Fr Paul Kenny

Jun 30, 2021

Fr Paul Kenny was born in Coolmeen, Co Clare on 29th June 1930.

He was educated at Coolmeen NS and St Flannan’s College, Ennis before coming to Dalgan in 1948 where he was ordained priest on 21st December 1954.

He finished an MA in Anthropology in Fordham, NY before taking up an appointment to a war devastated Korea in 1957. After initial language studies he was appointed to Chunchon diocese and spent a year in the parish of Hongchon before becoming pastor in Mulgubi until his first home furlough in Ireland in 1963.

The following year he was back in Korea as pastor in Chumunjin on the east coast until he was asked to take on the role of chaplain in the Sacred Heart Women’s College in Chunchon.

Then he became attaché to the Papal Nuncio in Seoul and Spiritual Director in the national seminary. This brought him to Australia in 1975 for four years to direct the Spiritual Year programme for Columban students in Turramurra.

When he returned to Korea, he continued in parish ministry for a further fifteen years in Tobongdong (Seoul), Sangtaewondong (Suwon) and Tuamdong (Kwangju).

From 1994 he was Spiritual Director to Columban and other students and professor at the Catholic University of Korea. Leaving Korea in 2009 he continued pastoral work in Rockville Centre Diocese in New York for another four years.

Retiring to Ireland nearly sixty years after he first sailed away it was his precious Korean/English keyboard that allowed him to keep in touch with his many friends across the globe and he never lost his eagerness to expand his excellent command of the Korean language in both hangul and hanmun.

A great blessing Paul enjoyed all his years in Korea and again in Ireland was the presence of his sister Brid (now 99 years old) with the Columban Sisters just down the road. It was a blessing we all shared.

Paul died peacefully on his 91st birthday on 29th June 2021 in the Nursing Home in Dalgan. May God reward his generous and dedicated life and may he rest in peace.

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