Fr. Leonard Kennedy C.S.B., a frequent contributor to Catholic Insight and Challenge magazines, passed away April 1 at the age of 88. Fr. Kennedy, tall, upright, white hair, twinkle in his eye, smile on his lips, love in his heart will be sadly missed.
He was born in England in 1922, but moved to Canada when he was four. He grew up in Hamilton. In 1940 he attended St. Michael’s College, Toronto and entered the Basilian Novitiate a year later. He was ordained in 1947.
He spent most of his life in academia and became an expert on Thomas Aquinas. He has been described as a compassionate conservative. He cared deeply about people and abhorred the idea of taking human life by abortion.
Fr. Kennedy was an accomplished scholar, professor and humble priest. He loved to laugh and share a good story. His concern for our current society was quite evident in his many talks, pamphlets and voluminous articles.
Fr. Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight, said he articles “upheld Catholic orthodoxy,” thereby “making a tremendous contribution to the pro-life movement by strengthening it.”
In The Catholic School in an Age of Dissent, he wrote about the sad state of the Catholic schools system in Ontario in which dissenting ideas of morality percolated throughout the system.
Fr. Kennedy taught psychology and philosophy at St. Michael’s College Toronto, was president of Assumption University in Windsor, Ont., and president of St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon. In 1982, he became the dean at the Centre for Thomistic Studies in Houston, Tex.
In his later years, he taught at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, a private Catholic college in Barry’s Bay Ont. The Academy has produced many fine graduates, many of whom have worked as summer interns at Campaign Life Coalition and The Interim.