MO GUERNON, Ed.M.
My great grandparents hailed from Canada. I was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, a mill town in decline. My parents, Eudore and Alice Henault Guernon, worked in the factories there for most of their adult lives. I have one sibling, my brother Roger, who lives in Saint Augustine, Florida, with his wife, their five adult sons, their spouses, and a brood of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
My parents, devout Catholics, were communicants of Notre Dame de Victoires (Our Lady of Victories) parish, and I attended the parish elementary school where instruction was conducted in French for half the day and English the other half. I graduated from Woonsocket High School (the first in my family to complete secondary school) before entering the University of Rhode Island, earning a B.A. in History and English with a minor in Philosophy. Subsequently, I received my Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University and accrued 60 graduate credits beyond the master’s degree in History, Law, and Education from Boston College, a Jesuit school; Providence College, a Dominican school; and Providence-in-Europe, a summer program based in Pietrasanta, Italy.
I am passionate about spending time with family and friends, reading (mostly biography and history) writing, golfing (I’m still trying to break 100!), traveling, and relaxing on the beach with an occasional plunge in the Atlantic.
Thanks to my French Canadian background (my parents spoke almost exclusively in French at home), I have an intermediate command of French, though my fluency has waned over the years. I also taught myself (rudimentary) Italian so that I could read primary and secondary sources written in that language about the pope and to conduct interviews with non-English speaking acquaintances of Albino Luciani. My friend, Adriana Cillo of Boston, generously translated hours of recordings of such interviews conducted in Italian.
Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, profoundly changed my life. I’m hopeful that my biography will have the same effect on others who are seeking a more virtuous existence.
My professional career has been a hybrid of writing and teaching.
Fresh out of college, I became a reporter for a small weekly newspaper, The Franklin Sentinel, owned by a daily, The Attleboro Sun Chronicle in Massachusetts. In that capacity, I covered local government and wrote feature stories.
In graduate school, I wrote a white paper on the epidemic of defaults on federal-guaranteed student loans and analyzed innovative solutions to ameliorate the problem that had been implemented in several states. (This was accomplished in collaboration with the late Francis Keppel, who had served as President Kennedy’s U. S. Commissioner of Education.) The document was personally submitted to the late Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island to assist the United States Senate in drafting legislation to address the national quandary.
Following graduate school, I became a part-time self-employed consultant serving numerous clients in politics, government, the media, non-profit organizations, the Church, and businesses. I authored speeches, campaign and business plans, analytical reports, polling studies, newsletters, news releases, and advertising copy for public officials, political campaigns, and corporate clients.
Later, I was a syndicated columnist in Rhode Island. “Looking Askance” was carried by several daily and weekly newspapers . Topics on which I focused were politics, public policy, and education. Additionally, I wrote occasional stories for a few other Rhode Island papers with a combined circulation of nearly 150,000.
As a free-lance writer, I have published articles on Pope John Paul I in America magazine, St. Anthony Messenger magazine, Real Clear Religion (online), The Providence Journal, and The Rhode Island Catholic.
I am currently the proprietor of Quest Writing Solutions, (www.questwritingsolutions.com) where I provide an array of writing and consultative services to a variety of organizations and individuals.
Love Is a Journey will be my first book.
In the educational sphere, I taught English/Writing and Social Science courses at the Woonsocket Catholic Regional Junior High School and in the King Philip Regional Schools in Massachusetts. I also taught part-time at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts, and lectured frequently at the Robert A. Taft Institute of Government at Rhode Island College.
I also held a variety of administrative positions including a stint as principal of Sacred Heart School in East Providence, Rhode Island.
Service to the Church
My Church affiliated endeavors include the following:
♦ The Pope John Paul I Association founding member (New York City)
♦ Saint Patrick Academy School Board member and evaluation consultant (Providence, RI)
♦ Diocese of Providence Catholic Schools Public Relations and Marketing Advisory Board member
♦ Public relations consultant to Saint Brendan’s School in Riverside, RI, and Saint Mary’s School in Pawtucket, RI.
♦ Grant writing consultant to Saint Mary’s Church in Providence, Rhode Island
♦ Curriculum consultant to Greater Woonsocket (RI) Catholic Regional Schools
♦ Community of Faith Leader, Greater Woonsocket (RI) Catholic Regional Junior High School
♦ Religious education teacher, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish, Woonsocket, RI
I was honored to be the recipient of the 1991 National Catholic School Distinguished Graduate Award sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association for “distinguished service to the Catholic Church.”
♦ Glocester & Foster-Glocester (RI) School Committees member
♦ Harmony (RI) Library Board of Trustees member
♦ Founding chairman of Operation Clean Sweep, a grassroots citizens group of 1,000+ members dedicated to ethics reform in Rhode Island state government
♦ Young at Heart Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors member (Woonsocket, RI)
My wife, Elizabeth Kelley-Guernon, and I have been married for 37 years.
We have three adult children and two grandchildren.
Mo Guernon, Ed.M. / Biographer