RINGWOOD, N.J. — A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Dec. 5 for Kenan Morris, OFM, who died Nov. 30 at Holy Name Friary. The 89-year-old was a professed friar for 66 years and a priest for 61.
Both the wake, on Dec. 4, and the Mass of Christian Burial, celebrated by Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, were held in the friary’s Cortona Chapel. Burial followed at God’s Acre Cemetery in Ringwood.
Kenan was born June 24, 1922, in Medford, Mass., to Irish immigrants Augustine and Elizabeth Morris. In 1944, he entered the Order of Friars Minor at St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J., after attending St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. The following year, he professed his first vows.
In 1948, Kenan professed final vows and was ordained a priest in 1950.
Following ordination, Kenan moved to Brazil, where he served as a missionary from 1951 to 1954.
Upon his return to the United States, he served at several Province ministries over the next eight years — St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, St. Catherine’s Church in Clarksville, Va., and St. Anne’s Parish in Fair Lawn, N.J.
From 1962 to 1975, Kenan was a chaplain in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Following his release from active duty, he spent a year of continuing education at the Washington Theological Union.
He then began service at a variety of educational institutions. In 1976, Kenan was chaplain and faculty member of the Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn., and he then worked in campus ministry at the University of Florida’s Catholic Student Center while assisting at St. Augustine Parish in Gainesville, Fla.
In 1979, he earned a master of divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in California and began service as a campus minister at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. Kenan. He remained at the university until he retired in January 1996 to St. Anthony Residence in Boston.
On March 10, 2008, he became a permanent member of Holy Name Friary, the Province’s skilled nursing facility.
Kenan is precedeased by his brother, Lee, and sister, Elizabeth. He is survived by cousins Sr. Ann Gormly, SND, of Washington, D.C.; Mary (Molly) McDonough of Chigago, and Robert Sherwin of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Franciscans — St. Anthony’s Guild, 7 Jersey Street, East Rutherford NJ 07073-1012.
— Compiled by Theresa Bartha and Fr. Dominic Monti, OFM