New rector for Boston’s seminary

New rector for Boston’s seminary

St. John’s Seminary in Boston has a new rector. Fr. Arthur L. Kennedy is a priest ordained in Boston in 1966. who’s been out doing various jobs in other places for some years. Most recently he was chair of the theology department at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and spiritual director at St. Paul Seminary. He’s also worked at the USCCB.

The current rector, Fr. Farren, is returning to the Dominican Province for a new assignment. I gather it was intended from the beginning that he would be here for a limited time. He is credited with doing a lot of good for the seminary, brining in needed reforms and revitalizing its orthodoxy.

Kennedy is expected to build on that foundation, helping to bring in seminarians from outside the archdiocese to complement the growing number of vocations from within.

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  • He’s a former chair of St. Thomas’ theology department in Minnesota.  The same one that issued an apology after the valedictorian condemned contraception?  I fear this does not bode well for Boston or any of the other dioceses that send guys to St. John’s

  • While I never had the pleasure of being in his classroom, I know Fr. Kennedy was extremely well-liked by a number of my friends at University of St. Thomas.  He also served as the Head of the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. There’s a brief bio on him at

    BTW, his ordination year was 1966, not 1996, so he’s not a “newbie.”  And I could be wrong, but unless it was in the past two years, he hasn’t been the chair of theology at St. Thomas for a while—I’m not sure what his assignment was after his stint with the USCCB. 

    At any rate, this sounds like good news for St. John’s.

  • Father Farren will be greatly missed by the Catholic community at Boston College as well.  He has been very welcoming to any of us who have wanted to attend things such as evening prayer at the seminary.

  • Father Kennedy is a friend of mine, and an extraordinary priest.  He will do great things at Saint Johns, building on the strong foundation set by Father Farren.  St. John’s Seminary is strong, faithful, and forming men for the New Evangelization that think, and love, with the heart and mind of the Church. 

    Sing a Te Deum both for Father Farren’s tremendous ministry at the Seminary, and for Father Kennedy’s appointment.  Both are reason to rejoice.