1926 – 2008 (July 5)
Thomas Cornelius Kenny was born on December 29, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas C. Kenny and Margaret Ronan. He had two brothers and one sister. He was baptized on January 16, 1927, at Immaculate Conception Church, N. Cambridge, MA., and Attended Saint Patrick's Elementary School, and Saint Patrick's High School, Stoneham, MA. He attended the New Prep School and Suffolk University for a brief time and then served in the Coast Guard during the war. He entered as a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, NY, in 1948, and was received as a novice on September 9, 1949 at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY. Thomas professed simple vows on September 10, 1950. He then attended Villanova University, graduating with a BA in Philosophy in 1953. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1953. He then attended Augustinian College, Washington. DC, completing his theological studies in 1957. He received an MA in History from Villanova University the same year. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1956, by Cardinal Richard Cushing, in Christ the Teacher Chapel, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA.
Father Kenny was assigned in 1957 to Saint Thomas Monastery and Villanova University, where he taught. He was then assigned to Saint Joseph Friary and Msgr. Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, PA, where he taught for a year, (1958-1959). In 1959 he returned to Saint Thomas Monastery and Villanova University, where he taught and also was appointed Vice President for Financial Affairs. He held that position at the university until 1965, and then was appointed to the same position at Merrimack College, North Andover, MA, which he held until 1979. During part of this time he was also Treasurer of Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery. At Merrimack College, he was responsible for beautifying the campus, adding trees to what were hayfields for a horse farm, before it became the college campus in 1947.
In 1979, Father Kenny was assigned to Austin Preparatory School, Reading, MA, and served as Headmaster of the school until 1986. He continued to live at Austin, while he began to work in the Development Office of Merrimack College. When the Province withdrew from Austin Prep in 1987, Father Kenny moved to the Monastery at Merrimack College, where he served as Prior and also as Treasurer of the community. In 2004, he was transferred to the newly established community of Austin House in North Andover, MA, when the friars withdrew from the monastery building on campus. Failing health caused him to enter into nursing care near to his family in the Massachusetts area, and, then, in 2005, at the Healthcare Unit of Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, PA. Father passed over to the Lord after a long period of failing health and sickness on Friday, July 5, 2008.He was a gentle and caring friar and priest, a competent administrator, and a compassionate brother.