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Bishop Sullivan ordains Father Edward Kennedy

By Peter G. Sánchez

Urging him to “have the same missionary fervor and holiness of life” as the saints, Bishop Dennis Sullivan ordained Edward McGettigan Kennedy to the priesthood May 21 in Camden’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

In front of his family, friends, and now brother priests, Father Kennedy, 33, joined the sacred order of the Diocese of Camden.

As this special day fell during the Year of Mercy, Bishop Sullivan told Father Kennedy to “be a dispenser of mercy” as a priest, “acting in Christ’s person, configured to him, giving word to God’s word, nourish His people, and teaching what the Church teaches.”

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Father Edward Kennedy prostrates himself before the altar, as the congregation prays the Litany of the Saints, during his ordination to the priesthood May 21 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Camden. Photo by Michael Walsh

No one could be happier for Father Kennedy than his cousins, Msgr. William Hodge and Father Raymond Gormley.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Msgr. Hodge, pastor of Saint Mary Parish in Gloucester City.

“Father Ed has a good heart, and a lot of kindness, characteristics important to any priest,” he said.

Sister Juliet Walsh, a Sister of Mercy in Ireland and a cousin of Father Kennedy, flew in from Dublin earlier this week to join in the celebration.

His ordination “renews my faith and commitment to who I am, and my work,” she said.

The people Father Kennedy will come into contact with, as he performs his new duties as a priest will “appreciate his gifts and talents,” she said.

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Father Kennedy, with Bishop Dennis Sullivan, poses for a photo with cousins Father Raymond Gormley, left, and Msgr. William Hodge, and his mother, Theresa McGettigan Kennedy. Photo by James A. McBride

Present for his cousin’s first Mass on Sunday, May 22, at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Atlantic City, Father Gormley found “great joy in seeing him on the altar, and in bringing Jesus to the people.”