File 213 - Fr Denis P Kennedy SJ

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IE IJA J/213


Fr Denis P Kennedy SJ


  • 1926-1988 (Creation)

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37 items

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Name of creator

(06 March 1909-25 July 1988)

Biographical history

Born: 06 March 1909, Carrickmines, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 25 July 1988, Bon Secours Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of death

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

Younger Brother of Richard (Dick) Kennedy - RIP 1986

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989


Father Denis Patrick Kennedy SJ

Paddy (or, as he was often known, “DP”) Kennedy entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg straight from Belvedere in 1926 after a quiet school-career. Al though he lived to be almost 80, he did not enjoy ro bust health and a series of operations, while he was a student in Rathfarnham, forced him to give up his studies there and go back to Tullabeg, by now the Jesuit Philosophate. After two years and a further year of philosophy at UCD, he took his BA.

In 1933 he was in Belvedere again, but not for the three years' teaching customary for Jesuit scholastics at that time and for many years afterwards. Instead, he became manager of the Jesuit publication The Irish Monthly. In 1936 he went to Milltown Park to study theology and was ordained there in 1939, along with his late brother Dick (1921). After Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, he returned to Belvedere in 1941.

He had busy years ahead of him in the College where he had spent five years as a boy and three as a scholastic. He became, successively Minister, Vice Rector and then (1947-53) Rector. Until he became Rector, he taught Religion at the former Technical School in Pamell Square, an experience which left him with abiding interest in the subject of the religious formation of young people. It was also in the Belvedere period that he made something of a name for himself in the “Safety First” campaign of the Irish Red Cross.

In these twelve years in Belvedere, he made a considerable mark. It was a relatively quiet, unflamboyant era, following the privations and uncertainties of the War years. As Rector Fr Kennedy involved himself in every aspect of life here, at a time when the Rector had responsibility not only for the large and active Jesuit community but for the College as well.

Although the redoubtable Fr Rupert Coyle had already been Prefect of Studies twelve years when “DP” became Vice-Rector in 1945 (Fr James Gubbins's health having failed), no one who was here in those years was under any illusion as to who was in charge. His particular memorial is the new Junior House, whose erection on the site of the old Numbers 7 and 8 was begun towards the end of his term of office.

After Belvedere, he spent eleven years as Principal of University Hall in Hatch Street and then moved to Gardiner St, the house to which he was still attached when his last, mercifully short, illness struck him in the summer of 1988. During his time in Gardiner St, he worked in various capacities in the church, especially as a confessor. In the last six years of his life, his special occupation was to bring Fr John Sullivan's cross all over the country to bless the sick and afflicted.

He died in the Bon Secours hospital on 25th July 1988

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File relating to Fr Denis P Kennedy SJ which includes correspondence with Irish Fr Provincials and curia, and application to join the Society.

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