatively healthy, he’s quiet, pastoral and bookish. Father Mann doesn’t say much these days, yet he did share with the Director of the Community Brother Tom Redmond, S.M.
“I am grateful for the years of living as a Marianist with wonderful men in the community, living in our marvelous world, beautiful in its smallest and its most vast expanses.”
Father Mann began his career as a priest teaching at Purcell High School in Cincinnati. He then taught and ministered at Marianist schools and parishes in Long Island, N.Y., Alameda, CA, and with his longest tenure at Holy Family Parish in Honolulu, near Pearl Harbor. In addition, he was an adjunct professor at Chaminade University of Honolulu. Father Mann concluded his active life teaching at Chaminade Prep in West Hills, CA.
Interestingly, his neighbor at the community in Cupertino is one of his former students at Purcell High. Father Joe Stefanelli, S.M. is 95.
“I believe Father Mann was my homeroom teacher senior year,” said Father Stefanelli. “On Fridays they would end each of the classes five minutes early and the homeroom teacher would give a religious talk. I think that is where I first became interested in the Marianists. He also introduced me to Shakespeare.”
Father Stefanelli served as Provincial for the Marianists from 1973-1981.
“I saw Father Mann several times when I was provincial,” said Father Stefanelli. “I never expected to be his next door neighbor. He’s quiet and pretty much keeps to himself.”
Another former student of Father Mann’s is also living with him in Cupertino – Brother Frank Speath, S.M.
“He taught me typing at Purcell in 1939,” said Speath. “It is very neat to be back with him now.”
Brother Redmond said the community is looking forward to celebrating the birthday of its oldest resident.
“He’s a good company man,” said Brother Redmond.
Father Mann had a lot of practice serving God and the Society of Mary. They’ve grown up together.