Anselm Kennedy, OFM
1863 – 1929
Fr. Anselm Kennedy, OFM, was born in Maple Ridge, N.Y., a few miles from St. Stephen’s Friary in Croghan, on Oct. 22, 1863. From the friars’ old Latin school in Croghan, he entered the novitiate Dec. 22, 1881, and professed temporary vows on Dec. 23, 1882. Fr. Anselm made his profession of solemn vows Feb. 20, 1886, and was ordained a priest in Newark, N.J., on May 26, 1888.
Fr. Anselm served as pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Buffalo, N.Y., for 11 years, and for three of those years he was a councilor of the Province. The Provincial Chapter of 1910 elected Anselm to be the second Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province, and he served from 1910 until 1916.
When the Provincialate was moved from Paterson, N.J., to West 31st Street in New York City, and he took up residence there. During his second term, he initiated the building of St. Athony’s Friary in Butler, N.J.
The last 10 years of his life were dedicated to the spiritual and material growth of St. Francis Church in New York City, where he was the pastor. He introduced the noonday Mass and began the practice of hearing confessions daily, throughout the day. He transformed the parochial school into Mount Alvernia Business School. He was highly praised for the “Great Mosaic” which he had designed and executed in the upper church of St. Francis.
Fr. Anselm died in St. Francis Hospital in the Bronx on June 12, 1929. He was 65 years old, a professed friar for 46 years and a dedicated priest for 41 years.