Rev. Mr. Jack Kenny
Jack grew up in New Brunswick and moved to East Brunswick in 1977. Here he and his wife raised their three children and he became active in the parish. He taught in the Religious Education Program and became involved with the sports program at St. Bartholomew as a coach. He thoroughly enjoyed coaching and being with the kids. Yet, Jack felt that he wanted to do more and he wondered if he had a call to become a deacon.
Finding the answer to his "call" was a slow journey. He finally decided to explore the diaconate when he received what might be interpreted as a sign. It was his usual practice to attend Sunday Mass at St. Bartholomew. However on this one particular Sunday his mother wanted to go to Mass at St. Peter's in New Brunswick. It, just so happened that on that Sunday there was a guest speaker. The topic was the diaconate. The speaker invited the men in the congregation to think about becoming a deacon. Jack decided to answer the invitation and explore the possibility of becoming a deacon. As is the procedure, he wrote a letter to Monsignor Alliegro asking for permission to enter the diaconate. Monsignor was honored to sponsor him.
It takes a big commitment to become a deacon. It also involves four years. The first year is a year of formation. During this time Jack had to undergo testing to see if he would make a good candidate. It also allowed him the chance to make sure that this was what he wanted. Then there were the classes and studying and reading and papers. Jack said it had been a few years since he had been in school so it took some work to get into the groove. Fortunately he has had a lot of support. His coworkers set up a comer at his job with a desk so that he could study in the morning before work started. The commitment also involved other changes in his life. He has not been able to be as involved with the kids and coaching and he also had to give up his union position at work. He needed the time to pursue his "calling."
Despite all of this he feels that his four years of formation have been a "most wonderful experience". He found the courses he has had to take to be outstanding and wishes more people in the parish could take them. And the new friendships he has made with his fellow candidates have been particularly rewarding.
In addition to the usual duties of a deacon, he hopes to be able to work with the youth of the parish again after his ordination.
I hope this series on the deacons of our parish has given our parishioners a better understanding of the diaconate and the men in our parish who serve.
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