We had some sad news in the Archdiocese of Boston yesterday. One of our young priests, a man who’s been ordained only about half a year, died suddenly over the weekend. Fr. Dan Kennedy was a priest at St. John the Evangelist parish in Winthrop, a young man by priestly standards these days, a marathoner too, but the Lord decided his time is now.
It’s a tragedy for his family and his parish and for our whole archdiocese. We don’t have so many priests that losing one of these men just starting out in his vocation isn’t a great blow. The one consolation is that at least he was able to realize his vocation and spend these months as a priest.
Last July, Cardinal Sean O’Malley had Fr. Kennedy guest post on his blog his “reflections of a newly ordained priest”. There you can see photos of his ordination, his first Mass at his home parish, St. Joseph in Needham, surrounded by family and friends, and his welcome to St. John’s in Winthrop. What comes through is his love for God and His people.
Celebrating Mass everyday is about as humbling an experience as I have had in my life. Truth be told, a great deal of energy is spent ensuring that I am celebrating the Mass properly. I have been told to loosen up a little bit. I think I know what that means, but it may take a while. I was reminded of a prayer to be said before Mass and I have found it particularly meaningful. “Lord may I celebrate this Eucharist in union with you, as though it were my first Eucharist, my only Eucharist, my last Eucharist.” It is my hope that I will never lose sight of the privilege it is to bring Christ, truly present in the Eucharist, to the good people of God.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, February 1, at 11 am at St. Joseph’s in Needham. He will lie in state the evening before in the same church from 3 pm to 8 pm.
- HC3Y0164.jpg: George Martell/Archdiocese of Boston | Copyright by owner. Used with permission.