Mmegi Online :: Anglican hosts memorial for first Bishop Shannon Mallory
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Thursday 20 September 2018, 12:14 pm.
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Anglican hosts memorial for first Bishop Shannon Mallory

The Anglican Diocese of Botswana will hold a memorial to honour and celebrate the life of its first Bishop, Shannon Mallory, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on June 23, 2018. Bishops, Metlhayotlhe Beleme and Theo Naledi will lead the service.
By Staff Writer Fri 18 May 2018, 15:33 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Anglican hosts memorial for first Bishop Shannon Mallory








“It is with deep gratitude for the life and ministry of the first Bishop of Botswana that we encourage and invite you to join in the memorial celebrations for (the life of) Bishop Shannon Mallory,” a statement from the current Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Botswana, Rt Revd Metlhayotlhe Beleme states.

Bishop Shannon Mallory, who died on May 4, 2018 (aged 81), at his home in Monterey, California, USA, after a long battle with leukemia, was elected the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Botswana on June 24, 1972.

He was consecrated in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King on New Year’s Eve, 1972. 

When Bishop Mallory took over the mantle of leadership, the new diocese had no office, no budget, and no typewriter or office equipment. 

There were no structures, no committees, commissions, policies or procedures. Only six priests served the entire country and their means of transportation was unreliable most of the time. There was no cathedral; neither did he have a vehicle, staff or secretary.

 “However, within the first few years of his episcopacy, six priests and one deacon were recruited from outside the country to come and work in the Diocese.

On December 14, 1975, Fr. Michael Molale was installed as Cathedral Dean. 

Eventually, as if it were by a miracle, other developments began to take place in the diocese.

God’s hand was gradually but firmly at work moving the hearts and minds of the people securely into the future in a manner that they had never expected before,” Canon Professor, James Amanze explained.

 Bishop Mallory was instrumental in setting up the infrastructure, cohesion and direction for the diocese, training clergy, printing liturgy, and fund raising and processes for building the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He laid the foundation stone on December 11, 1977 and dedicated the church building on November 26, 1978. In February 2013, Bishop Shannon and his wife, Marti, joined the Anglican Diocese of Botswana in celebrating its 40th Anniversary. 

“He enjoyed returning and seeing all the progress,” a statement from the diocese revealed.

Born September 9, 1936 in Dallas, Texas, Mallory grew up in Van Nuys, California, completing his education at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the General Theological Seminary in New York. He entered the mission field after his ordination to the diaconate in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

In 1961, he was ordained priest in Africa where he exercised

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his ministry first as a missionary in Namibia, South Africa, and Uganda, and then as the first bishop of Botswana from 1972 to 1978.  In 1978, after 18 years in Africa, he and his family returned to the United States where Mallory served as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Long Island.

He was elected the first Bishop of El Camino Real in 1980 and his installation took place that October in San Juan Bautista. The Rt. Rev. John Allin, then-presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, presided over the service in the plaza of the historic California mission.

“We are a pilgrim Church on the King’s Highway,” Mallory noted at the time. “This new diocese is an optimum size for rediscovering and experiencing some of the dynamic qualities of the early Church.”

His vision for the diocese included “a more effective and supportive quality of fellowship among clergy and laity,” less hierarchy, and “more of a collegial relationship among bishop, clergy and laity.”

Following his retirement, Mallory served in the Diocese of Oklahoma and then lived and served in Indian Wells, California, as a member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.

He authored two books: Blacklisted!, his memoirs of 18 years of travelling throughout Africa, and Other Roads Less Traveled, a collection of sermons and meditations that ask and answer a range of provocative questions about God, death, the value of prayer, the common thread of religions and more.

He continued to write and inspire until his death.

“Bishop Shannon was able to support the Diocese of El Camino Real in its call to be a missional diocese with a collaborative mode of ministry amongst lay and clergy leaders,” said the Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, current bishop of El Camino Real.

“His interest in people, their spiritual journeys, and his sense of adventure were gifts to our diocese in its earliest days, nurturing it as a place where the Gospel could always flourish amidst a very diverse and rapidly changing context. He will always be a critical part of the story of El Camino Real and will be missed.”

Bishop Mallory was predeceased by Martha ‘Marti’ Mallory, his most recent wife, and before that Antonia ‘Toni’ Mallory, his second wife. 

His brother William Lee Mallory, and his first wife Mondi, and their five children Karen, James, Teresa, Mary and Patrick survive him. He has nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

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