The Tinneny Family History Site

Joseph Aquilante


Photos courtesy of Denise Aquilante.

Joseph Aquilante, the son of the late Anthony and Elizabeth Anne Hart Aquilante, of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, was honored by Pope Francis as a recipient of the Benemerenti Medal. Archbishop Charles Chaput conferred the medal during a ceremony September 5, 2019 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Joseph has taught theology at Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, Chester County, for 20 years, and currently serves as chair of the school’s Theology Department. Through his efforts at Bishop Shanahan, his pro-life group of students has grown exponentially and has become one of the largest groups in the archdiocese. He also frequently works in conjunction with the archdiocesan Office for Life and Family on projects that assist youth and young adults in understanding and defending a culture of life.

The Benemerenti Medal was instituted by Pope Gregory XVI and dates to the 18th century. It was first awarded to soldiers in the Papal Army. The medal was later extended to members of the clergy and laity for exceptional service to the Roman Catholic Church. It can be granted to persons as young as 35 and its reception is open to Catholics as well as members of other faith traditions.

Joseph is the grandson of Francis and Helen Hart, the great-grandson of Cornelius and Alice Tinneny Hart of Philadelphia and the great-great-grandson of Patrick "Yankee Pat"Tinneny of Goladuff, Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland; Greenock, Scotland and Philadelphia and his wife Margaret Malloy.

Updated September 13, 2021
Copyright  R. Tinneny,  All Rights Reserved, 2002-2021