Father Arthur Kennedy, who taught theology at St. Thomas for 33 years, today was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Boston.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, announced the Vatican’s appointments of Kennedy, 68, and Father Peter Uglietto, 58, at a news conference this morning. They will become the 34th and 35th auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese’s history. Both are tentatively scheduled to be ordained there Sept. 14 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Kennedy, currently rector of St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass, taught in the Theology and Catholic Studies departments at St. Thomas. He was executive director of the U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in Washington, D.C., from 2002 until 2006.
Kennedy was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1966. He received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1967 from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a Ph.D. from Boston University in 1983. He came to St. Thomas in 1974 after eight years of service at parishes in Methuen and East Boston, Mass. He was named an associate professor in 1983, the university’s Distinguished Educator of the Year in 1994 and a full professor in 2001.
Kennedy also served on the faculty at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in 1990, 1995-2000 and 2006. He directed the Master of Theology program from 1993 to 1998.
In 2000 he was a visiting professor at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also called “The Angelicum,” in Rome, and during the 2000-2001 academic year he also was a visiting professor at St. John’s Seminary, where he had studied.
Called an “experienced ecumenist” when he took the position with the U.S. bishops, Kennedy had been chair of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Commission on Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs; co-chair of the Lutheran-Catholic Covenant Commission; co-chair and convener of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic bishops’ annual retreat; co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant Commission; co-chair of the Evangelical-Catholic Pastors’ Conversations; an official observer to the Minnesota Council of Churches and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers.
In Minnesota, Kennedy also was a longtime member of the board of directors of the Jay Phillips Center for Jewish-Christian Learning, now called the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a joint effort of St. Thomas and St. John’s University in Collegeville.