Fr. Gregory M. Kennedy, SJ
Fr. Gregory M. Kennedy, SJ

Fr. Gregory M. Kennedy, SJ, 40, was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. Even as a teenager, he was interested in a simple life of work and prayer, and so his father took him to visit a Trappist monastery when he was just 15. He began to read Thomas Merton, the American Catholic writer and Trappist monk, and that fueled Fr. Kennedy’s spirit and imagination. After graduating from high school, Fr. Kennedy headed to the University of Toronto, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1998 followed by a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 2000. During his summer breaks, Fr. Kennedy would travel through Europe and Canada “wwoofing,” volunteering on organic farms in exchange for room and board. After a 2004 doctorate in philosophy from the University of Ottawa, Fr. Kennedy was poised to realize his long-held dream of owning his own organic farm, but with meager resources, he began working as an aid to senior citizens instead. His early interest in religious life had never been truly explored so he used this time to discern God’s call, which eventually led him to the Jesuits’ organic farm in Guelph, part of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre. He spent a year there before entering the Society of Jesus in 2006. As a novice, he spent five months in Jamaica teaching sixth grade before advanced theology and philosophy studies at Dominican University College in Ottawa and Regis College at the University of Toronto. Missioned next to Corpus Christi College in Vancouver, British Columbia, he taught philosophy and led student service trips to Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Yukon. Returning to Toronto and Regis College, he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2014 before heading to the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá, Colombia, for intensive language and theology studies. After ordination, he will continue his studies in Colombia, working toward a Licentiate in Sacred Theology degree. Fr. Kennedy will celebrate his first Mass as a Jesuit priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Toronto. (English Canada Province)

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