By Lou Baldwin
Special to The CS&T
Father Joseph J. Kennedy, 90, pastor emeritus of All Saints Parish, died Dec. 22, 2008, at St. Francis Country House, Darby.
Born in Philadelphia, the son of the late Henry F. and Anna (Quinn) Kennedy, he attended Assumption B.V.M. School and Roman Catholic High School before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
Ordained May 22, 1948 by Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia J. Carroll McCormick, his first assignment was as parochial vicar at Holy Rosary Parish, Reading.
He also served at St. Anastasia, Newtown Square; Our Lady of Grace, Penndel; St. Kevin, Springfield; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton; St. Ambrose, Philadelphia; and St. Charles Borromeo, Drexel Hill.
Father Kennedy was appointed pastor of All Saints in 1980 and was named pastor emeritus in 1993.
Father Kennedy was “kind, careful and compassionate,” recalls Dot Hahn, who served as his secretary at All Saints. “He was also frugal and conservative, and kept up the parish well.
“He was a good friend to me and my husband,” Hahn said. “I’m sure God will be good to him because he was a priestly man.”
All Saints parishioner Peg Harvey will also remember her former pastor as a kind but quiet man, yet with a spark in his eye and Irish wit.
“His homilies were outstanding. He always had the right words, whether at Sunday Mass or at a wedding or a funeral. He had a way of speaking to people from his heart,” she said.
Father Kennedy’s funeral Mass was celebrated Dec. 27 by Cardinal Justin Rigali at Nativity B.V.M. Church, Media. Concelebrants included Msgrs. Henry B. Degnan and Timothy C. Senior; Fathers Edward H. Bell and Peter J. DiMaria; and Oratorian Father Georges Thiers, who was the homilist.
Father Thiers knew Father Kennedy for 38 years, going back to his St. Ambrose days. “He was a wonderful person and a very good priest from the beginning to the end,” Father Thiers said.
Father Kennedy is survived by his niece, Kathleen Cox, his nephew, Christopher Murray, and grandnieces and grandnephews. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon.
Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103