|Birth: ||Jan. 16, 1974|
|Death: ||Jan. 27, 2008|
On the last day of his life, Father Daniel J. Kennedy said goodbye to his first church. Father Kennedy told parishioners at St. John the Evangelist in Winthrop, Massachusetts, on Sunday January 27, 2008 that his first eight months as a priest would always belong to them. He said he would never forget them. That night in his brother's living room in Connecticut, Father Kennedy suffered a fatal heart attack after performing a baptism for a friend in Fairfield hours earlier. He entered eternal life at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. He was 34 years old. His father said, "He spent his last eight months happy as a lark. He loved being a priest. He could have done so much."
Father Kennedy began thinking about a vocation to the priesthood as early as seventh grade. He graduated from Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, and from Providence College in Rhode Island. He worked for five years as a software consultant, taking a leave of absence to enter St. John's Seminary. He was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston on May 26, 2007. For less than a year, Father Kennedy served as parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Winthrop, MA, his first and only priestly assignment. An assignment to Gate of Heaven Parish in South Boston would have been effective January 31, 2008.
Father Kennedy was also a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Chaplain Corps. In December 2007, he spent two weeks aboard the USS Nimitz.
Father Kennedy loved to play sports, especially hockey. He was an accomplished runner who completed nine marathons, including the Boston, Philadelphia, and Marine Corps marathon. He ran the 2006 Boston Marathon to raise awareness of vocations in the city. He was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston's Vocation Office. The athletic priest was training to run the 2008 Boston Marathon. He compared running to discerning a call to the priesthood. "Running a marathon is a journey that parallels, in many ways, discovering a vocation to the priesthood," he said. "For me, marathon training is a time to be alone, a time to discern God's will, a time to think and a time to pray." He was also an avid golfer.
Father Kennedy shared a great love for God, a love for his family and friends, and a passion for the Boston Red Sox and the Catholic Memorial Knights. Father Michael Lawlor, pastor at Father Kennedy's home parish, St. Joseph Parish in Needham, said, "Father Dan Kennedy was such a gift to his parents and to his family, and he was as well a great gift to the Church of Boston. His faith, youth, and vitality were of great service to our local Church. He had a great knack of being able to interact with people and touch them with God's love."
Father Kennedy was the beloved son of Daniel J. Kennedy and Alice M. (Haggerty) Kennedy of Needham, Massachusetts; loving brother of Kathleen M. Kennedy, Patricia A. Kennedy, Anne Marie Kennedy all of Needham, and John F. Kennedy and his wife Elizabeth of Simsbury, Connecticut; loving uncle of Ashley T. Kennedy of Needham; and loving nephew of Judith E. Kennedy of Chicopee, Eleanor Masi and Elizabeth Harlow both of Maine; he is also survived by several cousins. He was the grandson of the late Patrick J. and Eileen M. Kennedy of Springfield and Charles J. and Alice H. Haggerty of West Springfield.
Father Kennedy will lie in state in Saint Joseph Church, 1382 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA on Thursday, January 31, 2008, from 3:00-8:00 pm
Funeral Mass: Celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley on Friday, February 1, 2008, in Saint Joseph Church, 1382 Highland Avenue, Needham at 11:00 am. Interment will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2008 in Saint Mary's Cemetery in Westfield, MA at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, the Kennedy family requests that donations be made in memory of Father Daniel J. Kennedy to Catholic Memorial School, 235 Baker Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132 or to Saint Joseph School Endowment Fund, 90 Pickering Street, Needham, MA 02492.
"Let those who think I have said too little and those who think I have said too much, forgive me; and let those who think I have said just enough thank God with me." -- St. Augustine
**Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in your peace. Amen**
***A website has been created in order to offer opportunities for people to post remembrances and memories of Father Daniel J. Kennedy:***
Father Dan's Website
The site will also serve as a vehicle for promoting vocations to the priesthood which was Father Dan's burning desire.
*Videos in Memory of Father Daniel J. Kennedy may be viewed at:*
Father Daniel J Kennedy:(4:04)
In Loving Memory of Father Daniel Kennedy:(5:35)
Good and faithful Servant:(8:42)
Additional Memorial videos at St. Mary's
"In the great scheme of things, what matters is not how long you live, but why you live, what you stand for, and what you are willing to die for." Paul Watson
**PRAYER FOR DECEASED PRIESTS**
Among Your apostolic priests, O God, You honored Your servant Daniel with the priestly dignity. Grant too, to number him always in their company. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Saint Marys Cemetery
Created by: Elizabeth & Ron
Record added: Feb 09, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24506953
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