Mr. Andy Shannon, Director of Campus Ministry
This summer, Clearwater Central Catholic’s Director of Campus Ministry, Mr. Andy Shannon, was formally recognized by the Sisters of Notre Dame with the Gospel Witness Award. Recognizing only four recipients across the nation each year, this award honors employees and/or volunteers in the SND national network who give witness to Jesus’ spirit of compassion, hope, and joy, especially to those who experience poverty in its various forms. Award recipients reflect and nurture the Notre Dame Charism, spirit and mission within their professional communities and among all with whom they minister. Additionally, their names are listed among previous award recipients in the SND National Network Award book, which is housed at the motherhouse in Rome.
Mr. Shannon first joined CCC in 2012 as Director of Campus Ministry, both teaching theological curriculum as a member of the Religion department and guiding the spiritual growth of all students, staff, and school community members. His colleagues would describe Andy as deeply compassionate, a hard-working man of integrity, and a jovial, quick-witted presence on campus. Some might even suggest he has a mild affinity for the Fighting Irish. A native Floridian and a local product of our Diocesan schools, Mr. Shannon has worked in Catholic education for over 30 years and earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
During the decade Mr. Shannon has been at CCC, he has led a number of initiatives including student Peer Ministry, Mission Thursday charitable collections, All-School Masses, and the first-ever student chapter of Catholic Relief Services. He introduced to our school the monthly Holy Hour service, enabling students, parents and faculty to return to campus once a month for an intimate evening prayer service held in our school chapel. This Fall, he also launched a program called “Thursdays with Saint Julie,” an educational effort to empower school faculty and staff to grow into a deeper understanding of the school’s unique charism as a Diocesan school rooted in the SND heritage and spirituality.
Every October 1, our school – along with numerous SND-affiliated schools around the world – celebrates Foundation Day. In 1849, two young teachers, Hilligonde Wolbring and Elisabeth Kühling, befriended orphaned and neglected children and took them into Hilligonde’s home where they educated and cared for them. Hilligonde became Sister Maria Aloysia, and Elisabeth, Sister Maria Ignatia. The following autumn, the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame officially came into being in Coesfeld, Germany in 1850. Today, the Sisters of Notre Dame honor their organization’s charism by living Gospel values in vibrant communities, by promoting Catholic education, especially for women and children, in urban and mission schools, and by fostering the fullness of life, especially for people who are poor, sick, and aged. An integral part of CCC’s history and identity, our school would no longer exist were it not for the SND Sisters who rescued our school from financial and administrative turmoil in the 1970s. For 34 years the sisters were a mainstay on the CCC campus, teaching classes, guiding worship, and ultimately leading the school.
It’s therefore quite fitting that as we prepare to recognize Foundation Day on campus, that we also celebrate Mr. Shannon’s incredible and well-deserved honor from the Sisters of Notre Dame. Like the Sisters, he has left a mark on the heart of our school with a legacy of kindness, service and integrity. Mr. Shannon truly personifies the reality of God’s provident love and care for each person in our community – and CCC is blessed by each moment with him here. Congratulations, Andy Shannon!